Hello! I’m Jenni Elledge, the owner and maker behind Sauntra Handcrafted. I’m an animal lover, Italian food eater, mountain chaser, and super nerd. I have loved creating and crafting for as long as I can remember. As I’ve grown, I’ve developed this dream to live a handmade lifestyle, working to fill my home with all handmade items, either by my own hands or by other talented makers.
I had been working as a production artist in a cubicle for a couple of years when I learned that I would be getting laid off. It had always been a little dream of mine to one day find a way to make a living working from home doing something I truly love to do and to escape that cubicle life. I knew it was now or never, so I took a leap of faith and created Sauntra Handcrafted.
Sauntra Handcrafted is an online store, selling artisan knit and crochet home goods, apparel and accessories, all handcrafted by myself here in the Upstate. This is definitely not just a hobby or a job for me; this is my art and my passion. My work draws inspiration from our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as from trends in design and interior décor, especially minimalist and modern designs. I love to reimagine traditional and vintage patterns and make them relevant again. I strive to use my training in design and eye for color to create new, interesting pieces and push these crafts to a new level. One of my main goals is to breathe new life into crochet as a craft. Crochet is typically deemed knitting’s old-fashioned and cheesy granny. I am striving to bring crochet into this century. To modernize and update it, while still keeping its cozy charm.
It’s my hope that through Sauntra Handcrafted I can pour into other women while also doing what I love. Often times when we get buried under piles of to-do lists and demands, we start to forget our paths and feel overwhelmed, anxious, and honestly, alone. “Sauntra” is a made-up word based on the pronunciation of the French word for “center.” It is my hope that through my pieces and brand, you can be reminded to slow down. To take a minute to just breathe. There’s just something about wrapping up in a handmade blanket or sipping on tea out of a handmade mug that is so comforting. It reminds us that we are valuable and cared for because someone was willing to take the time to slowly and deliberately make this for us. This is the feeling I hope to share with you. I hope my pieces can bring comfort, peace, and a little happiness to your day, no matter what you are facing.
So what’s next for Sauntra Handcrafted? Pottery is definitely on the horizon! I’m hoping to add hand-thrown pottery to the store within the next year or so. I also plan to collaborate with local spinners and hand-dyers in the future to bring to you completely locally made, limited edition items that are totally unique to our area.
Stay tuned for my next installment about where my business is taking me, and things I’m learning along the way!