Jada Clingo

Jada Clingo

DIY Artist

November 1, 2015

Organization:

Humblebee Family Farm

Website:


photo courtesy: Heather Biddle Photography

Maker's Mart Edition: In an effort to celebrate the creativity you can experience at Maker's Mart, a local indie craft fair organized by Handmade Toledo, we are featuring Jada and Humblebee Family Farm, a favorite vendor who you can find at the show on Saturday, November 14th. Learn more here.

Tell us more about some of your past projects?

My earliest projects began when I was about 4 years old. I would paint rocks or my dad’s vintage hotwheel cars with nail polish and sell them to the neighbors … or take the bottoms off our jeans, the scraps that were left after they were cut into shorts, and sew them into purses with my Cabbage Patch sewing machine. As a teenager, I would sew my own clothes and make hemp jewelry, which caught on with friends whom requested custom pieces and quickly became a business that fueled my passions and eventually my motorhome van. I hit the road to follow my favorite band and lived modestly for the next five years traveling around the country this way, eventually coming home to Toledo where my husband, and now business partner Eric and I have planted our roots. We, together, have worked on a few projects, from operating our ice cream bikes to making moving mouth puppets, kids' toys, and patchwork clothes. Eric spent a few years working in local community gardens (including Toledo Grows and TUC Garden). During those times, the kids and I enjoyed visiting, volunteering and learning. We formed great connections here, made new friends and gathered knowledge that would prove invaluable to our success in our latest project, our family farm. Here I began making needs for homemaking such as laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaner, which was like a gateway into making our body & bath needs. My sister refused money for babysitting and so I paid her in lotion, she took it to work with her and immediately I began to get orders… thus humble. was born.

What current projects are you working on?

Here at Humblebee Family Farm, we tend to roll with seasons. Right now we are building a better fence, finishing a barn and other general preparations for winter, and making all the things in time for fall craft fair season. Creativity is flowing in the humble. soap kitchen — look for some new and exciting things this fall.


What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?

In addition to the awesome community, we appreciate experiencing all four seasons to the fullest — from the fairly long growing season to the restful mini-hibernation of the winter months, where we work on new recipes and ideas by the woodstove, reconnect with one another, and recharge. Land is quite affordable here which allows us to grow and put back into the local economy through choosing to spend locally.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

Being self-employed is a great success with great responsibility. Hard work with great rewards. It allows me to balance being a mom and first generation farmer all the while getting to travel regionally and make new friends along the way.  

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

My husband inspires and encourages me daily. His work ethic and love for our family inspires me to do great things. He has taught me to be spontaneous, make every experience a learning experience and keep on keeping on no matter how tough things might be.

Tell us about your background.

I found independence at an early age and perhaps that is what helped me to survive a less than desirable childhood. I lost my father when I was ten and almost lost my mother to alcoholism. I promised myself that I would live a life my father could be proud of, I would be strong, think outside of the box, and do what makes my heart sing. For those feelings that had no words I filled sketch books, painted mini murals upon my walls to create a sanctuary within my broken home, and when the words matched up with my feelings I would write, in journals, letters to my dad even poetry. I realized I could, and would never be happy fitting into a box or sitting behind a desk; that I must follow my dreams. Those dreams have taken me many places, sometimes they have been rewritten along the way, and other times I knew I was on just the right path. They led me here, and I am more than grateful for support I receive, from Farmers’ Markets to indie craft fairs.

 

Last Thanksgiving we gathered as a family around the table, nothing too formal, but the food was fit for kings, homegrown, raised on our farm and prepared with love.  As we began to feast my son said, “Mom, imagine how many people are enjoying our turkeys right now, all of the hard work we do is being enjoyed right now,” and my daughter chimed in, “and all of the people who will open our lotion and soap for Christmas.” Their eyes were filled with light and it was in those moments I felt I was on the right path.

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

Not anything specific, but I can think of a million times I have felt in-tune with music, particularly the Grateful Dead, I probably have a song or lyric in my mind to match up to each monumental moment in my life, the good and bad.

Favorite place for local culture?

Toledo Museum of Art, Third Thursday Loops, Collingwood Art Center, Ohio Theatre, Art Walks in Sylvania… The Farmers’ Markets!

Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .

Spoken Toledo, The Original Sub Shop… Hands-On Studio at Toledo Botanical Gardens! (I hope these aren’t secrets to many, but if you don’t know, now you know!)

My favorite place to chill locally is . . . 

Bleak House Coffee, Handmade Toledo, The Attic


My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . . 

Wandering around the woods, either behind our farm or at Secor Park. Oak Openings Preserve is a place we go to unwind, the kids can cast their fishing lines, Eric grills dinner and I wander around with my camera, or we adventure the park by bicycle. Then again, the entire Oak Openings Region is enchanting and great for exploring.

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . .

Ha! This is the ongoing joke between Eric and I, when we talk about a new thing we want to try or do we always say “in our spare time” and then laugh maniacally…

Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?

Yes! Kathy Lippert is a great local artist that has helped us tremendously with our branding, from digitizing my rough sketches, and coloring them beautifully to creating graphics for our labels. Thank you Kathy!  

Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

My dad.

Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.

Just one?


3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

honest, creative & organic

Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

1. Grateful Dead - Live Recording- Broom County Arena or Cornell 1977
2. Hank Williams Jr. - Greatest Hits Volume 3 (Add Long Haired Country Boy)
3. Old Crow Medicine Show - O.C.M.S.
4. Black Keys - Brothers
5. Cat Stevens - Gold

My biggest vice is . . .

Dancing. Not just tra-la-la but the heavy, lost in the (live) music, sweating, dancing with your eyes closed in sea of other dancers,

moving together like one, free of words, just feeling, dancing. ...and coffee!

I’d like to see _______ in Toledo.
A street fair (for independent artists and indie crafters)


The last lyric that moved me was . . .

I love a great story teller, people like Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and Bob Dylan move me in ways I can’t explain.


One movie character I identify with is . . .

Clark Griswold.

The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .

Art made by my children.


I want my last meal to be...

Homegrown, home cooked and enjoyed with my nearest and dearest.


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