By Kate Devine
Welcome to Asbury Park Bazaar's Meet the Maker AP series where we highlight local artists and makers of the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaars being held Saturdays & Sundays, Dec 10th-Dec 18th, noon to 5 pm, in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
Today's #MeetTheMakerAP is Jacqui Jacques of Earthly. Jacqui creates handmade textiles and clothing using natural dyes. By wild-foraging and carefully sourcing plant materials, she creates her palette from the abundance of nature. Every piece of fabric is one of a kind and infused with healing plant essences. Earthly aims to create a new genre of holistic apparel, ecoprinted high-waist panties to silk kimonos. Find Earthly at The Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar on December 11th and 18th!
1) Tell us how you got your start
I had been creating botanically dyed textiles for years prior, making interactive installations and sculptures. Eventually I realized I had to choose one thing to focus on. Clothing is very accessible to people, but is also a daunting industry to enter. It is an industry that I’ve always known needs to change drastically. So I chose to dive in to see what I could do.
2) What motivates you as an artist?
I’ve always had my intentions focused on making things that contribute to the health of our planet and all its beings. Trying to practice and promote sustainability within the most wasteful industry on earth (fashion), is extremely difficult. But if even a handful of people support my earth-friendly goods, this small change could ripple into bigger effects. I have huge dreams for the things that Earthly, and other eco-conscious businesses could do.
3) Where did you grow up and where do you live and work now? What is your favorite part about living here?
I grew up in Shrewsbury. I ended up living in the Bay Area and hopping around Europe before spending 2016 in Asbury Park. The community here is so electric, so supportive, I tell everyone “people there just get it." Earthly has been in business for about a year now, however, I feel like the second I entered the Asbury Park world it became real.
4) Walk us through a day in the life in your workspace
My creative process always depends on what is available to me in terms of local plant-life, or what friends and florists have donated. Every step of creating is like a meditation for me. Each piece of the long process is a work of art. No day is the same, no piece of fabric comes out like I expect it to. Every day is messy, covered in flower petals and dirt. My hands are always a different color and body usually aches by the end of a day.... But I wouldn't have it any other way!
5) What are you most looking forward to at the bazaar?
The openness of customers and their genuine words of encouragement have filled up my heart so much. I wish I could give them all a personal shout out!
6) What kinds of products will you be offering at the bazaar?
Everything is handmade & botanically dyed with flowers, herbs, leaves and plant pigments! I’ll have leggings, kimonos, scarves, pillows, prayer flags and even gift cards available!
7) Why should people support events like The Asbury Park Bazaar, and shop small and local during the holiday season and all year round?
There are so many reasons! But I’ll keep it simple and say by supporting us, you are doing something direct and tangible to make the world a better place.
Be sure to stop by and say "hi" to Jacqui and shop her fantastic goods at the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar this Sunday, December 11th, and next Sunday December 18th! You can also find out more about her and shop on her website: www.earthlytextiles.com