If you find a job you love, it won’t feel much like work
Just Terrific started as a way for me to pursue my creative passions more seriously and independently. Although formally created in May 2012, I have been making handcrafted goods, mostly for gifting to friends and family, since I was a young girl. Just Terrific offers quality products and services, such as unique jewelry, handsewn journals, graphic design & print services (both for businesses and for individuals), and book repairs and restorations.
How did Just Terrific begin?
I was working at a fine art printer and bindery as a book designer and hand sewer, but it was a small business. I saw it go from four employees with a steady flow of jobs to just two of us (plus an occasional intern) with periods during the day with no phone calls or emails. Business was slow and my position became too much of an expense. It was a hard time for me; I was not only worried about the future of the business and my job, but also difficult to witness a definitive change in demand within the printing industry. I decided to leave a job that I ultimately enjoyed to become my own business owner, and pursue my individual creative interests.
I don’t come from a line of artists or designers, but my family was a main motivator for me to follow my creative desires. My father was supportive when I told him I was thinking of leaving my job to start a small business. My loving and longtime partner, Jon, was always boosting my confidence, and telling me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, never once doubting my abilities.
Given mostly as gifts, I would make jewelry, journals, books, cards, and all sorts of little things, which my friends and family would all seem to love. My grandmother would love my gifts the most. She would always gush over a necklace, or a pair of earrings I would give her, telling me all the compliments she would get from her friends or co-workers. “Rachael,” she’d say emphatically, “this necklace is just terrific! You know people would pay money to have one of these!” She was by my side when I decided to leave my job, and believed I could succeed at anything I worked towards . She passed away just a couple weeks after I quit my job, but she knew of my business plans and after several lengthy brainstorming sessions for a business name, Just Terrific was devotedly born.
If you loved your job, why leave it?
My grandma would always tell me that if you find a job you love, it won’t feel much like work. My job was like that at first, but eventually when my hours were cut down, the studio was under construction, and my original job duties shifted drastically, I knew it was time for a change.
Now, as my own boss, I am not limited to a certain style. Although a challenge, the only expectations I have to meet are my own. The pressure I feel is from myself. The deadlines I created are on my schedule. If I make a mistake, it’s on my dollar to fix it. I don’t have to ask anyone if I want to take the afternoon off…plus my strict dress code of ‘comfortable’ is easy to adhere to.
What are your goals for Just Terrific?
Although the print industry has declined over the past few years, I don’t think that print will disappear completely. It’s a slowing industry that needs to adapt to society and how humans use it. I feel strongly that any contribution to the print world, whether it’s for personal or business use, in quantities large or small, helps communicate a message. In printed form, it can show the extra thought or care taken to spread the message. In an age of digital devices, for example, it’s easy to send a e-mail to a loved one saying, “I love you”, yet somehow, the tangibility of print makes “I love you” written in ink on the inside of a greeting card, mean a bit more, don’t you think? Print is powerful in that sense.
The same goes for constructional book restorations. Restoring antique books gives me great joy, because I can continue that book’s legacy of holding it’s true function..to be a book. Books that are falling apart can easily be stored in a box in a basement, never to be read or maybe even held again. I love giving those books new life by restoring their structure and purpose.
One industry that has been growing steadily is the handmade craft industry. More and more people find appreciation for a unique and one-of-a-kind product. With such an influx in automation in the manufacturing industries, people enjoy knowing that a persons hands touched a product, giving it care and attention a machine or assembly line could otherwise not. I know that truly unique and special pieces can only be handmade. That’s one reason I really enjoy jewelry making and bookbinding – to make something new and original or unlike anything before it is exciting to me!
First and foremost, my main goal, not only for Just Terrific, but in life in general, is to celebrate each day. To spend your days doing what you love, you truly will feel like you haven’t worked a day. Sure, work takes effort but when you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s an easy way to celebrate all of your days.