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Meet Jenna Trethewey


Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Trethewey.
 

Jenna, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
By 2020, I, alone, was drinking about 3 cases of beer a week. I had been avoiding the grief and sadness from my dad’s death but after 2 years & no success, I decided to go sober and really deal with it. I thought, ‘there had to be more to life than this!’ You have a lot of time in your life when you aren’t drinking anymore, and I quickly realized I needed something to keep my mind busy and my hands off the bottle. I looked at my anniversary card and thought ‘that would make cute earrings,’ and the research began. I quickly learned just what I could do with all those greeting cards from my husband and all that paper from when I used to scrapbook, so I just used what I had… and the rest is history! Over 2 and a half years later, after lots of therapy, tears, laughs, and trial and error, I’m still sober; my earrings are better than ever, and I did, in fact, learn that there is more to life than being drunk every day. 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One of the biggest hurdles at the beginning of sobriety was losing friendships. Not everyone is supportive when you want to better your life because misery loves company. I was even told I could be ruining my marriage by deciding to go sober. What a dumb thing to say! In fact, my husband went sober just 7 months after I did so; ruin my marriage I did not! 

Not everyone is supportive when you have success. I’m not sure if it’s jealousy or what, but people fell away when my business really started taking off, and that was sad for me. I couldn’t understand. I quickly learned that, in business, not everyone will be your friend and eventually you find your tribe. 

As far as struggles with making the jewelry, besides some major carpal tunnel and some radical tennis elbow, I would say staying true to my style and vibe, despite sales and feedback, can be a struggle at times. I mean, you want people to like and buy your creations, but you can’t abandon your true self for money. So, my business motto quickly became, basically, “I do what I want,” and it hasn’t let me down yet. 

I’ve also had some copycats along the way – some even very close friends & that felt devastating. But c’est la vie and imitation is the biggest form of flattery and all that. Onwards and upwards! 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am the CEO & designer of The Olive Tale, a jewelry company that specializes in quirky, fun handcrafted jewelry from repurposed paper such as greeting cards and books, in order to continue to live a sober life. I never make the same pair twice, at least not on purpose, and all the earrings are featherlight because nobody really likes a droopy lobe. I am proud of all I have achieved in the 2.5 short years in business, but I couldn’t do any of it without my Olive Babes! They are the true stars! Their support, purchases, and words of encouragement keep me going. You too can be an Olive Babe just by wearing my jewelry! Such fun! I think myself & I set my jewelry apart. I want to have fun because I spent so many, many years in sadness, depression, and alcoholism that there is no time like the present to enjoy your life! I think my zest for life, positivity, humor, and enthusiasm can be felt at markets but also online, where the goal is just to make people smile daily with my random but inspiring posts. I just have fun every day! Literally living my best life! 

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
I picked the best and the worst time to start a small business in 2020. Believe it or not, I was a church secretary when Covid hit, which is hysterical because I was the furthest from your typical church secretary. But services were canceled, so the pandemic allowed me the time I needed to hone my craft. I had more time to really do it right – without all the distractions of everyday life. Yeah, I had to deal with supply chain issues, and there were no markets, but I didn’t know any better. I just started with Etsy and ran with it – eventually outgrowing it and launching theolivetale.com at the beginning of this year. But once I did my first market near the end of 2020, there was no going back. Interacting with those Olive Babes in person for the first time was revolutionary! I knew then, without a doubt, that this is what I was born to do. 

Pricing:

  • • Earrings $16-$19
  • • Custom Work $24+
  • • Book Sets $30
  • • DIY Party $40 per person

Contact Info:

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