Missoula Woman uses Etsy.com for creative Activism, Charity efforts

"It’s a lot less energy to be happy than to be gloomy," quips Jami Shipp, at the Talc Café during some relaxed conversation over delicious coffee and cookies.  "I've always made things- I made scarves as gifts but a friend eventually told me, 'How many scarves can one neck hold?' I was inspired by my daughter to be true to myself, and then I found my happiness." Jami's brain was fun to pick- she is simply packed wisdom from her years of experiencing the ups and downs of life, and sh'es learned to remain positive and channel her energy into creating beautiful things from the heart.

And I do mean from the heart. Her online shop, called “Celebrating Life”  is a collection of jewelry, knit/crochet gifts, and sewing artwork, incorporating many activist and charity items for MS awareness, Alzheimer’s, and Breast Cancer, all of which have touched her or the lives of her loved ones in some way. In conversation with Jami, it became clear that everything she does with her business is driven by a real intention to share love and grow our awareness of our humanity and individual struggles- while remaining hopeful and optimistic.


The personal touch is very important to Jami. From the start, she made it clear that she wanted to do this interview in person. And when I asked her where she gets the most value from Etsy, her answer was- "interaction, networking, and being active in the [Etsy] groups with fellow members."  For me, it's easy to forget that Etsy is also a social community. Let Jami's extroversion inspire your own outreach efforts! Jami says, "How can you claim to be handmade if you can’t write a letter by hand just to say thank you or hello?" These are just a few of the many things that make this woman and her business very special.

Check out Jami's shop Celebrating Life at http://www.etsy.com/shop/damamashipp

Aside from her Etsy shop, Jami stays involved in the community teaching jewelry classes at Michael's. "I was in Michael's so much, they thought I worked there. I teach twice a week, basics in wire wrapping, bead stringing, knotting, crimping, wire crochet." You can see Jami and join in on one of her classes on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6pm-8pm.  



This an installment in my latest series: "I Love My Job: Stories of Real Missoula Business Owners" Read more about this series and how to be featured here. Thanks for reading! It's easy to get Songbird's Branch delivered to your inbox. Just see the "follow by email" button on the sidebar!

Never stop learning, growing, and reaching.
~Laura

Content by Laura Gabriele