Joede is the founder, owner, and creative mind behind Black Pearl Creations, an online retailer that specializes in one of a kind bohemian crocheted clothing for women.
Me: So you became a single mom as a result of your divorce. You went through a divorce and custody battles and experienced homelessness. I know there are so many mothers out there going through those exact same issues. They’re still in bondage or fear even if they’re out of that situation. Speak to these issues a little more.
Joede: Everything that deals with your children with custody, divorce, parenting issues, all of those things, you have to find the peace through God and then use that to allow God to fight the battle. What I learned was that when I fought I got sick, I got stressed, I was never given the answers that I wanted. Once I said “Ok, I need to allow God to find some peace within me. Knowing that everything is ok on this side. If they want to be crazy on that side let them be crazy.” So you need to find that peace and allow God to lead you to make the right decisions. He will not steer you wrong.
As you can tell I like to talk a lot. One thing that God had to teach me was to shut up. Let the other side talk crazy, you speak when you’re supposed to speak. I would be in court interrupting and going all crazy. What does that make me look like? The crazy woman he’s portraying me as. But when you’re there in court and you’re respectful and wait your turn the judge will notice that. When you have to deal with social workers coming over to see your house and everything it’s very violating. Find that peace, offer them a cup of tea, give them a tour of your home, and do what you need to do. Allow God to guide you. Don’t fall into those traps and trust me you will have that discernment. You will see those traps and they are traps, trust me. Stop, find a way around it, and keep moving. Don’t take the bait. Don’t allow yourself to get into the pettiness. If you don’t know what to do, get on your knees and pray and ask for the answer.
Me: The main theme of your talk is peace and so many women don’t have that peace. They allow things to really rile them up and I’ve told some women don’t even respond to the negativity. How can they get to that sense of peace? We know prayer. Is that something that you practice on a daily basis for yourself? Are you reading any books on that subject? How can they get to that point in their lives where they have a daily sense of peace?
Joede: The first thing they can do is block and delete. That way those negative things don’t come to you. I pray when I’m driving. I talk to myself out loud. I don’t read any self-help books. The only real self-help book is the Bible. If you look at those self-help books all they did was take principles from the Bible and pervert them. I know most of us have a Bible in our house. I have like 4 or 5 of them. You can find those answers in the Bible. I know people that read particular books and everything and I’m just like “OK, that’s right here in Isaiah”. But that is where my peace comes from. So, the way you start is, I would suggest, find the stories in the Bible that interest and speak to you. It’s amazing what you can find and learn by reading some of the stories that are in there because there’s always a lesson. God does everything with a lesson in mind.
To start off to getting that peace, block and delete. No one says you have to accept a friend on Facebook or interact with everybody. You can do whatever you want. Then start with Psalm 91. I would start there and then read the book of Acts. It’s a big adventure book in the Bible but you want to talk about motivation. People who were determined to spread the gospel, who didn’t ask permission, but were living on God’s terms and their terms. Then prayer. Real prayer. For me prayer is literally putting a pillow down on the floor, getting down on my knees, and praying. Turning off the phone and all the distractions and communicating with God. You can find time to pray anywhere. In the shower, stuck in traffic, while you’re brushing your teeth. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to Him.
Me: Do you journal as well while you’re praying?
Joede: It’s funny you ask that. When my time comes my children are going to get my Bible and they’re going to find all kinds of stuff in there. My journal is my Bible and I write so many things in there. I write it right there in the margins.
Me: I do want you to talk about your business because I want people to know your business and patronize it. Tell us about Black Pearl Creations, please.
Joede: First of all the basics. Black Pearl is a bohemian crocheted clothing line so I don’t have the grandma clothes or anything. The purpose of Black Pearl is to release your inner hippie. So what does that come back to? Peace. So my clothing allows women to express themselves. When you’re able to express yourself and you’re confident guess what? You’re at peace, aren’t you? I’m not trying to be overly new age or anything. I’m talking about real peace that comes from God but we kind of use the hippie thing to help women understand. Putting it together in a practical sense. There’s one woman out in California and she loves her French necklaces that she buys from me. She’ll take pictures of her and her 90-year-old mother and send me pictures. She is just so relaxed and peaceful.
When I make my pieces I make them in a good, productive, peaceful mode. If I am stressed or upset or anything I do not touch any of my projects. None of my projects receive any of that energy from me. I will go eat a pack of Oreo cookies before I will touch a project in that state. I don’t know if that’s a real thing, the energy, but I don’t want to risk making a project when I’m upset and sending that on to someone else. I have found that when people get my products and send me pictures you see them just relaxed.
