Jennifer Velasquez, The Salvaged Sawhorse - NY
The Salvaged Sawhorse - Art That Speaks to Your Heart.
We've all been there. Probably, more times than we'd care to admit. The situations that we find ourselves in may be different. But the negative energy that comes from these issues and the overwhelming anxiety we feel are all too familiar.
Maybe, you've just been turned down for a long-anticipated raise or passed over for a promotion at work and your sense of self-worth and confidence is at an all-time low.
When you're at the gym, are you more caught up in comparing your appearance to others than focusing on the reasons why you started working out in the first place?
Or, perhaps, it's the nerves you feel when getting ready for a big date. You are so caught up in trying to impress your date that it's hard to simply enjoy the evening and live in the moment.
And, whenever sickness rears its' ugly head; how often do we tell our friends and family; "I'm just not feeling like myself today"?
This sense of despair is especially true for those of us who are battling a long-term illness or disease. There are days when no matter how hard a fighter you may be; you just don't want to get out of bed that morning. You feel drained to the core.
Stress, unfortunately, has become a part and parcel of our lives. It's the new normal.
And, the really sad thing is that we tend to be our own harshest critic, judging ourselves on how we handle stress, always trying to "tough it out" and prove to others just how strong we are.
This is definitely not a healthy way to live. And, you know what, you're BETTER than that. You are the captain of your fate. Don't let others steer your ship.
Sometimes, though, in the midst of all the chaos, insecurity and anxiety, what we need more than anything else are some reassuring words and a little bit of hope.
A few words of encouragement can make all the difference in the world. It helps to know that someone truly cares.
The great news, however, is that you can find all that and more at The Salvaged Sawhorse, a brand that is dedicated to helping their customers get back in touch with their inner self.
The rest of your life starts right now, so it's time to set a steady path for personal growth. The Salvaged Sawhorse can definitely help you do that!
Founded by Jennifer Velasquez, The Salvaged Sawhorse will fuel your soul with a line of uplifting products that include hand-painted affirmation cards, self-care weekly planners and home decor items such as Pachamama pillow covers.
Jennifer's inspirational phrases and colorful designs will move you to live life on YOUR terms, encouraging you to embrace the moment and make the most of it!
The products that are available at the Salvaged Sawhorse not only have a ton of MEANING, but they will also impact your life on a daily basis.
The origins of the Salvaged Sawhorse can be found in Jennifer's own battle with migraines. Jenn's long fight with this insidious disease nearly put her down for the count. But, Jenn was much too resilient to allow those migraine headaches to have the final say on how she would live her life.
"There were days when I would wake up in the morning and I immediately became aware that I had a migraine. It was such a soul-crushing moment because it felt like the day was lost without even starting. After an especially tough week and a three-day migraine, I felt as though I was about to have a complete breakdown. So, I decided to write down "I choose patience" on a post-it sticker. It was a reminder that I would get through this and, although I couldn't control the intensity and duration of that migraine, I had power over my mental state"
"From there I began doing more work into how affirmations worked as well as being more mindful of my self-talk. I saw how strong I was; how compassionate I became; and it was all because of my migraines. That shift in thinking made me a migraine warrior."
When browsing through the Salvaged Sawhorse's website and conversing with Jennifer, the words self-care and self-love come up frequently.
This writer asked the brand's founder just what those thoughtful words mean to her.
"Self-care is the act of taking time to listen to your body and mind so that you can hear what it needs and then actually making the effort to care for it and meet those needs. When I talk about self-love, it is an unconditional love that you have for yourself. This very special form of love is NOT contingent on anything; not your job or income; not your state of health, appearance or your productivity. It is the compassion you extend to yourself when you fumble while growing."
Among the Salvaged Sawhorse's diverse array of products are Jennifer's beautifully designed intention sets. They will get your day going with some very positive vibes indeed.
"An intention setting is a tool that helps you to set a daily or weekly intention, allowing you to be more thoughtful and lead a life that's aligned with your values. The intention set comes with a wood base that displays the words "I choose" followed by individual customized cards with written intentions such as, "Love, Patience, Rest, Adventure; really whatever speaks to YOU ."
