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Veteran finds career in bow-making business

Staff writer

Amanda Jackson credits her 13 years in the Army for giving her the strength to run a business.

“It probably gave me the discipline to keep going,” she said.

The other part that keeps her motivated is her family.

“My family respects the fact that it’s my business, so they’re not looking for handouts or favors,” she said. “Good friends of mine, they’re respecting the business aspect of my journey.”

The encouragement is especially strong from her 6-year-old daughter, and 3-year-old son.

“He’s a big supporter,” she said. “He’s probably my number one fan, and he’s 3.”

Her daughter also is an active backer, keeping a collection of bows on her bedroom wall, but always making sure to pay Jackson first.

Jackson, a Junction City resident, was one of several vendors working Saturday at a Pilsen Packrats’ flea market in Lincolnville.

Unicorn accessories and ones that sparkle prove most popular.

“Normally if there are kids, they’re really excited and make a beeline for my booth,” Jackson said. “I have to apologize to a lot of moms because their daughters want everything.”

Jackson’s customers often are surprised she is a former military police officer, while family and friends find it interesting.

“They kind of get a kick out of that,” she said. “It’s a big change.”

While Jackson is dedicated to her craft now, her start two years ago was less defined.

“I just made a bow one day and decided I wanted to start a hair bow business,” she said. “It was just random. It’s something I really enjoy, and so obviously I keep making lots of stuff.”

She didn’t make many bows for her early shows, but now estimates she has done 2,000, not including other accessories like hair bands or scrunchies.

The process is less about a proven process than it is trial and error. Jackson uses pieces of leather to map out her designs, but finding the right look comes down to creativity.

“I try them on my daughter a lot to see what the end result would be,” Jackson said.

Last modified Sept. 17, 2020

 

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