Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacqueline Disnute.
Jacqueline, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Although I’ve been knitting, painting and creating things ever since I can remember it’s not until recently I decided to go back to the things I used to love. What leads me to this? Cancer! A cancer diagnosis at the age of 50 was not what I was expecting but definitely made me reevaluate my life. For me, it was my wake up call and definitely got my attention!”
I was born in Scotland to a very creative family who never just sat and watched TV. My artistic talents were recognized by others from an early age and consistent validated from art teachers made me love art or anything artistic. Sadly to say even though art was a major emphasis in my life being an irresponsible teenager and failing to complete my art portfolio made me miss this opportunity and instead I ended up going to nursing school.
I also started knitting at an early age and did some knitting for a company while in college. After college, I moved to the USA where I meet my husband and have lived for the past 33 years. I have worked in corporate America for the past 21 years and between work and family lost my flare for the creative things I used to love. With a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, and over a year of treatment I started to re-evaluate my life. The knitting and painting started off slowly but then took on a life of their own. I started making blankets and then moved on to hats. They were just for family and friends to begin with and then I started to realize this is what I’ve been missing in my life. I am creative and these are the things I want to share with the world. After knitting over 100 hats a friend recommended that I set up an Etsy site and here I am! A lot of my hats are unique one-offs and others I can recreate. My style is to find yarn that I love and then just start knitting. My needles and imagination just take over. I love variety and being able to offer that one-of-a-kind style.
The painting side of my business is still a work in progress but something I have been focusing more on this year. Because I’m pretty much a self-taught artist I do lack confidence in my painting abilities but this year my hand-painted faux pumpkins did so much better than I thought they would and I feel my confidence and abilities are growing with the confidence.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I feel my childhood years were very smooth and I have a lot of found memories growing up in rural Scotland. I came from a very supportive and loving family so the foundation of my life was strong which I feel helped me navigate those tougher years.
I would consider myself very fortunate but would definitely define my cancer diagnoses as my biggest struggle. You never truly know what you’re made of or how deep you are going to have to dig to get through those really tough times and believe me there were many. Dealing with a year of treatment which consisted of a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation were tough but expected. The collapsed lung during my port placement which leads to two different hospitalizations and the placement of three different chest tubes, a massive infection due to complications of the reconstruction and being admitted to a treatment facility for extreme depression were not expected, There are many times I have looked in the mirror and not recognized the person that now looks back at me but with that being said it is also all these things that have caused me to reevaluate who I am and who it is I want to be. I know I’m not that same person I was before this and I feel like I’m still struggling to reinvent who it is I think I want to be or who it is I want to be remembered as.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the JD NoMo Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My business name is JD NoMo Designs and is an online Etsy store. My specialties included knitted and painted items but is constantly evolving as I build confidence in my abilities. I have over 100 knitted hats, some of which are unique one-of-a-kinds and others I can recreate. My style is to find yarn that I love and then just start knitting. I don’t follow a pattern…my needles and imagination just take over. I love variety and being able to offer that one-of-a-kind style. I have a limited selection of knitted blankets and my latest creations are knitted placemat.
My painted items now include painted faux pumpkins, painted placemats and I’m just starting to add hand-painted Christmas ornaments. This year I have definitely spent more time focusing on this aspect of my store but I don’t ever want to limit myself or my store to just one thing.
Since I do still have a full-time job I can’t add items to my store as quickly as I would like I am definitely building momentum.
I have met some amazing people on my journey and have an amazing support system. With that being said I do believe that we need to give back to our communities. For every ten hats, I sell on this site I donate a hat to a cancer patient. Also because I did knit soooo many hats every once in a while I will include an extra item with a purchase called “the gift” It is an item that they can choose to donate to someone in need or keep for themselves.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I do feel like some people are luckier than others but don’t feel like luck has played a part in my life or business. I do feel like destiny has lead me to where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life. Sometimes we just need reminders or lessons that will steer us back in the direction we were maybe always supposed to be headed but as we all know life has many twists and turns.