At The Biscuit Eater Cafe & Books, 2019

Welcome!

For over 10 years I worked to organize the maker movement and communities across North America to make a new equitable economy that values ethics and people over profits. Now I’m seeking the NDP nomination in South Shore—St. Margaret’s in the upcoming federal election to serve our community by using my decades as an advocate, organizer, and creative entrepreneur to help make a new democracy.  Want to help craft my campaign? You are invited to my nomination meeting 4pm July 7, 2019 at the LCLC in Bridgewater!

About Me

I took over Oh My! Handmade Goodness in 2010 and started offering articles, advocacy, and community for the global maker movement. We grew to 50+ contributors from around the world reaching millions of visitors a month and became a leader in the handmade community advocating ethics, best practices, and peer support. For over ten years I worked with makers, companies, organizations, non-profits, and communities across North America to develop collaborative, equitable economies. 

Starting in 2014 with co-organizer Fatema Sidat we began pioneering new economic models and regional cooperation by hosting Etsy Made in Canada events in Halifax, piloting Etsy Maker Cities initiatives in two provinces and developing Maritime Makers as a resource for regional creative entrepreneurs and event organizers across Atlantic Canada. After the deaths of my partner Chris’s parents in June 2016 our family purchased a historic community cafe in the town of Mahone Bay and have been working together at The Biscuit Eater Cafe & Books ever since. We have a lovely life of gathering good people around a common table to fill up on handmade goodness and it is time to give up that comfort for the uncertainty of politics to create more places where everyone is welcome.

Jess_Headshot2015_crop
Lunenburg, 2015

Cooperation, Community, and Creativity are my driving force – how could I be anything but Canadian? I live with my partner Chris, his sister Beth and our combined three children in a 200 year old pink house perched at the top of town in lovely Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – we also all work together at the cafe!  I count myself profoundly blessed to have been able to do meaningful work for makers around the world while living a simple handmade life with my young family in this vibrant historical community.

Why community organizing? I didn’t always have an idyllic life and was driven to solve the problems that seemed so obvious to me as a kid growing up with a Black single mother in one of Canada’s poorest communities. I sat on my first Board of Directors in East Vancouver by nine and had worked with over fifty inner city and rural organizations before I turned 20. As the daughter of a Black community advocate, the granddaughter of a Jewish civil rights activist and artist from Brooklyn, and distant relative of Harriet McClintock who was a famed Pennsylvania Underground Railroad operator it isn’t surprising I chose a life working with diverse creative communities. Drawing on this rich, diverse history of social activism and collective action I have used my community organizing skills to develop programs for both rural and urban communities across North America building relationships with thousands of makers, innovators, companies and communities, to create projects that lift us all up and help us make real meaningful connections on and offline.

I know my two hands can make a movement and a hundred hands can make anything happen. I have seen through over 10 years of community organizing that when we work together anything is possible, my purpose is to help make that possibility reality.

I’ve been part of some great collaborations & interviews for web + print. Here are a few:

Chronicle Herald | CTV Morning | CBCUppercase Magazine | Handmade MarketplaceWhen I Grow Up Coach | Playful Learning Altitude Summit | 1st Canadian Weblog Awards | Farideh Cesar | Smart Creative Women 

Selected projects: 

Speaking, Workshops, & Presentations

A dynamic and comfortable public speaker I have spoken brought my positive, warm, collaborative approach to diverse events and communities around the world. I have spoken on: ethics, the maker movement, asset based community development, cooperative business, social entrepreneurship, online citizenship and community mapping. 

Selected events: