My name is Jeri Freeman and I'm a wordaholic and a font fanatic. There I said it! I'm essentially addicted to words and fonts. My designs are words, thoughts or feelings paired with the "perfect" font.
This obsession started long ago. As a teen I was interested in art, specifically drawing and calligraphy. I took some classes in high school but, in my mind if I were to pursue a career in art, it meant becoming a painter. This was clearly not my medium of choice so when I had to declare a major, I went in another direction.
A Little History
I started my career in Boston working in Public Accounting and then pivoted to Mergers & Acquisitions in Manhattan after getting my MBA. After taking some time off to raise my kids, I re-entered the workforce and did Finance at a data company. I spent many years in meetings and too many hours to count creating pitches, decks and financial models. I tried so hard to get things done but kept feeling like I was on a hamster wheel over and over again.
Thankfully I was let go during a major downsizing. Don't get me wrong, I was devastated at the time....
~ What would I do now? My family is depending on me.
~ How can I possibly find a new job? I'm not getting any younger.
~ Will my kids still look up to me? This was a tough one!
Looking back at that time, I'm thankful it gave me permission to think about what I liked to do and what I wanted to be when I grew up. It allowed me to dig deep and explore my desire to do more.
As I looked at the world around me, I decided there has to be a way to spread more happiness. People seem so distressed and disconnected. What could I possibly do to have a positive impact? So I hunkered down and pulled my thoughts together. I didn't want to be:
Instead I wanted to be unique, upbeat and authentic. I found inspiration everywhere. I decided to focus on words and build collections around different themes.
Turns out my business background provided a solid foundation for unleashing my entrepreneurial side and embracing my creativity. I filled up a notebook with ideas, sketched out a business plan, found a back-end printer, pulled together a website and launched Sparkie Marks!
Did You Know?
The name Sparkie Marks has many meanings:
First of all, Sparkie was my nickname in college. My best friend was Spunky - you know who you are! Marks is for my brother, Mark, who had many passions including writing, music and the environment. He passed away suddenly in 2013 and I still miss our long talks to this day.
Another meaning comes from my hope that when someone sees my words, they resonate with them in some way and "sparks" an emotion, an action or just a smile. In this way, I've had an impact or made a "mark".
Lastly, for every purchase we donate 10% of proceeds to certain causes. Besides sparking a reaction when people see our goods, we pay it forward to organizations that make others' lives better. In this way, we make a mark twice - yay! Learn more about the causes we're passionate about here.
We're On A Mission
Our goal is to change the world one word at a time. We realize this is very ambitious yet it's really quite simple. YOU purchase and WE donate. Together we can weaponize words for the greater good and make a difference in the world. It's a win all around!
I hope you enjoyed learning a little about me. To stay connected, follow us on Faceback (@sparkiemarks), Instagram (@sparkiemarks) and LinkedIn (sparkiemarks). We'd love to learn more about you: what are your interests and passions? Who knows ... you may inspire a new collection or collaboration.
Feel free to post pictures of your purchases and tag us @sparkiemarks #wordsdoinggood on social media. We'd love to see your smiling faces and know we're doing good with our words on goods.
Thanks so much for your support!
PS - A huge thank you and shout out to my husband, kids and the rest of my family and friends who have been so supportive. You know who you are and I couldn't have done this without you!