Name: Jennifer Eng
Shop Name: Jengs Shop
We would love to know a bit more about the woman behind "Jengs Shop" (name, age, background, etc.):
Hello! My name in Jennifer and I'm proud to say that I just turned 30 (I hear that 30's is suppose to be an amazing time in one's life). I'm a native New Yorker with a Chinese background and lived in Queens my entire life. I attended Parsons School of Design for 3 years studying Illustration, got scared of the idea of not being able to find a job (the stereotype of an "artist") What did I know? I transferred out and studied something extremely practical, Computer Science at CUNY Queens College, which consisted of learning computer languages, doing lots of math and physics. Eew right? Completely the opposite, I know! I actually didn't enjoy it at all; but I couldn't disappoint my parents and I knew I had to finish no matter what. So, I graduated with a computer science degree and now I'm back to doing art. The only amazing thing that turned out from that time of my life was the fact that I meet my boyfriend of 5 years there, same school, same major.
Tell us a bit about your business and how you got started:
Jengs Shop is basically my design studio for simple and fun paper goods. I try to incorporate the things that I love and the things I find beautiful with useful everyday items like a plain notebook or just a white piece of paper. To tell you the truth, I don't know how it all got started. I've been working with my hands, drawing, taking photographs and doing all sorts of crafts for as long as I can remember, from sewing, knitting, soap and candle making, bookbinding, photography and I even dabbled in some carpentry for a bit. After all that, I guess I found Etsy. All I knew was that I wanted something of my own. A business? A brand? I didn't really know what or how. I just wanted something I was able put ALL of myself into.
How long have you been doing your craft?
Bookbinding – I started 8 years ago
Photography – High School
Incorporating the two (my notebooks & cards) – Less than a year
Apart from art, what are your other interests?
I enjoy period films. Eating onion rings. Mmm! Honestly, I'm a very simple and easy going gal. Besides spending time with my family, my man and really close friends, all my other time is put into Jengs Shop. Sort of boring eh? I've just been consistently working and saving money for a house.
What inspires you?
Pretty much everything in nature; shapes, patterns and color. Whatever fancies me at the moment I guess. Definitely carefree drawing.
Is there a certain piece of yours that is your favourite, or epitomizes everything you love about what you do?
I actually don't have a specific favorite. I've come to love everything that I've created and produced. I believe that putting your true self in everything, heart and soul, is all that matters.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have these two aluminum figurines that I made in 6th grade shop class, one's a ballerina and the other is an old fashioned car. It was the first time I worked with an unfamiliar material (never worked with metals) and of course tools.
Name your top 5 books, movies, songs/musical groups, and websites:
Books: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, The Trial by Kafka, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, Camille by Alexandre Dumas
Movies: Pride and Prejudice (BBC mini series), Back to the Future 1 2 & 3, Amadeus
Music: Changes with the seasons but right now it's Tom Petty, Chopin (Piano Sonatas), Love Saves the Day, All American Rejects (pretty much anything in that emo punk rock genre – it just reminds me of highschool), and anything from the 50's, 60's and 80's.
Websites: Etsy (of course), Google, flickR, book by its cover, print and pattern
Name some Etsy shops that are your personal favourites:
Thanks for letting us feature your great work, Jennifer! :)