Meet MJ, creator of Pars Caeli, a shop of women’s and children’s T-shirts, cards, and prints. MJ is a graphic designer, social media specialist, mom, and wife who believes in “loving big. And packing crayons.” MJ contributed in ISSUE 02 with her piece on The Hello Sessions. We love this creative, inspiring, and encouraging woman, who is now writing her very own book! Keep reading to get to know her better and then go visit her store!
WHO ARE YOU?! / I'm a momma, creator, designer, and dreamer/schemer. I created a site called Pars Caeli (“piece of heaven” in Latin) and it’s become a shop, a future book, and the hub for my creative connections. I adore distractions and lovely people and throwing big enthusiasm behind creatives who do what they do really well.
WHERE DO YOU BELONG? / I belong all over. Growing up, my family moved around, and I learned not only how to belong to a new place but also why belonging somewhere different and challenging myself is at the core of who I am. I was a teacher for a few years and found deep joy in helping children discover learning as a place where they belong. I'm a graphic designer and social media specialist now, but my home is filled with learning and projects and discovery. I also belong with my people - my three children and my husband are my favorite humans, and I'd happily live on a secluded island with just them (make that a gorgeous tropical island and a healthy dose of alone time thrown in).
WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”? / As a preschooler, I remember thinking I had a purpose in life, something bigger than myself. It terrified four-year old me, but this sensibility has continued to drive me, even decades later. With the foundation of my faith and support of incredible friends and family, I've realized that I have many purposes. I also feel passionately that I want to support and to be a part of the beauty in the world. We can get caught up in defining everything that is going wrong, and I want to throw all my energy into everything and everyone going right.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE? / I'm the youngest of my sibling my 8 years so I spent a lot of time imagining and playing on my own. That built my creativity, along with a lot of encouragement from family, and I went on to get a bachelor of fine arts. After graduation I explored a teaching job and degree and eventually landed in a career that integrates both art and education.
IF WE WALKED INTO YOUR LIFE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, WHAT WOULD WE SEE? / Me, nose down in a project. Likely on my laptop, listening to a podcast.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR PIECE OF ENCOURAGEMENT? / I surround myself with great pieces of advice that I love to create into word art.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL? / Instagram
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? / Marion Blackberry
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE READ? / I just finished Amy Poehler's Yes Please, and I can’t stop quoting it!
WHAT IS YOUR UNIFORM? / I wear my Kindness is the New Black shirt from my shop all the time. It's super soft, fits well, and means a lot to me. With jeans. And something with a pop of color or detail: bright shoes, a loud necklace or headband.
IN THE INFINITE RAINBOW OF COLORS, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU NAME IT? / Feverish pink
UMBRELLA OR SUNGLASSES? / Sunglasses
INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT? / Introvert
COFFEE OR TEA? / Coffee
DIGITAL OR PRINT? / Print
SANDALS OR SNOW BOOTS? / Sandals
HOME OR AWAY? / Home
SHOP OR SNOOZE? / Shop
DO YOU HAVE A “WORD” FOR THE YEAR? / Discipline