DUSTY OF THROWING PINECONES.
We are honored to welcome maker, artist, and our friend, Dusty to the journal today. Dusty and Lilah go back about 2 or 3 years, after meeting on Instagram and stalking each other casually. Now they are each others' goals and accountability partners in business, faith, and life. Dusty is a bright light and gives so much of herself to others. Check out her small biz + blog, Throwing Pinecones and all that it is doing to raise awareness, fight human trafficking, and giving women around the world a voice through the woods.
My name is Dusty Hegge and I am the one women show behind Throwing Pinecones. I have always been a maker, though it has taken on different forms as I have grown. My mother, aunt and grandmother are all natural creatives. I am a maker in many forms. I am learning more and more that no maker should be restrained to one thing to make. Making requires practice, time, and most importantly variety! As a child I would write silly poems and spend hours sketching and gluing things together. Today I sell custom, hand-illustrated longboards, mugs, and paper goods. I have always been attracted to art that also serves a function. I think that is why I am love to garden and cook so much!
What makes you want to create? What keeps you going?
I feel like I must create; it's in my blood. I realize that sounds a bit dramatic and overly poetic, but it's true! I go through phases where I enjoy making one thing over the other. I'll be in the kitchen cooking until my feet can't stand anymore and the next day I am sketching longboard designs until my sharpie runs out of ink. I think the thing that keeps me going the most is God's sweet grace for me. He sustains me and inspires me. I have always noticed a direct correlation between how well and frequently I create and my relationship with God. God has blessed me with a husband who supports me and family who encourages me and nature that inspires me. When those things seems distant to me or being creative feels like work rather than worship I know something is up and it's time for a heart evaluation!
What has been the most challenging part of your business?
Getting my feet on the ground! I have toyed back and forth with having an art business for years. Part of me loves the idea and the other part of me feels like I am just not good enough to sell my art. I have come and gone from Etsy more times than I can count, tried other selling platforms and even quit for quiet a while. Today, I am back to Etsy yet again and this time I plan to stay. This time around I prayerfully considered my options, weighing the pros and cons and when I still couldn't make a decision I just did it anyways! I was still unsure about my decision when I got a message from the Portland/Seattle director of RAW, a bi-monthly underground art exhibit. She wanted me to be in her show! What a confirmation! As I start taking my shop more seriously again God has supplied me with the confidence and assurance I needed to know that I have made the right choice.
What advice do you have for other, perhaps newer, makers?
For years I felt like I wasn't working to my potential, the thing was I didn't really know where or what my potential was. I had no idea what I wanted my brand to look like, what exactly should be in my shop, or how I should go about figuring it all out. The best advice I can give any maker that is new to the field is that the time you spend "dawdling" about your art and shop is not wasted. I don't know how else I would have figured it all out or how I would have figure out what I already have. Just go for it! Try that look you have really been liking lately, if you do and realize it's not quit your personalty that's fine! At least you've narrowed down your options a little bit! Just go out and try!
Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
This Christmas season I am working hard to raise awareness and money for human trafficking through a project I have started called Rubies Parcel. Rubies Parcel is a Christmas fundraiser to fight human trafficking. Each parcel is filed with quality hand-curated items from makers who hate sex trafficking as much as we do! All of the profits from each parcel will be donated directly to help fight human trafficking by giving human trafficking survivors the narrative they deserve. You can purchase your own Rubies Parcel by heading over to my shop! www.throwingpinecones.etsy.com
As a way to help further my mission on Throwing Pinecones I started a series and ministry called The Rubies Project. Every Monday I am blessed to share the story of an ordinary women to create an extraordinary impact for Christ. Through The Rubies Project I am also working hard to raise awareness about the realities of sex trafficking as well as money to help fight it. I learned just the other day that NE 87th street in Portland is the most heavily sex-trafficked locations in all of Portland, that is only three blocks away from my home guys! Something needs to be done. By sharing the stories of women and by taking a stand against sex trafficking my prayer is that together we can remind women everywhere that their story matters; that they matter because God made it so.