Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Josie Green. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Josie, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
I have always loved stationery. As a kid, my friends never understood the thrill of having notepads and cards and envelopes, and even pens and pencils galore. Family members would gift me sets for birthdays and Christmasses, and soon would receive letters in the mail from me talking about the most mundane thing in the world! As I began finding my niche in greeting cards, that love was reignited when I realized that I could just create exactly what I wanted. I began sending letters to friends and family (even those so close I would just stick the letter in their mailbox myself) and the joy that came from this was unmatched. The art of hand-written letters is dying, and I want to bring it back. No one really expects a letter from their friend in the mail – I mean, even invitations for birthday parties and baby showers are sent in a text message now. Writing a letter is so intentional; you have to make time to sit down, carefully choose your words, and then address an envelope, get a stamp, and send it off. The surprise of receiving something so personal is enough to make someone’s day. Because of this, I encourage all of my customers to send their grandma a letter!
Josie, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I feel like my entrepreneurism started in the fifth grade when I was making and selling Duct Tape wallets at school. Shortly after that, when the tape fad was over, I began teaching myself hand lettering. I would scroll Pinterest for hours, finding pieces to imitate and practice. I would paint signs for home decor, do chalkboards for baby showers, and even got a gig making charts for teachers at school! I painted Bibles, made wood slice ornaments for Christmas, and addressed wedding invitation envelopes. I loved to write, and people seemed to really like my writing too. I was a senior when the COVID-19 outbreak happened and found myself with a LOT of time on my hands. Being an entrepreneur wasn’t something that I had ever thought about; it was just something I always was. By October of 2020, I had decided to call myself JosieJots and was stepping into a more serious endeavor into doing actual business. Honestly, I’m not even 100% sure when or how I decided to start making greeting cards, but plenty of friends and family members received Halloween cards that year… and then some for Thanksgiving… and by Christmas, I had people ordering some to send to THEIR friends and family! It was blissful to see other people excited about something that I was passionate about and enjoyed doing.
I create hand-drawn and professionally printed greeting cards, dabble in graphic design for logo and content creation, and provide hand-lettered love for anyone who needs it. My mission is to revive the dying art of sending hand-written letters, and encourage those around me to send their grandma a letter (mine always loves it when I do)! Sometimes with store-bought cards, it’s difficult to find one that’s not cheesy or corny or really matches someone’s personality. I put a lot of care into designing my cards, whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, to say thanks, a “get well soon”, or just a plain ole greeting card. I would never make one that I wouldn’t want to receive myself! During the winter, I make my infamous wood slice ornaments, and have recently introduced a wider variety with acrylic and tin ones as well. They’re all hand-painted and hand-lettered with the utmost amount of love.
It’s extremely rewarding to reflect upon where I started and where I am now (very original, right?). I was born a creative and it’s fulfilling to be able to carry that into a career, always being able to do something I love and that I’m passionate about. For all customers and clients, present and future, I always want them to know that I pour my heart into every piece I create. Really, everything I make is created with someone that I love in mind. When the card, or the sign, or the bucket I wrote your kid’s name on, is in your hand, I hope it makes you think of someone you love, too.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
I’m from a very. very, VERY small town. My family members are my main supporters; they’re the ones always getting me to make things, sharing my posts on Facebook, and letting people know by word of mouth about me. I created social media pages to showcase who I am, not only as a creative, but as a person, and how this seeps into my art. I shared posts from my JosieJots page on my personal page. I told people at my work about my “other” work, and they share posts. However, one of the biggest places of outreach I get is from my best friend, who is a florist. There are SO many connections and opportunities I have had the privilege of having because of her talking about me. So, my most effective strategy? Teaming up with other creatives/small business owners and hyping each other up on the socials. If you’re not a business owner, but you have a friend that is, share their posts! Buy their product! And most importantly, recommend them to other people! I have learned that in business, a referral is the most successful way to gain new customers. It can be a dog-eat-dog world out here, especially in small towns. The most important thing we can do is be kind to and support one another.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
My college career hasn’t been the highlight of my life. COVID really set the stage for a really disappointing 4 years ahead. I had started attending school as a pre-nursing major and immediately I realized that this was not going to be a fun experience at all. My best friend and I, although we didn’t get the chance to be dormmates, stuck together and toughed it out. We got jobs working in the hospital to prepare for, well, the rest of our lives. After my fifth-semester anatomy class broke my entire will to live, she looked at me and said, “You’re not doing well, are you?” That was the easiest question I’d ever been asked! I woke up on a Thursday morning and emailed my advisor for instructions on changing my major. I had no idea what I was going to do. I called my dad to see if he had any ideas for my future, and he said, “I’ve always thought you’d do well in marketing.” I said, well shoot, let’s try that! I got my major changed, quit my job at the hospital, and tried to get registered for classes relevant to my new major before the semester started on Monday. Business classes are a completely different world than nursing ones, believe it or not. I look back and laugh at myself, thinking I could make it being a nurse when my only opportunity to be creative on a daily basis was writing my name on the whiteboard in the patient’s rooms. Doing nearly a complete 180 in my career decisions gave me the opportunity to not only pursue something that I enjoyed, but would also excel in (and had enough time outside of work to be creative!).
- Website: josiejots.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/josie_jots/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100078371253864
Leah Kay Turner