Painting and designing is a hobby held by many, but taking the next step to successfully selling one’s art is a feat that few can claim.
Abby Jones, a 19-year-old Taylor sophomore from West Chicago, is one of those few.
With a long-lasting passion for art, Jones began her art career out of a makeshift studio in her childhood home during the summer of 2018.
“Originally, it was because I was a (high school) student and I had time to make products and sell them to classmates,” Jones said. “It was an opportunity to make an income and to practice my painting, lettering, photography and graphic design.”
For a young freelancer, building a broad portfolio of talents is a key ingredient to becoming a successful professional.
Spreading her business by word of mouth around her high school, Jones was able to sell a good amount of items to her classmates, but she knew that in order to expand at a more rapid rate, she would have to go online.
“I started an Instagram in July of 2018, and that’s when I named it All Sage Co,” she said.
The name “All Sage Company” (ASCo) has a deep meaning for Jones.
Being raised in a Christian household, she wanted her company to not only reflect her talents in art, but her appreciation for her faith.
“Sage is a simple leaf that brings such beauty to a space,” Jones says on her website. “A sage is (also) a person full of wisdom who brings a soft presence to a situation. The hope is that the art created brings a simple & sweet presence to any space, and best reflects the Wisdom of God, the Ultimate Creator, and Jesus Christ, the sweetest presence in this life.”
As her company grew, Jones’ passion for art and design grew as well.
Come spring of 2019, Abby had graduated from high school and was more than ready to move on to the next stage of life. That next fall semester, she found herself in Los Angeles, attending Biola University in La Mirada, Cal.
The geographical change created a few roadblocks for Jones, but nothing that she wasn’t ready to overcome.
“I was living in a dorm in California; it changed because I used to have a local community presence, and then when I went to school, it was more of doing it myself, as opposed to word-of-mouth,” Jones said. “That’s when I opened my Etsy shop and did more e-commerce.”
For the next several months, Jones found herself painting and designing from the shores of the west coast.
However, in March of 2020, everything changed.
Jones was relocated back to her home in West Chicago, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, where she worked and studied for the next nine months. But come Christmastime of 2020, Abby decided it was time to return to an in-person education. She applied to Taylor, and by Feb. of 2021, she was back on a college campus, nearly one year later.
Yet, despite her vast array of studio locations throughout the years, ASCo has only been growing, amassing over 1,000 followers on Instagram and hundreds of orders on Etsy.
“My most popular products are hand-painted journals and Bibles; the Bibles are custom products,” Jones said.
The inspiration for her journal designs comes primarily from nature and landscapes, Jones added. Most of her designs are from places she has been, or would like to go in the future.
But nature isn’t the only thing offered within the designs.
Using the Enneagram, a famous personality test, Jones was able to make her journals more personal to each customer. According to Jones, these are her most popular products.
The Enneagram categorizes individuals into one of nine categories. Abby has a specific journal for every “type”, each with a specific inspiration from nature.
In addition to journals, ASCo offers wood-slice paintings, earrings, hand-painted canvas pouches and totes. Jones has also diversified her product base by adding digitally-designed products, such as stickers and prints.
As Jones continues her journey with ASCo, she still faces new hurdles each day.
She expressed that one of the hardest parts about running ASCo is the amount of orders that she accepts; it often builds up to a stressful amount.
But the daily hardships of running her own company are hardly enough for Jones to stop.
“My favorite part is doing the interpersonal work with customers to design custom products; running social media accounts, promoting my products, even making my own branding materials has been something I’ve loved doing,” Jones said.
For Jones, the experience of building her own brand from the bottom up is one that is not easily replaced. But, ultimately, doing what she loves and sharing that with her customer base is what the young artist finds most important.