On Knitting Textiles And Staying True To Yourself: Bethany Jane of The Aquariust
this fall, our theme is: flourish.
flourish (n.): to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.
When we make work under our best conditions, we do more than survive—we thrive.
And what grow toward (or say no) to has a lot do with it. Whether you’re a small business owner, independent artist or side hustling creative, your career pathway will take resilience and strategic decision-making. Where do you choose to go? What makes something a yes? Which environments are best for your growth?
Those answers are nuanced, and for the most part they vary. So, as we prepare for craftHER Market Fall ‘19, we’re interviewing some of this market’s featured makers to learn more about their businesses and the ways they create favorable environments for their work. Read on for a peek into their process.
about today’s featured maker: bethany jane of the aquariust
Im Bethany, Founder + Artist at The Aquariust, where I create one-of-a-kind macrame, practice naturally dyed clothing and textiles, and I am dedicated to creating and offering inclusive creative workshops and experiences for people to empower themselves through their own artful exploration! Creativity is accessible and available to all of us no matter who we are or where we come from, I know this first hand from my own healing and love to gather, share and I offer this through my art and business.”
How would you describe who you are and what you do?
My name is Bethany I’m the founder and artist at The Aquariust where my intention is not only to heal and grow myself as an artist but also to offer workshops and encouraging inclusive opportunities for others to empower themselves through their own artistic exploration. My current primary practices are macrame, natural dye with textiles and clothing, various fiber arts and gathering accessible creative resources to share with all. We have so much art and creativity at our fingertips and my intention with The Aquariust is reminding myself and others that creative practice as art/as self care/as life is available to all of us, no matter who we are, where we come from, or how we have been conditioned to think about our selves as creative beings or otherwise. Art can be so, so, so healing.
Our theme for this Fall’s craftHER is flourish. How are you looking to grow your business at the moment?
I am looking to grow my business so that I can practice it full-time and become more empowered in order to create more space for myself to grow and to offer more opportunities to others to integrate creative practice into their daily lives. I aim to grow towards being 100% self employed so that I can have more autonomy in my schedule to experience more events and activism in my local community as well.
What are some of the biggest growth moments you’ve experienced as a creative and/or business owner over the last year? What can others learn from your experience?
This year has been a huge growth experience in so many different forms its been bananas. My wife and I invested all of our time/money/energy/etc. into an arts community event space project that was destroyed by extreme flooding in the Hill Country in the Spring which, while traumatizing and so upending at the time, taught me so many things I carry with me on the daily, like what is actually important in my life versus what I thought would make me feel successful. It was in the end a liberating from expectation and control and a redirection towards acceptance and gratitude.
While developing and evolving my goods and services in the form of new designs, collections and workshops, I also got the experience and honor to collaborate so much this year, with local arts organizations like CRAFT, craftHER Market (YAS!) and Golden Day Ceramics, alongside Kendra Scott, Siete and West Elm. Learning to stand tall in what we have to offer as valuable is what I learned from this year’s collaborations, that yes your inner critic/ego will try to protect you/keep you small by touting really mean things about how you don’t deserve to be there but babe, YOU DO. You’re valuable and you have so much to offer and you are allowed to exist in the world. I feel its important to keep reminding ourselves of that truth, especially if you are part of a marginalized group—as a queer person I fight every day against age-old implications/systems/understandings that I am not allowed to be here or that I am not meant to exist fully. Stand tall in who you are in the here and now, especially as you grow because when we grow and get closer to full self expression old stories that can hold us back can totally flare up. YOU GOT THIS.
Sustaining a creative business is tough. What are some money mindsets you’ve had to learn as an artist / entrepreneur?
This is a challenging one that I’m hoping to do a lot of work on in 2020! I think money mindsets can be a challenge for any artist or entrepreneur and especially for people who are self made or were not afforded resources early on in life. Along with a lot of personal accountability and a lot of ongoing education around money, My money mantra that I come back to is: You are right where you are supposed to be.
Would you like to meet Bethany in-person? Come out to craftHER Market Fall ‘19 on October 12 and 13, 2019 at Fair Market and stop by her booth. Click here to learn more.