21 year old creative soul Jenna Little grew up in the small country town of Rochester in Victoria. Moving to Bendigo at 19 years old, Jenna had always had a flare for designing and creating, inspired by various mediums, Jenna would take ideas on board and set them to reality. “I knew from there that I was born to be creative just like my talented mother. I wanted to be a fashion designer from a young age but found my flair in creating jewellery & textiles and from there, ‘Jlee’ was born,” says Jenna. Jlee was created in April 2013, producing only handmade jewellery initially, but it quickly grew into various textiles, accessories, bags and home wares. Jlee prides itself on creating unique ‘one of a kind’ products that have become a much sought after range. The range consisting of jewellery, hair accessories and bags are made lovingly using various materials for a unique product. Jlee textile collection oozes loads of beautifully screen printed cushions (big favourite of LUPO), bags, tea towels and purses made using only high quality printing ink and fabrics. After the success of Jlee, Jenna began to realise the toll on travelling to various regional areas to sell her products at market. “I thought, why not start up a handmade market in my home town. The ideas then starting flowing through my head and as the applications started rolling in for our launch, I felt the love within the creative community and knew this would be a great venture.” Bendigo Design Market is an independent ‘Pop up’ market featuring Australian made and designed products, held 4 times a year at different venues in Bendigo Victoria. Their mission is to support both emerging and established crafters by providing venues to showcase and sell their quality works. If that wasn’t enough to keep a young entrepreneur like Jenna busy, she then fostered the ‘Bendigo Creative Business Network’, a networking group designed for new and existing creative businesses. Beginning 5th August 2014, her vision is to create a network of likeminded people to assist, inspire and further develop businesses within the creative industry. “The idea of the network came after talking to local handmade creative businesses at local markets we attend. There was a need for a formal networking group purely for creative businesses. At markets we don’t have the time to network with each other, as we are too busy making sales.” It’s clear that Jenna has a real passion for creative small business and is well versed on all the hard work that goes in to running one. “It’s not just making a pretty product, but all the work behind the scenes. You’re the, designer, writer, blogger, social media guru, website creator, sales extraordinaire and much more!” Says Jenna, but she also knows that she wouldn’t be able to achieve all of her creative ventures without the support of her family and friends. “My family & partner are always there for support and encouragement. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their continued love and support,” says Jenna. Jenna is currently studying her Certificate IV in Small Business Management, and with so many inspiring ideas for the future growth of her business, there is sure to be big things on the horizon for this creative lass. For more information on attending or participating in the next Bendigo Design Market, visit www.bendigodesignmarket.com *Bendigo Creative Business Network runs once a month 6-7pm at the ‘Youth Innovation Centre’ (45 Mundy St, Bendigo) We’d like to hear about your creative endeavours. Share in the comments.