Happy Feature Friday!
We’re so inspired by today’s feature with Becka from Everduring Designs. We love how much meaning goes behind all of her products and even into the name of her brand itself! Her custom journals and handlettered wood signs all focus on some of life’s most important things and are perfect pieces to celebrate your marriage, new baby, or faith! Becka loves to use her pieces to connect with others, and we think it’s amazing that she really thinks about the person or family that will be enjoying one of her creations. Keep reading to hear about her artistic process, why she loves to create, and some advice she has for anyone looking to start journaling or even pursue a creative endeavor or their own!
: Tell us a few things about yourself!
: Hi, there! My name is Becka and I am from the Houston area. Currently I am a master’s student studying health promotion and nutrition. I opened up my Etsy shop as a creative outlet and a much-needed break from staring at computer screens. I have always loved writing names, scripture, and quotes in an aesthetically appealing style. Now I feel so privileged to be able to create personalized journals and wooden signs for homes, weddings, nursery rooms, etc.
: We love your shop name, Everduring Designs. We know how tough it is to create a brand name! Explain the meaning behind it, how it came to you, and how you think it fits in with what you create.
: In college I had a professor that shared something that impacted my perspective on the meaning of words. He said that every soul was eternal. So then when we speak to another person, our words do not have a temporary effect but rather an eternally significant impact. This helped me realize the weight of words and the necessity for compassionate thoughts and intentions behind our words. With this everlasting significance of words on my mind, I sought out the find a meaningful name for my shop. I knew I wanted to hand-letter words onto products that would exist as keepsakes or a meaningful piece in the home. I wanted the shop name to reflect the importance of those words. I took a chance and searched for some synonyms of “everlasting”. I found the word “everduring” which is an archaic form of everlasting. It is obsolete and we no longer use the word “everduring”, which I found to be ironic. I actually loved the irony that word which was meant to signify “never-ending, everlasting, and enduring” was not enduring in our modern language. I loved that it was rare and unique, so it was definitely a keeper!
: You’re a fairly new Etsy shop owner! Give us a look into some of the most exciting moments of it you’ve experienced so far!
: I love receiving custom orders because I get the chance to reflect the personal stories of the person who is ordering it or the stories of the person who is intended to receive it. These orders can be very exciting but sometimes the stories behind the design, the Bible verse, or the quotes they choose can be absolutely heart-breaking. I have created journals and signs for people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, with the pain of saying goodbye too soon. As much as it makes my heart ache to hear these tragic stories, I cannot help but hope that the journal or the sign would be a sweet reminder of hope and truth; that heartfelt letters to a person who may never read it may be a way of healing for the writer. Receiving orders like these definitely shape my perspective on life, loss, healing, and hope. This reminds me that my shop is not just a business but a way that my life can intersect with people I may never meet face to face – what a privilege that is!
: Your pieces all have a lot of meaning – whether they’re family-related, marriage, or God-centered. What made you decide to pursue work that has this essence?
: I pursue work that seeks to integrate meaning into the products because I see these journals and signs as a reflection of the customer/recipient’s character and story. I know that I am encouraged by the values and stories that customers attach to their pieces. Whether the messages are relationship or faith-based, I like to reflect on those messages which I believe to have eternal significance. I like to imagine what our conversation would be like if I could sit and have coffee with the customer. I would ask them “What’s your story? What does this quote/Bible verse/song lyric mean to you? How has it shaped you?”
: How did you craft your skill of hand lettering and what are some of the challenges and joys of perfecting your work?
: Like any artistry, it is part skill and many many hours of practice. Designing these products have definitely exposed my inner perfectionist and control-freak. I am learning to design my products with excellence but to also not obsess over miniscule imperfections. It is easy to fuss over designs that turn out differently than the way I’ve planned – but plans tends to turn out differently, don’t they! It is definitely a challenge to be comfortable with your work especially when you notice all the tiny flaws. But I am often reminded of the joy of creating these products and that their value and worth is so much more than the tangible qualities.
: The reclaimed wood you use is so beautiful! What made you choose this medium and what is the process like for working with it?
: Thank you! Reclaimed pallet wood has been a trendy medium for quite some time. I also see the value in repurposing used items. Recently I have started working with other woods that are not reclaimed but are light-weight and easy to hang for decoration. I chose this medium because of the practicality. The process starts with cutting the wood and sanding down rough edges and removing layers of impurities if it is reclaimed wood. Then I pre-condition the wood and stain it with wood stain. After a day or two, the product is ready to be designed. I roughly sketch the design on paper and then mark out the spacing on the product itself. I use a combination of brushes and brush pens to paint the words onto the product. Each product takes about 3-4 layers of paint. This is definitely the most time-consuming part, but the time in ensuring precision and quality is worth it!
: We love the journals you create, especially because you’re a big journaler yourself! For some people, writing doesn’t come so easy. How do you find what to write in your personal journaling time and do you have any suggestions as to how people should fill the pages of your books?
: My personal journals are filled with reflections, prayers, and notes from Bible passages or books I’m currently reading. I write my thoughts because internal silence is seldom possible (I am quoting C.S. Lewis loosely). It is a way of expressing my inner thoughts instead of stuffing them deep inside. My suggestion to anyone who wants to fill the pages of the journals is to 1) be honest and totally transparent – there’s nothing to hide from yourself, 2) trust that the words you share are not wasted – journal entries document lessons learned and growth in your life, and 3) learn to embrace your voice – no one else can share your thoughts and feelings the way you can.
: What is the biggest realization you’ve had since starting Everduring Designs?
: With being a full-time student, it can be difficult keeping up with the shop as my side gig. I’ve had many instances where dealing with deadlines were all too overwhelming. I’m realizing the reality in balancing my priorities. I’m also learning to be faithful with my work as well as not allowing stressful deadlines to rob the joy from my work.
: What are some of the upcoming things you’re working on for Everduring Designs? What do you hope to do in the future with your brand?
: I am currently working on orders for spring and summer weddings. I hope to have a few of these products listed for other Etsy shoppers soon! In the future, I would like to explore other media and products. I love exploring new techniques and ways to express myself artistically.
: Any advice for other creators out there?
: Take risks. Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes. And use your art to connect meaningfully with other people.
Follow Everduring Designs and see what she’s up to next!: