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Searchie Spotlight: A Consistent Content Creation Strategy That Avoids Burnout — And Gives Jean The Freedom To Serve Her Members

As a talented fiber artist, membership site owner, and “hooker” as she likes to call it (thanks to her mom’s teachings!). Jean shares her journey of serving wool crafters and rug hookers, teaching them about natural dyes and increasing the sustainability of their art practice.

Jean chatted with Searchie’s Customer Success Lead, Paulina, sharing how creating her online business, supported by Searchie, has provided her with more time for creativity, the opportunity to transition to full-time artistry, and improved accessibility for her not-so-tech-savvy, 50-years-young and beyond students.

During this interview, we get into: 

  • The art of sustainable creativity with natural dyes from the beauty of nature
  • The liberating opportunity for more flexibility, collaboration, and creative freedom that shifting to an online business model has offered
  • How Searchie revolutionized Jean's teaching and her student’s learning experience – plus the one Searchie feature she said has been so priceless for her and her students
  • And A LOT more!


    Name: Jean Haley

    Jean Haley Dye + Design

    Niche: Jean Haley teaches wool crafters and rug hookers how to do natural dyes to increase the sustainability of their art practice.

    Jean Haley Dye + Design

Let's Dig In With Jean Haley!

Paulina at Searchie: I'd love if you could start us off with a little bit about who you serve, what you do, and what flowers have to do with that.

Jean: I am a fiber artist and I serve wool crafters and rug hookers. I get to call myself a “hooker” thanks to my mom, which is loads of fun cuz she taught me how. So yeah, I serve wool crafters and rug hookers and help them increase the sustainability of their art practice, by teaching them how to do natural dyes.

So flowers figure into that and plants figure right into that. My whole front yard is a dye garden, I grow color there, and if it doesn't give me color or it doesn't attract a beneficial like butterflies or bees, then it doesn't belong in my garden.

Paulina at Searchie: How do you serve your market in terms of helping them, in guiding them along this path towards sustainability?

Jean: So I do that mostly through a front end workshop with a backend Membership and all of that is housed on Searchie cuz why would I go anywhere else really? I've been with Searchie for several years now and I've tried other things, but it's just really the perfect place. 

Spotlight- Thumbnail- Jean

Paulina at Searchie: working with dyes and fibers, a lot of that has to do with a very physical space, so what inspired you to create an online presence from these roots – pun intended – in the physical and gardening word?

Jean: I do have a physical studio here, and I love my studio and I love teaching there, but the problem for me was getting my schedule to jive with everybody else's schedule, right? I would plan these classes and schedule 'em and advertise 'em and I would have so many people telling me that, oh I really wanna do that, but that's a bad time or I can't make it on that Saturday or whatever… So that's when I started figuring out that I need to get online.

So I had started planning and researching, I found Stu McLaren – at the time it was TRIBE – now TME. That’s what took me down this route of oh, I could do a front-end course with backend membership. It was really about scheduling and getting people to be able to be there at the right time with the online course. They're recorded sessions. So I have several modules and they can go through those at any time that's convenient to them. That's the beauty of that, right?

Jean Haley Dye + Design Searchie Hub

Paulina at Searchie: What have you found or what strategies have really worked for you in terms of designing an online business in a way that still encourages you to be excited about the content you're creating?

Jean: It is a juggle and there are times where my own creativity suffers, when it’s launch and there’s all these things, but it gets better with time. If you’re a creative at the beginning, you're gonna have to spend a lot of time on the business and less time on your own creative pursuit. But for me that was okay because I was still teaching, which I just loved to do.

Now those modules are recorded and I've been teaching it for a couple years, so now that that's done, I just have to show up once a week. It's a live Q&A. And I have to show up into my Facebook group at least daily. So that just automatically freed up my time to do other things.

As for the membership once a month, I was afraid of getting on that hamster wheel. I was like, oh my gosh, what if I run out of ideas and all these things right? But if you’ve got good people in your group, they’re gonna keep feeding you new ideas on what they’re interested in learning. And if it’s not something I know how to do, I can go research that and that's gonna keep me engaged because it's going to be something I'm also interested in.

I love my studio and I love teaching there, but the problem for me was getting my schedule to jive with everybody else's schedule, right?  

Paulina at Searchie: So with all of this new found free time, how have you benefited personally from adapting this online business model?

Jean: Well, like everybody who starts doing this, we'd love to say that we have more time with family and friends and I don't have kids,but I have found a little bit more time for doing my own art, which keeps me sane frankly. It makes me a better human and an easier human to be around when I'm actually able to do art at least regularly. So that's been one thing, it's helped my mental stability for sure.

I also have another job, I'm working two businesses right now until I can transition, what this is really helping me do is be able to transition to doing art full-time. Without this online ability, I wouldn't even have the hope of doing that. It's given me the time to be able to collaborate with other artists too, we have a show going up in a gallery that'll be up for the month of June, so that's kind of exciting.

What this is really helping me do is be able to transition to doing art full-time. Without this online ability, I wouldn't even have the hope of doing that.

Paulina at Searchie: I wanted to wrap up this interview with one question about Searchie specifically—How has Searchie allowed you to reimagine the future of your online business and your business in general?

Jean: Two things about Searchie that I love and adore are being able to build these Hubs very easily, especially now with Searchie 2.0 and the templates that are there that are super easy to use and adapt. The other thing that I love is the search bar.

In natural dyes there's a lot of these weird terms that, you know, people are new to and so having the ability to just go in there and search just my content for that class for a key term so that they can go back and watch something has been so useful and the students love it.

Being able to create a Hub that actually looks good… I've been on the interwebs for a while, you can see my gray hairs, and the first time I was trying to create websites were just painful. And now I know that there's websites that are click and point and all of that and really easy to build, but even still, my regular website, I had to pay somebody else to make look as good as my Searchie website.

It’s a great platform for anybody who's teaching or doing memberships, especially for anybody who's gotta be able to search… that search bar is just unbelievable.

Most of my clients and students are anywhere from 50 to 80. So these are not tech tech savvy people. They have a hard time with email. So I need a platform that they can actually get in and use. And I liken that search bar to back in the seventies when we had actual cassette tapes and we would constantly be hitting the fast forward and rewind to try to find that one song and it was terrible. It took forever to find that one song.

And so being able to do that in Searchie with like, oh I'm gonna search alum see where that is. Or what about Mordants—find out where that was, and it brings it right up to where it was in that video is just so priceless. It's been so valuable for my students.

Most of my students are 50-80. So I need a platform they can actually get in and use—that search bar is just unbelievable—just so priceless, it’s been so valuable for my students.

Paulina at Searchie: I love that Jean, and I especially love this cassette analogy for the value of being able to fully digest all of the content that you're giving your students. It's been super lovely chatting with you about all of the things relating to art and sustainability and Searchie.

Jean: The other thing about Searchie, I have to say is the customer service is killer. You get real humans who are interested in helping you and making sure that you know you're gonna fix your problem and super responsive, which I really appreciate as an older user of the technology.

Catch Jean's full Searchie Spotlight interview here!

Thanks for reading!

Want to learn more about Jean's business? Check it out right here.

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