Hello, everyone! We’re back with Friday Favorites, and this time we caught up with our girl Jen, the founder of Paisley + Sparrow, and we’re super excited to hear about her business and passions and share it all with you.
I met Jen at one of The Her Initiative events put on by nourish move love. We were both vendors at the event, set up right across from one another. We instantly chatted, connected and hit it off. We grabbed coffee shortly after and decided to put on a couple pop up shops of our own, launching brands + brews.
And it just hit me, looking back at that first event post, we put that on only one short year ago. It seems like I’ve had this girl in my life for a lifetime already, so crazy! I am so grateful for her in my life. She is just as beautiful on the inside as out and always has me feeling inspired and leaves me laughing. Two babies for both of us later and so excited to watch our boys (and girl on the way) be raised and play together. So, let’s get to it…can’t hide this gem from you guys any longer. And wait until you see her house… I’m obsessed and just want to move right in…check it out…
Tell us a little bit about Paisley + Sparrow. How and when did you get started?
A number of years ago I went on the World Race, where I spent one year working with ministries and non-profits around the world. I was deeply impacted by the organizations who worked with women in a variety of difficult situations: women who were sex trafficked or abducted by the LRA, widows who were HIV positive, or girls who grew up as orphans. These organizations would provide women with counseling, education, medical support, and employment for the women to recover fully and live a hope filled life. When I returned home, I knew I wanted to do something to support these types of organizations which resulted in a shop with products that are making a difference in the world.
In addition to the shop, I also blog about style for you and your home and also do photography for a few local brands!
That is so cool. Man, I’m so luck your my friend. Such an incredible backstory of how you were inspired to create your business. I’ve never been to a 3rd world country but can only imagine how you’d feel inspired after having been. So neat that you took action from your experience to better the world.
You also have a unique name for your business, how did you come up with it?
My sister and I ran a blog called Paisley Print Shoes – we blogged about things the both of us liked because we are polar opposites. When I started my shop, I kept the Paisley and added Sparrow after the verse: Matthew 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Most of the women I work with come from really awful situations and it is a reminder to them and myself that God is looking after each one of us.
Ok, how did I not know this already?! ha! Love your name. It’s so cool how you combined those two words that have so much meaning.
Who or where do you go for design inspiration?
I love to browse magazines like Better Homes & Gardens (despite feeling like grandma while reading BHG), Real Simple, or Domino. I’m also a big fan of bloggers/Instagrammers like Wit & Delight, Emily Henderson, and The American Edit.
I’m right there with ya gf, those are all great inspirations for me as well.
So, we all fail and have moments in business that are super hard, but those are important times to learn. Share with us what your biggest failure has been and what you learned from it:
Probably just allowing other people to influence my business decisions and goals too much rather than just focusing on what I want for my life and business. It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and what you think you should be doing just because of what other people in the industry are doing (or not doing)! I’m learning to keep my head down and do what is best for me and not worry so much about what I feel like others expect of me.
GREAT advice girl! It can be quite a process trying to market your own business. How much time do you spend marketing your products? How much time in your business vs. on your business?
It all depends on the week! 🙂 I would say about 30% of my time is on marketing the products themselves. I’m working through a few big business changes, so right now I’m heavy on the working on my business rather than in my business.
Share with us your top 3 favorite Instagram or Pinterest accounts you love, and we need to follow.
@inspiredbythis has awesome home decor, and party ideas, @shaycochrane shares amazing photos coupled with great business and life insight, and @restoringradiance is my go to girl for pretty food (despite never making any of it haha I think she’s an awesome person)
Awesome, we’ll have to check ’em out! And lastly…everyone! Check out her home!! I cannot get enough. I am seriously obsessed. Can’t count how many times I’ve been there and I still just wonder around and touch and feel and oooh and awee at everything. haha!
So in your words Jen, how would you describe your design style?
Eclectic. Our home is full of modern pieces from places like Room & Board, vintage items from local antique shops, DIY projects from yours truly, and ridiculous amounts of plants throughout it all.
You’re killing it, Jen. Your home is beautiful and truly reflects you. And how AWESOME is that nursery?!
And finally, let’s talk your line. I wear her earings and necklaces all the time and always get asked when I’m wearing them where they came from. So…tell us your three favorite pieces you sell?
The Mamuye tote – a classic, beautiful, perfect for everyday use bag (and it’s by far my best selling bag!)
Metal Links Choker – I literally wear this every single day because it’s dainty and pretty enough to wear alone but super easy to layer since it’s not an overpowering piece
Zia earrings – giant, leather leaf earrings that are so light you forget you’re wearing them! I absolutely love to see women who love them but don’t feel like the can wear them (for whatever reason!) actually take a chance and buy them and wear them all the time. I feel like they can be a huge confidence boost because women are stepping out of their comfort zone and seeing that it’s not so scary to try something a little out of the ordinary!
Jen, thanks for being part of our Friday Favorites and apart of my life. Everyone, go follow this girl and check out her incredible brand. She is a true inspiration and one to follow. Not only will she inspire you from a fashion sense but just to be a better person. This girl shares it all…the good, the bad, and the ugly. And no joke, her insta posts actually make me take action. She’s always encouraging and holding us accountable to do something kind to or for someone on the daily.
Facebook: Paisley + Sparrow