It began as a hobby for her own satisfaction.
At 13, Janice Jam created a simple clay charms video and uploaded it onto YouTube.
“I never thought much about it and only checked back 2 weeks later. That’s when I found that I had 700 views and 75 subscribers,” she says.
“It might not seem like much [but] it was the driving force that encouraged me to strive to make better quality videos.”
Before she knew it, people began enquiring about her products. Although she had “no intention” to start a business, Janice began selling them on platforms like Carousell and through word of mouth.
The Birth of MsParkPark
She has always been into art, shares 19-year-old Janice.
“When I was in Primary school, somehow I just ended up as the “Artsy Girl” in my class,” she revealed.
Around 13, she created YouTube channel MsParkPark but left it empty because she had “no idea what content to put up”.
As for the unique name, Janice had a little confession to share.
A previous Kpop fangirl, she created the name Park Ji Yen for herself. “It became my YouTube username as I didn’t want friends or family to know about this channel,” she laughs sheepishly.
Her interest in polymer clay was sparked after she discovered the online “Crafting Community”. The clay cost however made her pause, which led her to experiment with DIY cold porcelain.
“Still the passionate girl interested in filming, I filmed a charms video and uploaded it on the channel.”
It was only after she saw the success of that first video that she “bravely purchased a box of polymer clay.”
“I became determined and put in my best for this channel. At the same time, I was doing something I truly loved – filming & crafting.”
She began recreating charms by other crafters and made tutorial videos. Soon after, Janice began finding her own inspirations for unique designs.
As a side business, her prices range from $35 to $50 depending on difficulty level, time and scale of project.
“On better days I earn up to $300/week if sales are good and I am productive.” If she’s caught up with other matters however, “I wont even get 300 a month hahaha!”
To date, her most complicated project is The Smart Local’s fantasy scene.
“It took me almost 6 months to plan and craft everything by hand.”
The Ups And Downs Of MsParkPark
Since she began, she’s had the chance to meet many “interesting, fun and talented individuals,” Janice gushes.
“They presented me with opportunities to do things I never would have dreamt doing, such as visiting Google Singapore.”
“I’ve also met local creators who I later collaborated with. From there, my crafts received more recognition and here I am right now haha!”
MsParkPark however, does come with her own set of headaches.
There is a constant need to come up with content both exciting and original. It really isn’t easy to improve quickly so I was very pressured to do better, especially after seeing how many other talented crafters out there.
Another challenge is to manage “having sufficient exposure so as to reach out to more people” while not “neglecting” long-time supporters.
“These are the things I would often stress about, although it’s a good kind of stress,” she muses.
“It helps improve craftsmanship, character and experience.”
“Sometimes, it is challenging to accomplish the things I really want to, and I would feel bad about myself.”
Fortunately, her family and friends are “one of the most supportive group of people in my life”.
“They are constantly showing interest and are proud of what I do. This really warms my heart, as many parents would only encourage the logical approaches for a secure future.”
All For Art
A friend once asked her why she loved art.
“I couldn’t answer her [but] one day after completing my batch of charms as usual, it hit me.”
I’ve never been good or smart but I got recognition from family and friends to people all around the world for my art – it made me feel better about myself.
“It made me happy when freshly baked charms came out from the oven [and] when I finish glazing [them]. It touched me when people smile when they receive my handmade creations.”
“I’ve never considered myself a professional in anything. I’m young, still learning and I’ve a lot to improve on.”
“I wouldn’t know where I would be in 5 years’, but I’ll definitely still be creating!”
And if you wish to watch her videos, here’s her YouTube channel!
Featured Image Credit: Janice Jam