If you are a yogi, healer or teacher, you may want to get in touch with Jennifer regarding having her create a custom order. Enhance the decor at your studio with specially crafted pillow covers or affirmation card decks designed with YOU in mind.
Jenn recently illustrated a deck for a popular life coach. The process starts with a nice chat. Jennifer is a great communicator and she will make you feel totally at ease. You won't believe how easily the conversation flows.
As an artist and entrepreneur, Jenn is constantly growing, never, ever content to rest on her laurels.
Experimentation of design, color blends and word-craft is, after all, half the fun. It's more than okay to fail, every once in a while. The real joy comes in picking yourself up off the floor while turning a negative into a positive.
And that philosophy makes a ton of sense since The Salvaged Sawhorse encourages new beginnings; a fresh outlook on life, if you will.
During our lively chat, Jennifer gave this writer a little insight into how the magic happens with her paintbrush and iPad stylus.
A proud resident of Ridgewood, Queens; Jennifer and her partner Jake live in a railroad apartment, which is very common in that part of town.
"The first room in our apartment is my studio. It's where I do most of my work and keep stock of all my products so I'm ready to ship orders that come in, wholesale or through Etsy."
"Although I love to draw and paint, I still don't really feel like an artist." mused Jenn. "That may be because I never went to school for it. I'm completely self-taught. My frame of mind might also be because I see my art as functional tools that have a purpose."
Continuing on, Jenn delved further into her creative process. " For example, let's take my Kids Affirmation Deck or my Feed the Soul deck. The design helps to drive home the message but that's not the be-all and end-all."
"When I start to craft a new product, I wonder, how will this fit into someone's life? What value is it adding? And how will it make their life BETTER? Some pieces I start on paper with colored pencils, others I illustrate entirely on my iPad. And then there are some pieces where I break out the brushes, relax and just paint away!"
Now, as we all know; any brand is only as good as the team behind it. One person, no matter how talented and enterprising cannot create sustainable success.
The founder of the Salvaged Sawhorse just so happens to have a trio of hard-working people who have her back. The best thing about this arrangement, though, is that they are FAMILY.
Aplez.com asked the Salvaged Sawhorse's founder to give us a sentence or two that describes the contributions from her team members.
Jenn said that she could go on forever waxing poetic about what they mean to her.
"My partner Jake is the person who I run all my ideas off of. Although he'll tell you I end up going with whatever idea I originally had in mind, Jake's feedback is invaluable", added Jenn, with a knowing laugh.
"Jake's dad, Roman is also so very helpful. Roman has a woodshop over in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He cuts most of the wood bases for our affirmation and intention sets."
Roman's talented hands and eye for craftsmanship are simply magical. Roman has passed down his woodworking skills and respect for tradition to his son. You'll see that for yourself when you purchase a wood-based product from the Salvaged Sawhorse.
"My mother, Luz is rock steady all year round, but she is particularly helpful during the Holiday season. Starting in October, she'll make all of the mini flower bouquets that each customer receives with their order, irons the bags that my decks go into, create tags and packages items."
Without a doubt, Jenn credits her upbringing, as the daughter of immigrants, as the catalyst for much of her success and outlook on life.
"I am very aware of the sacrifices my parents made to come to this country and just how different my life could have been if I had been raised in Colombia. My Latin heritage IS my identity and such a part of who I am."
"I carry that feeling into my work. I strive to create pieces that are inclusive which is why many of my crafts and tools are available in both English and Spanish. I want someone like my mom to be able to use them and benefit from them."
It's easy to purchase an item from Jenn online. Just sit back on your couch and go to the Salvaged Sawhorse's website or shoot her an email. You'll find Jennifer's contact info at the end of this article.
That having been said; you shouldn't deny yourself the opportunity to interact with Jenn at one of the local craft markets where she will be appearing.
You'll love chatting with Jenn while browsing through the Salvaged Sawhorse's a colorful and inspiring line of products.
Over the past year, the brand's founder has built up quite a loyal following of women who adore what the Salvaged Sawhorse has to offer. Jenn's crafts speak to them in so many different ways.
Jenn told Aplez.com that she enjoys meeting her customers at craft fairs throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. But, more so than that, Ms. Velasquez relishes the chance to make new friends.
