Hi! I’m Monica and I’m the lady who dreamed up Pop Craft. I get questions all the time like, “What made you want to start Pop Craft?” or, “Where did you get the idea?” So, I thought I’d dig in a little deeper than what you might read on my about page or in sporadic social media posts.
There were a few pivotal moments in my life which were unknowingly setting up the basis for Pop Craft. I can draw a line connecting them all, leading me to the place where I am at today. This blog post is about sharing those moments with you. I want you to know about Pop Craft, which means knowing more about me and why I am doing it, why it means the world to me, and why I want to have fun making art with you, and everyone 🙂
My Pop Craft Story
I get asked often about by background, and if I studied art. I was never a professional artist, but I’ve been at it my whole life! I love art, crafting, and making things, and the reason I love it is because of my mom. We would make crafts together when I was a kid, and I vividly remember the projects we made, even the trips to Pat Catans to buy supplies. One time while we were shopping, I found instructions for how to make Candle Stick Snowmen. That was the first time I found something I wanted to make, made it, and it turned out awesome! Many years later, when I was 15, my mom died after a battle with cancer. To this day, I have an innate capacity to make just about anything, which was ignited by crafting with my mom. She’s my source of confidence whenever I dive into new projects.
As an eighth grader I was into pen and ink drawing. It was the 90’s and tribal was still cool, and I would draw tribal designs on paper. I did it enough that I was known as an artist, signed originals were reserved for close friends, and I was hand-drawing temporary tattoos onto my classmates in study hall. All this was cool, but one day something magic happened. The most popular boy at Independence MS complimented my drawing (flattering, but not the magic part). Shortly after, I caught him trying to replicate my drawing style, making his own tribal design. He wasn’t too successful, but what this meant to me was that I had inspired someone to try something, and that was magical.
Art was by far my favorite class in high school. We didn’t often make abstract art work, but it was one of my favorite things to do. At home I would swirl around paint making a partly-happenstance, partly-deliberate sea of blended color. One of my good friends was over and I invited her to make abstract art with me. We squeezed out paint and swirled our brushes. I gave her some technique pointers, and we each ended up with our own unique work. For me it was just another day making a painting, but for my friend it was a much bigger adventure. She gave me the sincerest thanks, as she was surprised that she could make art. Seeing her pride, and new perspective, I knew that I could help people experience art.
It all came together
I had these ah-ha moments about how I loved art, inspiring people, and helping people be creative at a relatively early age. There was a lot of time in between then and the start of Pop Craft. In that time I got my business degree at Pitt and rode an internship into a career at Heinz where I traveled, negotiated and ate a ton of ketchup. I also had my fair share of fun, and threw parties with a 700-balloon-drop, a basement maze, and came to own both a fog AND snow machine. I took my business experience, desire to entertain people, and love for art, mixed them in a cocktail shaker and out poured Pop Craft!
That was a bit of my background, but I hope that you feel like you’re a part of this crazy craft business, because that’s how I see it. If you’ve met me at a workshop, reminisced about your time in art class, shared something you made with me, or just passed along a few great craft ideas, you are awesome! And you are also helping build the future of Pop Craft. The same appreciation goes to my husband who is my sounding board, my dad who is my power tool/workshop provider, and all of my friends who’ve helped me in so many ways! You make it all possible and I’m so thankful and lucky to know you, work with you, and Pop Craft with you.