There’s some makers who make one thing well, and there are other makers that just make everything! Jessica Outridge aka Crafty Queen Mama is an urban homesteader who has set out to make, create, and craft wherever she can. From home canning to creative recipes, gardening and preserving to upcycling and homeschooling, Jessie shares it all on social media and her website craftyqueenmama.com.
I know that you’re an all-around maker: what products do you make and which of those do you sell and which do you make for your family?
I make a range of products from skincare and household cleaners and 90% of what our family consumes is grown and made by me. This summer I started selling some of my freezer meals and homemade bread at a farm stand in Chatsworth. This led to seasonal pie-making and seasonal holiday treats. I also have an online store where I am selling
hand-crafted gifts in a jar. I have a few more “products” that will be added soon like our CBC salve and a couple of crafts kits for kids and the holidays. All of the things I sell are products we use and love ourselves.
From sharing these things with family and friends over the years we were given so much positive feedback that it pushed us to branch out to public sales. A large portion of my website is based around blogging and sharing recipes, not just selling products. I currently offer a few classes around canning and recipes, and I’m going to be shifting into offering full courses including videos, written instructions, as well as access to support that people can view forever rather than just a one time class.
Can you give a little backstory of how you became a maker?
Where did it all begin? Well, I guess the beginning for me was when I was a child. I have always been a maker. Sewing, crafting, gardening and baking were just second-nature skills that I was taught as a child but my homesteading journey really became the forefront of my life when I became a mother and left my career to stay at home 5 years ago. I wanted to be able to give my family a life that was deeply connected with nature and free from the vast majority of chemicals and preservatives that are commonly found in everyday products. 5 years later we are growing, picking, hunting, water bath canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, salting and fermenting almost 90% percent of what we eat and making our own soap, laundry detergent and household cleaners.
What is your favourite thing to make right now?
I am not sure I can even answer that question as there are so many things I absolutely love making like cookies with the kids or rolling out pastry made from my gramma’s recipe, but one thing I am really excited about making more of and adding to the storefront in 2024 is soaps. There are so many variations and ways to create and blend that it’s hard not to be excited about the possibilities.
Where can folks buy your products?
Right now you can pick up my seasonal sweets or a loaf of bread from Gibson’s Honey in Chatsworth. www.craftyqueenmama.com is where you can find all my other products like my gifts in a jar, blog posts and recipes. Pre-orders for Christmas pies (apple or pumpkin) can be done through the website as well.
Any local hidden gems in Grey County that folks should know about?
I am not sure I would say hidden, but a gem of a place is Papis Eatery and Lounge downtown Owen Sound or the Enchanted Forest in Cobble Beach if you are looking for a fun outdoor activity that is also kid-approved.
Location: Owen Sound, ON