Interview with Blue Room Bride
Our latest interview features DIY Wedding crafter, Jalonna Kearney-Rodgers. After creating lots of DIY projects for her own wedding, Jalonna found that it saved her time, energy, and reduced the stress of becoming engaged during a pandemic. A full-time high school educator, she now uses her free time to develop both her business and online community in hopes of fostering a space where other soon-to-be brides can learn and thrive.
Read on for more DIY projects, crafting resources and inspiration from Blue Room Bride.
“We support and encourage future wives to
craft the wedding of their dreams.”
Tell me about yourself and your journey with crafting. How did you decide that you’d focus on wedding and engagement-related DIY projects?
My name is Jalonna Kearney-Rodgers and I’ve been crafting for profit for about two years now. I was involved in a lot of different activities, clubs, and organizations as a child so it didn’t really leave a lot of room to craft for fun.
A few weeks before COVID began, my (now) husband proposed during the Super Bowl. At the onset of my planning process: everyone was in quarantine, and my job laid me off. I needed to find an outlet to relieve my increasing anxiety about the future.
Like most brides, I thought the only way to plan my wedding was to outsource and purchase everything. Not only was I unable to find other small black owned businesses to patronize, but without steady income, it became increasingly difficult to justify spending money on our wedding. After talking with hubby, we decided to use my skills to “craft the wedding of our dreams”.
I handmade the stationary, save the dates, bridesmaids boxes and groomsmen gifts, wedding favors, and welcome baskets.
Once the wedding was over, and I had a chance to reflect on my experience, I decided to focus on wedding and engagement-related DIY projects because I want to make it easier for DIY brides to create the wedding items that reflect their personality and truly make the day special.
What is BlueRoomBride all about?
Blue Room Bride is all about being a #BrideOnABudget. We support and encourage future wives to craft the wedding of their dreams by:
- Sharing money-savings tips and advice that help brides pay for their weddings in cash
- Teaching DIY brides to create their own wedding items and décor
- Creating a community of brides, wives, and single women who lift each other up and provide words of wisdom that help each of us grow
Do you have any advice for those who are brand new to paper-crafting, but want to start?
Yes! GO CRAZY… But start with basic shapes and single layers until you get comfortable with your style. Use different tools on different textures to figure out what you like and what works best together. The paper world is big so take your time and enjoy exploring!
What are your top two tips for brides who have decided to begin the DIY-wedding journey? What were some highs and lows of the process?
Tip #1: Be okay with flaws
What you’re creating is handmade. It’s best to let go of your definition of perfection at the very beginning so you can truly enjoy the process.
Tip #2: Delegate as much as possible
People will ask if they can help — let them press, glue, tie, package, whatever to free up time for you to do the things only you can do.
As with any large undertaking, there were multiple moments of doubt — “Will my guests like what I’ve created?”, “Should I just spend the money and buy it?”, but I absolutely loved DIYing my wedding! It was such an eye-opening experience learning how weddings can become so expensive and what I can do to keep cost low.
Crafting the most important pieces of our wedding gave hubby an opportunity to support me as I worked to create something that reflected both of our visions and personalities. I still can’t believe what my hands were able to do for such an important life event. I will forever have an unshakeable sense of pride in my wedding knowing — I DID THAT!
How do you manage your time with family and creating such unique designs/managing a business?
In the words of Keke Palmer, “ I don’t really know what I’m doing, I just do my best in the moment I’m doing it“.
Seriously, I amaze myself with how much I’m able to get done in 24 hours. I keep my goals visible in the Blue Room so that I always feel like I’m working towards them. I also maximize my time by delegating tasks. There’s a lot of pick up and curbside happening in the Rodgers household nowadays.
Recently I’ve had to be more dedicated to holding specific work times (usually in the evenings) since I am a full-time high school math educator. I’m grateful to have a supportive partner who believes in what Blue Room Bride will be. I definitely would not be able to complete any of the things without him.
Aside from wedding projects, what other occasions/holidays inspire you to create?
Birthdays are my jam! I love trying out new elements in cards and making custom T-shirts for the birthday person! It really gives me a chance to try different techniques, use different tools, and expand on different themes.
Where do you see BlueRoomBride in the future?
I see Blue Room’s Bride Box being featured in magazines, on tv specials, and being celebrated at craft and bridal conferences or expos. My dream is to work at Blue Room full time and eventually have virtual courses that teach newly engaged women to DIY their wedding. #Goals
What other projects/endeavors are you working on?
Currently, I am hosting #MakeWithMeMonday live craft classes on IG every Monday at 7pm EST. I get to teach attendees to craft a wedding item and use that content to build up my YouTube channel and blog. Collaborating with amazing craft supply companies, other creators and influencers has me excited about my new content and products that are available at BlueRoomBride.com. I’m always open to help or answer questions so if you have any, you can DM @blueroombride on Instagram or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Blue Room Bride on Instagram.
Interested in working with us? Visit our Become an Influencer page.