Jessika Hepburn is a community organizer who started developing OMHG as a gathering place for her fellow makers in 2010. A veteran entrepreneur Jessika has been running a handmade business for over a decade and working with communities across North America for longer. Whether it is consulting with Etsy to develop diverse programming, pioneering new models of cooperation locally with Maritime Makers, or organizing community events, Jessika’s work and life revolve around the belief that when we value handmade and human goodness, anything is possible. You can find her making a life with her love of 12 years and two beautiful daughters as the owners of The Biscuit Eater Cafe & Books located in a building dating back to 1775 in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia where they are gathering good folks around a common table.
Named one of Canada’s top bloggers by Etsy I have spoken at events across North America on the maker movement and community engagement. I recently worked as a consultant with Etsy to develop Etsy Maker Cities, creating economic opportunities for local makers as co-organizer of Halifax’s Etsy Made in Canada and the Halifax Etsy team, and pioneering new models of regional cooperation as leader of Maritime Makers.
Cooperation, Community, and Creativity are my key words – how could I be anything but Canadian? I live and work in a 200 year old pink house perched at the top of town in lovely Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. I count myself profoundly blessed to do meaningful work for makers around the world while living a simple handmade life with my young family in a vibrant historical community.
I sat on my first Board of Directors in East Vancouver at 9 and had worked with over fifty inner city and rural organizations before I turned 20. I started my first handmade business as a young mom in 2003 and have been a creative entrepreneur ever since. As the granddaughter of a civil rights activist and clothing designer from Brooklyn, and the Black-Jewish-Native daughter of a diversity advocate it isn’t surprising I chose a life working with creative communities. Drawing on this rich, history of social activism and collective action I use my community organizing skills to develop programs across North America. By working with thousands of makers, innovators, companies and committed individuals every year I am part of making an inclusive maker movement that is crafting stronger communities by investing in creativity and cooperation.
As seen in:
- Chronicle Herald
- CTV Morning
- Uppercase Magazine
- Handmade Marketplace
- When I Grow Up Coach
- Playful Learning
- Altitude Summit
- Canadian Weblog Awards
- Farideh Cesar
- Smart Creative Women
Events & Workshops:
“Jessika embodies the magic of creativity and collaboration. I like to refer to her as the Mayor of Creativeville because the community she continues to foster and grow is warm and welcoming, insightful, refreshing, smart and engaging.
Her ability to manage this successful space with openness and integrity is remarkable. It truly is a space where creatives flourish—either by soaking in the brilliance or by openly sharing it through posts, tutorials and resourceful thinking.
If you spend time tooling through the seemingly infinite resources you’ll see that Jessika continually finds ways to bring the community together for everyone’s benefit.
It’s been a pure pleasure to work with Jessika. Her organization, energy and inspiration makes every moment in this community well worth it.” ~on my work with OMHG
Speaking, Workshops, & Presentations
I have led workshops and events across North America for ages 0-80+ hosting everything from crafty classes to high level organizational training. My inclusive approach to leadership engages diverse groups of all colours, ages, or abilities from school kids and street youth, to boards of executives.
- diversity and inclusion
- the maker movement
- handmade entrepreneurship
- community organizing, mapping & planning
- online community building
- collaboration and collective action
- organizational/system change
Workshops & Presentations:
- leadership and community organizing
- asset based community mapping
- community/team building
- hands on craft and business workshops for all ages
- diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness training
- entry level entrepreneurship, marketing, branding
- basic photography & design skills
Consultation & Community Organizing
I have almost 15 years experience working as a community organizer to engage citizens, strengthen local economies, unite good people and make stronger communities. There is no one-size-fits-all package for community or business growth, here are some ideas of ways we could work together.
- Asset based community/resource mapping
- Diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness
- Business planning and mentorship for makers
- Policy & procedure development
- Organizational/system change
- Social enterprise and cooperative development
- Online community building & social engagement
- Facilitation of community events or processes
- Community & citizen engagement
- Event organization and planning
- Pop up coordination
- Online organizing
- Social campaigns