Hi there, I’m Julie Deane owner and creator at JuJu’s Bloomers
I’ve been a crafter since childhood. I’ve always loved to craft and camp when camping I would find sticks, moss, pine cones, acorns and caps, tree sap, leaves, and pine needles and create centerpieces for our campground picnic table. I would take fun summer classes, every other weekend I was an only child. My parents divorced when I was seven years old, and my brother and sister eventually moved in with our dad. I was the “baby” so I stayed with our mom, who was also a big crafter. Anyhow every other weekend I was an only child, and all during the week. Summer was fun for me as I got to take fun summer classes in our local summer school program. I took woods, where we had tons of scrap wood pieces, wood glue, paint, and other things to build and create with. I took a puppets for poetry class. I remember making the fun puppets, but don’t recall any poetry. I would get bored after finishing homework and doodle all of the time, and to be honest I’d doodle while doing homework. So as you can see I was into crafts and art from a young age.
Here comes high school, I was working, continuing sports, and didn’t really keep up my crafting other than an art class.
After high school, I hit the workforce, and worked a lot. Sadly, did not have time to continue crafting.
In my twenties, I was supposed to be going to college full time and working part-time. It turns out that a project we were doing at work had me working around the clock not part-time, and more hours than full time. I would go to work, co-workers would leave and go home, they would be coming back to work in the morning and myself and another person were still there working. I’d go into the work bathroom, change, brush my teeth and hair, go out grab a donut from the box that always showed up in the morning, and go to school. After school, I’d grab fast food and head back to work. Honestly, I don’t recall going home, I don’t recall showers or homecooked meals. I know I did homework, but don’t recall when. I know I showered and slept, but don’t recall when. I know periodically I had good food but don’t recall when. So fast forward through the middle of this work project and one day I was home and heading in to take a shower. Apparently, my mom heard and thud, it was me on the hallway floor. I did this multiple days in a row. Finally, after having to miss school and work, because I couldn’t function my mom took me to the doctor. I was diagnosed with having a nervous breakdown. Who me? I was fine, I was in my early twenties, I was working, going to school, and didn’t feel stressed out or anxious. My doctor told me to quit my job, quit school, and quit my new boyfriend. Well, I said goodbye to the first two and eventually, two years later said goodbye to the third. After three months of being in the fetal position a lot, my mom having to get me back and forth to the restroom, and bring me food to encourage me to eat I finally got better, or so I thought. I found another job, tried several times to go back to school but now couldn’t focus. I had anxiety attacks that I never had prior to the breakdown and memory issues.
At 24 I had my first daughter; I was a single mom living with my mom and s-dad. I got a “big girl” job, and I had taken my daughter with permission to the job interview. Some of the sweet staff watched her for me, she was about 2 if I recall. I worked tons, and I’d work overtime on the weekends and bring a playpen for my daughter and she’d come to work with me.
Fast forward through life and at I believe I was 32 I met this man on a singles group bike ride at church. He proposed to me after three months of dating. I was still having memory issues, so I wanted to get retested for Alzheimer’s. I didn’t want to go into marriage and stick him with that. I was cleared, and passed all of those tests. So this is now 12 years after the breakdown, still with memory issues. It was finally explained to me as my brain was stuck in fight or flight mode. I didn’t have flat spots on the brain as people with Alzheimer’s do so eventually after I wasn’t anxious or stressed out anymore, my memory should be ok. Hhhhm when is there not stress in life? 12 years, what’s going to change? Nothing. I was cleared for takeoff though; I wasn’t going to stick this man with a wife that was already having signs of Alzheimer’s. We married after a year of dating. Two years later my second daughter was born. I was a stay at home mom for the most part for 3 ½ years.
I got a job at a facility where my children could come with me anytime they weren’t in school. I began to teach crafts to the kiddos where I worked, so I was in my happy place. Forward a few years and I teach crafts to staff for our team-building meetings, and I’m a supervisor, but still get to be very much hands-on and play with the children and continue to teach them crafts. It’s the perfect job for me. I love kids and I love crafts. No anxiety, there right?
Forward to life during my wonderful adult motherhood, carrier, and helping two now disabled parents. It all hit at once, I won’t go into what their disabilities are, only that I am now in charge of all of their medical, dentist, optical appointments, transportation, and paperwork. In addition to when this all first happened getting tons of paperwork, e-mails, phone calls taken care of to get POA, Banking, Advance Care Directives, different medical insurances (because my s-dad had to retire doctors orders it was no longer safe for him to drive, or be by himself). I had appeals to write. Caregiver hiring, groceries to buy, rooms to change around to make a room for a caregiver and basically a hospital type room for my s-dad. It triggered an anxiety that I have never experienced before. I mean I could look at a document and not be able to focus on the first word, yet I was responsible for getting all of their affairs in order. We were worried my s-dad didn’t have much time left with us. I had to make all funeral arrangements for two parents that are very much alive still. It was all too much and I felt my brain snapping. I’ve had memory issues from the first breakdown 30 years later, who will take care of the parents if I was to have another breakdown, or worse? I made the appointment I never wanted to make. I spoke to a head doctor (sorry that’s what I call them, because it’s all about the brain); she showed me my scans and could see a physical factor creating my memory issues. My best bet was to take meds to reduce the swelling. I refused during the first appointment. After a few days of mulling it over I made a second appointment. I ended up going on meds, it’s been the best thing for me. At her suggestion I also picked up a hobby.
Forward to age 53, 2019. I started creating again, for my hobby. I made a few items and friends and family said, “Are you selling that?” “Can I buy that?” “You should sell those!” Well in order to sell and not break the law in California where I have lived my whole life, you need permits and licenses, etc. I went through the whole process to become a legal business after only selling three items to friends and family. I went by the book. I created JuJu’s Bloomers upcycle and repurpose garden art business and other fantastical surprises, to keep my sanity. My business name came from my first two grandchildren. They aren’t mine biologically and neither are 4 out of 5, but they are very much mine in my heart and soul and isn’t that what counts anyhow? My granddaughter was 2 when I met her, and instead of saying Julie, it was easier for her to say JuJu. I became Grandma JuJu when she could speak more. The name JuJu came from the grandchildren. Bloomers is because I make garden flowers, which I call Bloomers. I love the fact that if you do something nice for someone, you can plant the seeds of kindness and they will blossom and Bloom. My garden art and other creations make people smile and therefore create a Blooming effect on people.
I’d like to extend a warm welcome and invite you to continue along with me on not only my business journey but the journey to spread the seeds of kindness and love to create blooms wherever you may go.
Love and blessings,