Julia Valentine Bartak
I am lucky to call Crafty Valentine, aka Julia Valentine Bartak, my cousin. I remember her always working on something at Christmastime when my dad’s side of the family got together to celebrate. Every year Julia seemed to be creating something different. While the rest of us sat around eating too many Christmas cookies, Julia was creating masterpieces.
Julia started seriously crafting around a year ago, and really got into it about 6 months ago. “I started realizing that I could see something I like in a store, and go make it for 1/5 the cost. Also, it has been so fun to dream up something and then go create it instantly at home!”
While she is now a Bartak, Julia was originally a Valentine. “I have always loved having Valentine as a maiden name, so I thought it would be great to incorporate it. To me, Valentine’s Day is a happy day, so I wanted the name to resemble something happy.” Valentine’s Day is extra special for her and her husband John because it’s the day they were married just
Julia makes a variety of household items and specialty gifts like mugs, glasses, house décor, jewelry and purses, which can be found on her Facebook page and Instagram. Everything she makes is monogrammed or customized. Julia is always doing custom orders. “They are my favorite. I love bringing something to life that was once a thought or idea.”
Her favorite things to make are designs for ceramic mugs and wine glasses. The most challenging items to make are kitchen towels (they must be steam pressed) and earrings (with tiny details!). “But the challenges always seem to be the most rewarding in the end.”
Julia’s family and friends absolutely love her handmade creations. “The reactions are priceless. There is something to be said about getting a personalized gift – it shows you went out of your way to make the gift special for that person.”
Julia’s advice for others interested in starting a creative business? “Do your research before and make sure you buy all of the best quality materials and machines. I spent lots of time researching (and still do!) before I buy anything. Make sure you love it and it fits with your target audience.”
What inspires you every day?
“I spend endless hours looking up what I want to make next (for myself and for others). It’s so addicting, but so much fun. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and different Facebook groups that I am a part of. I like to take time in between orders and plan out what new seasonal things I want to make and offer next. I try to figure out what people are into and what’s trending!”
What are your goals for 2017?
“I am starting to focus on what I want to sell and make for others. I started with a lot of items, and have narrowed it down to what I have figured out people really like AND what makes me happy to craft. I no longer make some of the things that I don’t enjoy, and focus on what really makes me happy.”
Julia is known as the family prankster. Her latest prank was crafting her dad Rocky’s face on a cutting board. “It was the hardest project I’ve done to date, and we all were crying with laughter!”
To check out more of Crafty Valentine’s witty and thoughtful designs, visit her pages below! She is such a creative and kind person … an inspiring combination!
Facebook: Crafty Valentine Designs
Instagram: Crafty Valentine
is an American educator, creator and wellness influencer who has been living the abroad life since 2009! She is bird obsessed, always a travel jinx and pays the bills by teaching English. Learn how to get abroad and live your best life once you're there!