#HomeGrownStories – Jess Ervin
Bushel & a Peck, a home decor business owned by Jess Ervin, started in an unconventional way. Jess struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety after her second daughter was born. As a way to cope, she started writing positive affirmations and making signs for herself. These signs told her that she was awesome and that she was enough. Seeing the affirmations every day made her believe in them. To share those positive vibes and lift others up, she started Bushel & a Peck. Jess is from Piqua and sells her signs in many different Miami County shops and on her website.
On living in Miami County:
I’m from Piqua. I lived in Piqua until I was 24 and then my family moved to the Saint Paris area in Champaign County for my husband’s job.
About her business, Bushel & a Peck:
At Bushel & a Peck, we hand make wood home decor. We also customize and make personalized pieces. It’s something that I created after my youngest daughter was born. I was struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. This became my creative outlet. It was a way to help me feel better and find myself. I discovered that this is what I enjoy and love. There was something about putting words down and giving them to someone that made me feel whole. It made me feel like a whole person, not someone who was struggling to make it through on a daily basis. I still loved creating the signs even after the postpartum and depression symptoms were gone. It became a passion and turned into a business that I want to grow and keep creating.
I do craft shows on a regular basis and I sell my work in stores like Merchant 31 and through my website. I’ve found that I enjoy being a part of that community. I love finding people that want things that mean something to them. I make personal pieces that are special. They are quotes that they love or their name. I’ve done lyrics from wedding songs. These are pieces that bring tears to my eyes because they’re so special. A piece that I did recently was for a couple that is renewing their vows. The husband has terminal cancer and the sign says “they still do.” When they renew their wedding vows their two daughters are going to get to dance with their father. I’m creating something that means something to people. That’s why I do it and why I need to do it. This is going to be my lifelong career.
What inspired her to start Bushel & a Peck:
Word affirmations are very big for me. In order for me to feel better, I was repeating these mantras to myself. Repeating these words to myself was a way to break the cycle of anxiety that I felt. For a lot of people, no matter what you’re facing in life, it helps if you can tell yourself “you’re going to make it through.” If you can put those positive vibes out, you’re gonna make it through. That’s something we need to do as people — lift each other up and find a way to make us all feel better. If I were to tell you that you’re beautiful today and I think that you’re bright and smart. I love your blog and I read it all the time… it would make you feel good, right? When you say these affirmations or put them on wood and hang it up on the wall so you can see it every day you’re going to feel it. You’re going to believe it and you’re going to feel better.
I started doing this for myself. I made these signs for myself. I told myself I was awesome. I told myself I was enough. I thought it every single day and then I believed it. If you can see it — you’re gonna believe it.
I was in healthcare before I had my kids. I wanted to be with my kids all the time so I quit and became a stay at home mom. I loved it and I still love it. I love that I can work from home while my kids are still at home. When they are in school all day we can look at expanding and growing. Right now seeing them grow is very important to me. If I’m not home every day to see it then I’m missing out on the best part of their lives. They’re innocent right now. The reality of the world we live in right now has not yet affected them.
On the community response to Bushel & a Peck:
The community response has been great! We’re in a lot of places in Tipp City. We do a lot of shows and special events. We do a lot of special orders for Tipp City, Troy, and Piqua. The community response has been really good.
What she loves most about Miami County:
I love our parks and bike trails. The bike path in Piqua is my favorite because I’m a runner. I’ll do the whole loop — it’s a pleasant path. It’s a fun loop to do. If you want to walk it, it’s a great walking path too. It’s amazing. There are so many options and ways you can be active in Miami County. We have two great YMCAs in Miami County and programs through the Miami County Park District. It’s great when you can combine the outdoors and be active!
How Miami County is different from other areas of Ohio:
We live in Champaign County, but for me, Miami County is always going to be home, even if we don’t live there. There’s a lot more cohesiveness in our county. From West Milton to Covington to Fletcher… we’re all one unit in Miami County. It’s not like that in Champaign County — not all one unit that is. I’m not saying Champaign County isn’t great because it is. But Miami County… we’re all in it together. That’s a lot different from other counties. From the smallest villages to the bigger towns like Tipp City, Troy, and Piqua, as a community, we would rally together a lot more than other counties would.
Her favorite Miami County spots:
In Piqua, I love Beppo Uno. They have amazing pizza and drinks. The breadsticks are my favorite! Harrison’s in Tipp City is pretty great too. For shopping I like Three Weird Sisters in Troy, it’s pretty awesome and they have unique stuff. I love Merchant 31 in Tipp City because you can buy my stuff there [laughs]. Ryan and Amanda King’s store in Piqua, Can’t Stop Running, is awesome. They have some great programs for runners.
Some of my favorite events are Taste of the Arts in Piqua and the local farmers’ markets. Tipp City and Troy throw so many great outdoor events it’s hard to pick one! I like anything where we’re outside and walking. I like the Mum Festival. We’ll have a table there this year. It’s fun, not crowded and there’s a lot of handmade stuff. It’s very supportive of the community and local businesses.
Follow our storyteller and interviewer, Courtney Denning, at ThisOhioLife.com.