Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How did I get started? A Cinderella Story

LOL... this question is asked of me all the time! Really, it's a lot of hard work, being in the right place at the right time and not giving up. Here is my story on how I got started teaching Alcohol Marker Coloring technique and card making classes. - it starts out sappy and sad, but turns into a cinderella story so read on.

I had just moved back to California after a nasty nasty divorce and leaving my son in Washington state.... (sigh... another story) I was sad and in need of a job, as my money had run out and I was living on my credit card. I looked and looked for a job, but the job market in California was stinky. To compound the situation, I needed a job that would pay for living expenses, pay child support and allow me to have extended time off with my son every six weeks for visitation. I was also craving "friends" because I had just moved back to the area after being gone for about 15 years. That was going to be a tall order to fill and I could not find anything even close!

Although I could not afford it, I went out and purchased my first seven Alcohol based Markers.. Hey, I needed something to do while I was unemployed! I could not get the darn things to work, so I did a ton of research and played with them until several were completely dried up. Finally, I was getting better, but needed more ink! There was no one to help me get better... more research....

I went to all of the local stamp and scrapbook stores asking if they were hiring teachers... they laughed at me, because they were having a hard time getting enough customers for their already scheduled classes. Sigh again. One Day I was in Collective Journey (LSS) shopping when a bus tour came into the store. The ladies were all scurrying around making purchases when the clerk shouted out that everyone was getting a 20% discount. I was excited and made a small purchase. OOPS... the discount was only for the tour group. The clerk was nice and gave me the discount, but I felt guilty.

Ah Ha moment! I went home and made up several thank you cards for the store and took them back to the clerk. I was hoping that these "samples" would help the sales of their products. I got a huge reaction from the clerk.. she said "wait here.... I'll be right back". She ran in the back room and came out with this man. He was the sales rep from the stamp company that I had used on my cards. He immediately asked me if I would be interested in teaching card making in some of the local stores. I laughed and said "of course"....... (Thanks John and Our Craft Lounge Stamps.)

A few months later, I took the Copic Certification class and was addicted. People kept asking me to teach them how to color with these amazing markers. I compiled and wrote a 16 page Alcohol Marker  Techniques workbook to assist me teaching Technique classes, in addition to my card making classes. That was a huge key to my success. The news spread like wildfire, as everyone seemed to want to learn how to use these amazing markers. Soon, I was teaching in several stores and started making ends meet financially. Even paid off the Credit Card....

Six months later Copic asked me to be the Western USA Copic Certification Instructor. WOW..... I cried with happiness.

Things progressed and soon I was teaching and traveling so much, I was exhausted and didn't have time for organization. Things just exploded and grew so fast, I saw that the quality of my projects declining, as I was cutting corners just to get things done. I stopped teaching certification classes and focused on monthly Alcohol Marker Technique and card classes in Southern California stores. Then I limited out of state teaching to quarterly. Finally, life was calming down.

I now work for Crafter's Companion, as their alcohol marker specialist for Spectrum Noir.  My fit with this company is amazing... I just love the people, and their vision to provide a quality marker in a price range that is affordable to such a large range of people. I am so happy that more people can now enjoy the world of alcohol markers.  I get to teach an accreditation program that people can do in their own home without the expense of taking a class that may never be offered in their area.. this makes it friendly world wide..

My Cinderella story has allowed me to purchase my very own home in Colton, California where I live with my two spoiled Yorkies... Jazzie and Bugsie. I have a flexible schedule so I can have quality visits with my son. Although, I will never be financially weathly and may need to tighten my belt at times, I have a job I love and have everything I need in life... Love, the best son in the world, a warm happy home, friends and my pups.... oh and markers, stamps and paper!

Thank you EVERYONE for helping my dream come true.. Remember to stay positive and keep working towards what is important to you.

Cinderella... aka Jennie

ps.  I only sell the workbook with a class... LOL.... sorry!


  1. Good for you, Jennie!! And thanks so much for sharing your story. It's always so fun to know where people came from and see where they're going! We're glad that, for a time at least, you're going our way!

  2. Put me on your LSS class list. heartfeltexpres@aol.com

    btw...It was his loss!!!!

  3. that's a wonderful story! I have hopes I can switch careers like you someday :) I work in IT (studied IT for the $$$$ when I wanted to study art).

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  5. Thank you for the sharing of your story...it is always is inspiring to hear how others have made it and makes me continue to hope and BELIEVE it can happen.
    Hugs sweetie

  6. Patricia Eger Res Yeah there is so much that my sister left out and I don't mind at all to toot her horn. My big sister was driven out of her big beautiful home and her family by her extremely alcoholic EXhusband and his parents. She gave her only child the choice if wanted to stay and sence that home is all he ever knew he desired to stay, broken hearted she still had to leave it had gotten so bad. She even had her own beautiful craft room and had to leave tons of things behind but still she had to leave or ...now she smiles and is grisly happy and only wishes that her son would have come along
    She pays her child SURPORT every month even through his family has more money then most people and he is always sending the child back to her for her to pay for other things
    26 minutes ago

  7. my second favorite fairy tale after mine & Mel's story :)

    love you!

  8. I'm so glad it worked out for you Jennie but sad you had to leave your son behind. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself. Looking forward to seeing you next month! Got my airtic already!!

  9. also meant to tell you i like the new look on the blog ☺

  10. Good for you Jennie!! Thank you for sharing - very inspiring.

    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

  11. I loved your post. Kudos for forging on. Do you have any tutorials? I love your oloring and your shadow definition. What would you suggest for someone starting out with copics. I took the Certification Class but the lady was not that good and I felt discouraged. Do you have any videos? I would love to pay for some. I am going to watch your schedule and see if I can make it to one of your classes. I live in Ohio. Blessings and Happy Holidays!

  12. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing your Cinderella story. Makes me want to color a card with a lovely glass slipper.

    Take Care! Adriana

  13. :) So how did you finally refill those dry markers? lol! And because of all that stuff you did...I got to meet you and make a new friend!!! WOOP WOOP!! **big cheesy grin**

  14. Ahhhhh, I can live vicariously through YOU !!
    I adore your work !!

  15. Jennie! I am happy I was one of the lucky ones that was certified by you in Boise. You are awesome!! Thank you for sharing your story with us. By the way, I don't think you had any of those workbooks available when you came to Boise. :( Hugs~Shelley