Those who buy from the Salvaged Sawhorse are part of the brand's ever-growing community. It's about so much more than merely "making a sale".
"I have met some of the kindest, most beautiful souls at these craft markets," said Jenn, her voice charged with emotion.
"At a recent market, I met with a mother-daughter duo who came up to my booth.
The mother was intent on getting an affirmation deck for her daughter. When she shuffled the deck, mom pulled the " I love myself " card. She looked at me and started laughing and crying all at the same time. Why? Because this woman didn't feel as though she really loved herself."
Going into further detail Jenn said, " This mom had raised three daughters who were strong and confident while chasing their dreams in life, but the mother didn't extend that love to herself. There are so many amazing moms out there who give and give to everyone around them but don't stop to think about what THEY need."
During the course of our chat, Jenn related several other heart-warming stories about different people who she encountered at various craft fairs including a dedicated, hard-working immigration attorney.
"She picked up a few children's affirmation decks in Spanish so that she could use them in her office when meeting with kids who were being transported from detention centers."
Jenny Vasquez takes a great deal of pride in being born and raised in Queens as well as having her brand based in the city's most diverse Borough.
We asked Jenn what she liked the most about Queens.
"The neighborhoods are like a collection of small towns, each with its' own distinct flavor and culture. In short, it feels like the real NYC !"
An important part of this craft-makers fascination with Queens is the delicious food scene.
"You'll never get bored here, trying out the scores of diverse ethnic cuisines that are everywhere from Astoria and Sunnyside to Jackson Heights. Jake and I are forever exploring new restaurants, but my comfort food go-to's are Pio Pio and Tacos Coatzingo for the BEST salsa and grilled cactus. I also enjoy the vegan options at Tufino Pizzeria."
Jenn leads the healthiest lifestyle possible. One of her favorite hobbies is taking dance classes two to three times a week.
"Getting on the dance floor is how I exercise, manage my stress and practice an art I love so much."
Jennifer and Jake are huge nature-lovers and they never miss a chance to do some hiking upstate amidst the beautiful meadows, forests and trails in the Hudson Valley.
This reporter was curious as to where Jenn Velasquez saw her brand going in, say, five years' time. The Salvaged Sawhorse's founder thought for a minute or so before answering.
"It's hard to say where I'll be in five years." mused Jenn.
"Where I am at the moment isn't where I thought I would be when I was working full-time in the financial sector or even three years ago when I started my business. I have learned to be more spontaneous in life. I think that it is best to pursue my curiosities and create that special product that I can't stop thinking about."
"Most importantly, I hope to get better at listening to my intuition and use it to help me get over any fear-based boundaries that I've unintentionally set for myself. I hope I can continue to create tools and crafts that resonate with people and inspire them to love themselves and share that love with the world."
Jennifer Velasquez is such an interesting interview that our chat could have gone on for, at least, another hour. Our time together literally flew by!
However, we would have been totally remiss if we failed to ask Jenn about the story behind the name of her brand, before going our separate ways.
It all began when Jennifer and Jake decided to move into their very first apartment. Like most couples who are just starting out in life, they were on a limited budget, so purchasing a lot of furniture was not an option.
Ever the practical duo, Jenn and her partner decided to build most of the furniture for their new apartment.
"After doing some research and speaking to Jake's Dad, we realized that we needed quite a few tools, as well as wood and a sawhorse." reminisced Jenn." And, we were told that buying a sawhorse is not cheap, by any means."
"That very same evening", continued Jenn, "while we were walking home, what did we see on the sidewalk, but a couple of discarded sawhorses! It was signed, for sure. We could not believe our luck ."
The happy couple gathered up the sawhorses, took them home and preceded to build, from scratch, a dining room table, a coffee table for their living room,a breakfast bar and a TV console.
"I focused on building the decorative pieces for the apartment," explained Jennifer.
"That process gave me the confidence to keep creating things and to share that work with others. When I was ready to launch my business, I just HAD to give tribute to those sawhorses."
Re-kindle the joy in life and uplift your spirits! Be good to yourself (and to those you love), with a gift from the Salvaged Sawhorse.
There is no time like the present! Currently, The Salvaged Sawhorse is offering our readers a very special promotion. Mention Aplez.com and receive a 15% discount off ANY PRODUCT.
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