Repurpose With Purpose: Jeri Vann Creations Gifts Unique Niche Goods To Huntington Beach
Sometimes you stumble upon a good that is so artfully designed, so uniquely crafted, so you, that you—not want—but need it in your life. This connection describes our experience when first introduced to the sustainable woodwork of Jeri Vann Creations. From reclaimed sumac coasters to mini chevron arrows, the handmade works of the Huntington Beach-based maker are perfect gifts. Giving is what she's all about, and she just joined both our online marketplace and Holiday Pop-Up Gift Shop at the Huntington Harbour Mall (two doors down from Trader Joe's).
We asked Jeri a few questions about her craft to get "the story behind the storefront."
Main & PCH: Sum up your life story in two sentences.
Jeri Vann: I come from a well-rounded, hands-on, hard-working upbringing. From mowing lawns to construction to sewing, I learned quickly how to make almost anything by hand.
Describe the "5 Ws" that led to you being a maker.
My parents taught me to create, inadvertently, while teaching me to be self-sufficient and independent. I had a passion for photography and the fashion industry from a very young age, and my goal in life was to be a fashion designer. That drive led me to leave my small town and move to L.A. to attend college at FIDM. I initially wanted to major in design, but became intrigued by their new major, Product Development. After graduating and working in a variety of development positions in different industries, I was laid off in 2008. In order to try and bring some cash in, I started making anything and everything I could and selling it online, to friends and a few events. I realized at that point I absolutely loved creating, and from there went on to craft unique, niche items, items that customers are sincerely excited and happy to find because they have meaning behind them.
What makes your goods unique?
I strive to create niche items that are hard to find anywhere else. I love making custom orders for clients who want their own special touch to my creations.
Where do you currently live, and where are you from?
I live and work out of my apartment in HB. My husband and I have lived in HB on and off since 2004. We both are from a small town in northern Utah.
Detail your creative process.
I try very hard to hand-make every aspect of my creations. I have project ideas constantly, so I carry a notebook and jot down my ideas whenever they come to me. I re-read that list multiple times and craft whenever I can!
What/who inspires you?
I love nature. The peace it brings clears my mind and helps me focus. Colors inspire me.
Why do you love Huntington Beach, aside from the weather and waves?
I love the access we have to so many things here. Not only stores and restaurants, but the variety of people here. Just about any activity you want to do, you can find it within a few miles.
Where would you like to see your business in the next few years?
This past year has been a great year for my business. I have had many new customers from some wonderful word-of-mouth compliments from their friends and family. I would love to grow my business where it could be my full-time commitment; I would love to create every day, all day!
What's your motto?
To never stop creating.