Our guest host for Episode Five is Jo Ellis, the Founder and Director of Make.Do. Graduating from Harding with a degree in interior design and her MBA, Jo wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do after her time at Harding was over. While spending three years in Ireland as a missionary, Jo was a camp counselor during the summer. After being a counselor for a group of girls who challenged her, she offered to let the girls visit her in Dublin, not really believing they’d accept. They did. With three teenage girls in her house and unsure of what to do to keep them occupied, Jo set the girls on a task that has forever changed her own life: make pillowcases.
Jo watched the girls create something that was uniquely theirs, their struggle with the creative process, and the impact the affirmation they received had on the girls. Believing that creativity is a fundamental aspect of who God is and how it is a restorative process where we find our identity, integrity, and value, Jo realized this mission could become something truly incredible. At times, Jo faced immense challenges and self-doubt, and started actually running a variation of Make.Do. out of the back of her car, loading and unloading ten sewing machines at whatever venue she was in that night.
Eventually, Jo returned to Searcy and began to truly realize the mission she had dreamed of. Make.Do.’s purpose and goal are to create something while connecting to others within the community. The creating is the “Make” aspect of Make.Do., and the connections formed are the “Do.”. Jo wants those in the community who attend classes to enjoy the experience of creating something they can be proud of while working through the creative process and connecting with others through this experience of creating together. Although Make.Do. isn’t necessarily an activity for only women, Jo views it as an incredible outlet for women in the church to lead and display their talents in a validating and encouraging environment.
This is Jo’s first year working full-time for Make.Do., and although she has her own artistic talents and abilities, she often will bring others in to teach a variety of classes. Make.Do.’s business model is inclusive and welcomes everyone, with suggested prices for those who can afford it and allowing those who can’t pay to participate anyway.
The first female guest host on the show, Jo is an incredible example of using talents to honor God while also bettering her community along the way. Make.Do.’s logo, the lemon, is a constant reminder that if life gives us lemons to make lemonade, and maybe to “Be Createfull” along the way.
To help sponsor Make.Do.’s Collaboration with the White County Child Safety Center at Camp Createfull coming up on June 28th, or to donate to Make.Do.’s mission, donations can be sent here:
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