First things first, I'm Jaz and I am the creator and maker of Jesami Designs. I make handmade embroidered hoop art, amongst other things. I started my tiny (and I mean tiny) business officially in August 2014, but I started embroidering in April 2013.
|My paternal grandmother (Abuelita)|
I first picked up a needle at the age of three, when my paternal grandmother, a retired seamstress, taught me to sew.I still remember sitting with her at the kitchen table sorting through her scraps of fabric so that my Barbies could have the fanciest dresses around. For the next two years, I was a tiny couture dress making machine. When I moved away, my hobby fell to the wayside. If I ever picked up a needle, it was to sew a button on, or fix a strap, or darn a sock, nothing like those early couture Barbie gowns.
|My maternal grandmother (Madrina)|
Fast forward to April 2013, when on a visit to Mexico, I decided to stay in with my maternal grandmother instead of going out because of my allergies. As I was sitting with her in the living room, talking, I was fascinated by her fingers working magic on a table cloth. Because it was Easter, she was diligently working on a likeness of the Pope St. John Paul II. The more I watched, the more I became fascinated, and the more my fingers twitched with the urge to pick up a needle and help. I couldn't help myself anymore and I blurted out, "Madrina, can you teach me?" She thought I was kidding but I wasn't. I really wanted to learn. So, she got me a spare hoop, gave me one of her brand new linen napkins printed with a pattern, a spool of thread, a needle and she set me to work.
It was excruciating work that first day. My fingers hurt, my back hurt, my eyes hurt, everything hurt, but I slowly saw something amazing take shape. It was like drawing or painting but with thread. I was instantly hooked.
|Working on my first napkin|
The rest of my vacation, I traveled with my hoop in my purse, ready for any downtime. I was determined to finish the napkin and show it off to both my grandmothers. When I finally finished it, I was proud of not only my work, but also that I learned a skill that both grandmothers taught me.
|First ever finished napkin|
Now whenever I pick up a needle and thread, I feel as if the thread is keeping me tethered to both of them. I put a little bit of their love into every stitch I make and I hope that with time, I can be as great as them.