I’ve been in business since 2001. I started with making flag afghans right after 9/11. I sent one to my dad and my mom took it so I sent him another one. She took that one and sold it. Then she gave me the money and told me to use it to start a business. So that was September and I signed up for a craft fair in December selling the flag afghans. Word got around and I even had people with sons and daughters in the military who were buying them and sending them overseas. So it just kind of grew from there. I didn’t want to keep making the blankets I wanted to venture out into clothing.
My goal was to never make anything that looked like it came from a grandma. No offense to the grandmas out there but you know what I mean. So then it grew. I was named 2007’s Style It Up Designer of the Year. One of the girls from the Pussycat Dolls loves my hats. I’ve sent some items over to Lupita and I’m in contact with her people. Right now I’m just trying to gear up for the holiday season and I’m opening up a store front in Massachusetts. Then I’m working on a new design that I really think is going to do very well. So I just have a lot going on but I crochet everything with my own two hands and use all different types of fibers. If you’re a vegan and don’t want animal fibers I do have man-made fibers as well.
Me: Congratulations on that! So, I don’t know if you have a typical day but I do like to ask this question because I know some moms would want to know how their day would look if they owned their own business. Is there a typical day for you? What does that look like?
Joede: Well, a typical day during the school year is get up, take the dog out, talking and praying with my daughter and enjoying our time together before I drop her off at school. Then I will decide where I’m going to work. Depending on the day and the weather I’ll either go to the lake or to Dunkin Donuts. The reason I don’t crochet at home is because I get distracted. For me crocheting in the car at the lake or at the library or whatever for some reason I don’t have the distractions that I have at home. My mind wanders to the dishes in the sink, picking up the kids’ rooms, what am I going to make for dinner. So from about 8:30 to 1 I am crocheting, designing, and stuff and from 1 to about 3 I am actively marketing my business and my products. I’m in a lot of Facebook groups that allow me to market. I will follow up with clients, check my site, brainstorm how to get more traffic, and things like that. Then I pick up my daughter and we come home and do homework, make dinner, clean. I’ll sit down again and crochet again around 7 or 8 at night and work until about 1 in the morning.
Me: So do you have anyone that you look up to in the past or the present that may have inspired you? Either in your personal life or your business life?
Joede: I have a girlfriend who I’ve known for 21 years and she is so amazing. She went through a horrible divorce, had the worst type of ex-husband because he was rich and had the money to keep things going in court, and her faith never wavered and her drive to have her businesses never stopped. She went back to school and she is one or two classes away from her degree. She is just a truly phenomenal woman. She and I have been through different things but not only was she inspiring but she also was supportive of me. You can look up to somebody and they may not care or really encourage you but I would call her for advice. She is a very wise woman and it’s funny because just about a month ago she told me that the student is surpassing the teacher and I’ve come a long way. It was such a great compliment!
Me: I know you’re at a place of peace in your life but you did mention not working when you’re stressed. So how do you relieve stress and take a moment for yourself to get back to that peace?
Joede: I take a big vacation about twice a year but I will jump in my car and drive to the mountains and get back to what God created. Drive to the beach or the mountains. That’s how I relieve stress. I like to go outside so even if you don’t live near the mountains or the beach just go outside. Look for a park or go out and explore your town. You’d be surprised by what you find when you’re out just walking. But if you have the capability to drive for an hour and be in the middle of the forest go for it. Get your fishing license and go fishing. Go to the lake or the ocean or a local stream.
Me: You’ve given us some amazing nuggets of inspiration and information. I love it. As you know the name of my website is NatashaVIP. VIP stands for Vision, Inspiration, and Purpose. When you hear those three words what do they mean to you as a woman, a mother, and a business woman?
Joede: My vision is to just live life the way I want to live life. My inspiration comes from God and my children and from within me. My purpose is to tell others about the peace that God gives. There is no way I would be here without God. Don’t get me wrong I’m not perfect but I would not be where I am right now without Him.
Me: I know you’ve kind of already talked to me about your next projects but is there anything you’d like to share about the next steps of your business that you want us to be on the look out for? Or just anything you’d like to share as your last piece of inspiration?
Joede: I do have two designs, one in particular I’d like to share, but I have to wait until they’re finished to put them out there. That just means that everyone has to go to Facebook and like Black Pearl Creations so you can get the updates there. I don’t want to say anything about it because I don’t want to jinx myself, so to speak.
You can find Joede and her beautiful hand-made products all over the web.
Website: Black Pearl Creations
Facebook: Black Pearl Creations
Twitter: Black Pearl Creations
Pinterest: Black Pearl Creations
Instagram: Black Pearl Creations
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