We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenn Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenn, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When the pandemic hit in 2020, my career in Lighting for TV, Film, and Live Event Production was put on hold. I needed to find some way to pay the bills and keep my mind occupied. I did not want to go back into the restaurant service industry so I used the skills I had garnered from woodworking with my grandpa as a kid and my degree in Theatrical Production to start creating pieces to sell. Once I got into the groove of my new temporary career, everything just started to feel right. I enjoyed woodworking and looked forward to getting up every day to create new, one of a kind works of art.
Fast forward to September 2021 and my career came back all at once. I was back in Atlanta working day in and day out which started to create a huge internal dilemma for me. Could I have both my career and my business?
This has been an interesting balance for me over the last 9 months or so. In my career, I am typically booked and working 5-7 days a week so it has been difficult to find the time to be in my workshop creating. Most nights I get home anywhere from 6 pm to 2 am so each day brings about a different timeframe in which I can utilize my shop time. It has been a unique challenge to maintain my small business alongside a full time (sometimes over time) day job. I love and value CRTR Designs LLC immensely so I will continue to fight for it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My hope is for each CRTR Designs piece to elicit an experience with each use. So often we get caught up in the flow of life and we forget to stop and enjoy the experiences which bring us true joy. My promise is to create art which brings people together around a table, a charcuterie spread, or even gathered in the kitchen preparing gorgeous meals. I hand craft each work and take special care to create a one of a kind piece for people to enjoy for years to come.
Experience has been a driving idea for me throughout my journey with CRTR Designs LLC. Our lives are nothing but a string of experiences. Sometimes those experiences are positive, some are negative, and some turn out to be both. Either way, those experiences which make up our lives form who we are and how we move through life. I am not a materialistic person, I am far more concerned with sharing moments with people I care for which has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life. Being able to create a piece for someone to use during one of those special moments in their lives is what drives me. I want my boards and creations to be in the middle of parties, funerals, weddings, holiday dinners, celebrations, intimate date night dinners, brunch…. the list goes on! Ever gathering holds weight in a person’s life. I want people who own one of my works to be able to think back to a memory around it every time they look at the piece.
I have always loved creating and building so I have enjoyed sharing that with others through every build process. I hope that all of my works bring joy to each customer and recipient. When clients come to me with designs or ideas which challenge my own design instincts, I find it encouraging and validating that people trust me with an important piece for their home.
Through each project, my goal is to improve my skills and learn new techniques or approaches. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of design while each project brings about a new mindset and path of learning. I am excited to see what each project teaches me over the next few years. I hope you stick with me on this journey!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta is a busy and exciting city. There are so many things to do and see but I can narrow it down a little to share some of my favorite spots with you. There are so many good restaurants and breweries in the city and surrounding areas. A few of my favorites are: Twain’s Brewpub (I get the Fish & Chips here every year for my birthday), Brick Store Pub (get the Pot Roast!), Momonoki (Ramen), Le Bon Nosh (stunning French cuisine), Antico Italian Pizza (best pizza in ATL), Ormsby’s (great cocktails, food, and Bocce Ball in the basement), Forza Storico (mouth watering Italian), The Daily Coffee Shop on the Westside, and Bone Garden Cantina (TACOS!).
If you are looking to enjoy a gorgeous day outside, I suggest walking The Beltline and checking out the shops and restaurants that follow the path.
The aquarium is also a hit. My favorites are the Beluga Whales!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to: My best friends who have been in constant support of my small business journey from the start and who continue to encourage my growth and happiness each day.
My parents and family who have given time and space to help me get CRTR Designs LLC off the ground and who share every single one of my social media posts about new products.
Finally, I have to thank every person who has spent time and money investing in the CRTR Designs LLC brand and experience through commissions, purchases, and recommending my business to their friends and families. You wonderful people are the reason CRTR Designs LLC is still chugging along!
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