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The Master Maker Series - Jill Knox Powell & The Young Rebel's Studio

Posted on April 04 2019

At Olives & Grace we like to support other small businesses and we LOVE to support women. The Young Rebel’s Studio founded by Jill Knox Powell, is just that, a small woman run business with a great mission.

Before starting her own business, Jill earned an MFA from Brown University in theater arts and got a job teaching acting to high school students. “I liked it but not enough to make it a career,” Jill states. While she was still a teacher, Jill and her husband decided they wanted to start trying for children of their own. She remembers that they “tried, and tried it with no luck. It was a very challenging time.” During this difficult time she turned four drawings into a coasters. Jill knew that they were cool, but wasn’t sure what she could do with them. A friend of hers championed the coasters and gave Jill the confidence to build on the project. And thus, The Young Rebel’s Studio was born.


@theyoungrebelsstudio

It’s been five years since Jill ventured out to start her own business, and had no idea how successful she’d be. Although it was not an easy road to get to where she is today, she now has a “thriving business and a daughter,” giving her exactly what she hoped to have in life. 

 “I think I am most proud of the fact that I created a business from something deep within my gut, something that I arrived at completely organically, and while coasters seem like a trivial household item, I’ve managed to spark many conversations in many many homes based on drawings I originally did for my bridesmaids. Women that I love. The love has since grown and a this business grows with it.”

With that success, comes a higher demand than she'd experienced before. This is the one aspect of The Young Rebel’s Studio that Jill's finds to be the most difficult. 

“It’s a great source of motivation and pride, but I’ve definitely shed a few tears from feeling overwhelmed. I have, up to this point, refused to mass produce anything. Everything that comes out of my studio has been touched by my hand. I have 2 helpers, and they work very hard for me but everything is touched by my hand. Keeping up is getting difficult, and I’m sure it will become more difficult with this baby girl, but I’m here for it.”

Since her business has grown so has Jill’s product line. The Young Rebel's Studio now features hand painted shoes, prayer candles, jackets, and more. When making her products, Jill’s mind is focused on people that are creating a home and states that she “wanted to make art that was functional, size appropriate, and affordable, while still packing a punch in whatever-sized home they went to.”

You can find her products on The Young Rebel’s Studio website or in stores throughout the U.S. including our little maker shop, Olives and Grace. Jill chooses all of the stores she wants her products to sell in, saying that she “gravitate[s] towards stores with a little edge.”

 

So what’s next for Jill and The Young Rebel’s Studio?

“I’m doing this massive project for my backyard featuring icons in black history. I’ve taken many of the drawings from my product line, and added several more, to create a massive art installation to honor my son and as a gift to my daughter. It’s the only project I’m working on during my self-imposed maternity leave. I’ve also made a version of it that can travel and hang in other places, and I’ve already shown it as an installation for Black History Month at a massive ad agency. Having grown up in a segregated suburb outside of New York City, and currently living in a rather segregated Los Angeles, is important for my daughter to see herself represented in all disciplines every day. If that can’t happen in the area we live in, it can happen at home.”

We’re inspired by Jill’s hard work and determination. It’s why we love featuring her prayer candles in our brick and mortar store and on our online shop. We think that they are the perfect gift to inspire your creative friend, or as a small housewarming gift.

Be sure to check out more of Jill’s products on her website and Instagram

With Gratitude,

Sarah & the OG Team

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