The Story Behind Encourage Huntsville with Jacki Gil of Salt + Paperie

If you've been reading our blog for a while, you know that community is deeply important to us here at Jitney's. We are ecstatic any time we see community developing and transitioning. We love seeing people connect, build relationships and grow together. It's everywhere and yet, we still can't get enough of it.

Knowing this, you can only imagine how thrilled I was when Jacki Gil of Salt + Paperie started Encourage Huntsville. And dang, has she started it!!

Jacki Gil of Salt + Paperie

Here's her story:

I’ve always felt like Huntsville and me were like a round peg in a square hole. I loved this town so much, and my family was here that I never really had a desire to move anywhere with the “big city” creativity or even somewhere artsy like Chattanooga. I wanted to be here, even if that meant not having the easiest road to finding my creative “dream job." I did a series of design jobs that varied from love to hate, until a year ago I took the leap of faith into the journey we will call “entrepreneur!” By the grace of God, and a catchy name, that still no one can seem to pronounce with confidence (salt + PAPER-E… lol) we have had a first year that exceeded all expectations. 

Somewhere along that year journey, people began coming to me looking for advice, brain-picking and business advice. All the while, I’m thinking… I do NOT have this figured out in the LEAST. I’m not even a year in (yet! I celebrated my workaversary May 1st!). But, I enjoyed talking to people about their journey into small business ownership, even if I was literally just confirming their awesome ideas and giving no advice, it seemed to help them have the “courage” to take whatever next step they needed, even if it was just heading down to the courthouse for a business license. 

One day, I’m not kidding you… it was like a lightbulb… entrepreneur + courage = encourage! OMG! ding ding ding. So, the “big picture” of Encourage Huntsville is to help small businesses grow or gain confidence through what will eventually be seminars directed and lead by what I call the best of the best in small business ownership, so much so that they might not even be considered small anymore! We will cover topics from taxes to families, and I could not be more excited.

The other half of Encourage is to just to help the average Huntsvillian connect to their creative side. Even the engineer in town needs a creative outlet. Or should I say ESPECIALLY the engineer. A lot of people have already confessed to me that they haven’t signed up because “they aren’t creative”, but that is exactly the opposite of what the point is! Creativity “can’t be used up, the more you use it, the more you have” (Maya Angelou). It’s simply a place to connect with friends and others around Huntsville to try something new that you just might love! 

I seriously hope that this passion project of mine can fuel a creative fire in Huntsville. I definitely want to be just the curator of talent for Encourage Huntsville, but the #handletterhuntsville and monthly lettering challenge was my way of testing the waters to see how much interest their was in the whole idea. I could teach that and get a feel for if this was really something people wanted to do… and, much to our surprise, it was a bigger hit than we could have ever imagined. So much so, we were scrambling to kind of ride the coat tails of the first class straight into Encourage. Now we are getting tons of other classes besides handlettering lined up, and I can’t WAIT to announce them! EEEEKK!!


Above: A few of Jacki Gil's (from Encourage Huntsville // Salt + Paperie) most lovely handlettered Instagram posts! 

Michelle Odom from Just Crumbs Cake Design will be teaching a Fondant Basics Workshop soon!! You do not want to miss this! Encourage Huntsville is giving away a free seat to the class on May 29th!  

Encourage Huntsville on Instagram
Encourage Huntsville on Facebook
Salt + Paperie on Instagram
Salt + Paprier on Facebook
Just Crumbs Cake Design on Instagram
Just Crumbs Cake Design on Facebook

Handletter Huntsville // A Daily Handlettering Challenge

I started following the @encouragehuntsville's daily handlettering challenge a couple of weeks ago and I'm LOVING it. The challenge has been super fun and I've loved getting to see other creatives in Huntsville put their skills to the test. Watch and follow the progress of the Jitney handlettering process on our Instagram account here

The Earth Laughs in Flowers // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
Look Up & Reach High // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
Hey, it's okay // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
Today was a fairytale // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
The Best Time is Now // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
Bloom Where You are Planted // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
Oh Darling, Let's Be Adventurers // Handlettering via Jitney's Journeys
Here Comes the Sun Handlettering & Handpainted Watercolor /Gouache via Jitney's Journeys

Advent Market at Summit Crossing

Advent Market at Summit Crossing

"During the Advent season of 2013 we were able to partner with Neverthirst to change the lives of several thousand people in 7 different villages in India. As 7 new wells were built we hope these lives are changed not just during the Christmas season but for years to come through clean water and for eternity with the hope of the Gospel of Christ.

As we look towards Christmas this year, we are excited to host the 3rd annual Advent Market on December 6th from 8am to 2:00pm. There are 63 local vendors that will be part of the market this year. Over $2400 has already been raised in booth fees and several vendors are giving a percentage of their sales to the wells. Come out and do all of your Christmas shopping and also help continue to carry the Gospel to the nations." - Summit Crossing 

Here's a sneak peek of a few products we'll have available at the Jitney booth this year: 

A Coconut Crackin', Tree Climbin', Hula Dancin', Adventurously Hikin' Hawaiian Recap

We still have one more daily recap post coming later this week (fingers' crossed), but we wanted to go ahead and post this video of our luau (finally!!) and the infamous Koko Head hike (post coming soon).

Music Choice

Boy with a Coin - Iron & Wine

Beautiful Day - U2

In other news, it seems like we'll be around Huntsville for a while. Yippee! Project corner, here I come!! I've already been working on some new projects and I cannot wait to post about them, in hopes you get some inspiration. As for Huntsville, we're excited that we may finally get to check this place out and enjoy it for a while.

Do you have any suggestions for our Huntsville adventures? 

Weather willing, we are super pumped to hike Walls of Jericho this weekend. I found out today that Davy Crockett hunted there. This happily serves as Reason #104 to hike the Walls of Jericho. 

Have a happy Tuesday!!