JACKIE DAUSEND- CREATOR OF BIBLES & COFFEE
So I traveled to LA to see my sister and realized that one of my favorite Instagram friends lived there too. Her company Bibles & Coffee is an obsession of mine and I had to meet the girl behind the movement!
Jackie was all in for coffee so we met up in Culver city. I instantly knew we would be friends. Jackie has the warmest smile, the friendliest demeanor and the cutest style. Also, she had paint on her arms & the coolest tattoos. I was SOLD. #instantbesties. The second we sat down my eyes were glued to her personal painted bible. I grabbed it and examined the beauty I had seen so many times in Instagram photos. It was stunning. I was overwhelmed with the quality of her work and the questions started to swirl. Who was this girl? What was her story? Where did this idea come from? Will she let me hold her bible again? So after 2 and a half hours of talking, sharing and laughing this is what I uncovered:
Jackie: 25, craft-head, lover of fashion, covered in paint, fan of Iced Americano's, puppy mama, loving girlfriend to Mike.
Jackie wasn’t raised in a religious home but spent occasional Sunday's at church with her childhood bestie Sara where her seeds of faith started to be planted. Over the years she has developed a close relationship with God through some major trials. I won’t dive in to the details of her childhood but you can find that story on her blog. It’s a story best told from the person who experienced it and definitely worth the read.
Before starting Bibles & Coffee, Jackie was a power house at a tech company and loved it for a bit but then decided that it ultimately wasn’t what she was passionate about. So she quit her job and started to search for something she really could get behind. After quitting, she experienced 3 months of unemployment that changed everything. Jackie said that as she looks back on that valley season, she is amazed at what God was able to teach her. The Lord taught her patience, gratitude and grace. That season for her, set her up for what was about to come but at the time she had no idea...
She currently works full time at a fabric company where she creates newsletters and handles their social media. (cool right?!) But she had no idea that she would basically have another full time job on top of that: Bibles & Coffee.
Bibles and Coffee came about when she saw a painted bible on Etsy and thought to herself “I can do that!”. She already was not feeling the standard cover on her bible and decided to see what she could make of it. She grabbed some fabric from her other dope brand and started to work. It took 12 bibles to figure out exactly what combination of time, paint and glue would create the most durable and aesthetically pleasing bible. But after number 12- She was hooked and started re-doing literally any book she could find. She told me all about how her sweet boyfriend Mike (a total dream boat) let her redo many of his books! She started making bibles for people close to her and eventually (with the encouragement of Mike) pulled the trigger on launching an Instagram page. A friend and blogger Brittany reached out and wanted to be a brand rep. So Jackie- never thinking she would have a brand rep, bought a bible, worked her magic and shipped it off. The followers started coming in. In four months Jackie has sold over 70 bibles. I could not figure out how she managed the spiritual, creative and practical process of running this booming side business and she immediately credited Mike. His constant support, amazing photography skills and willingness to do whatever it takes to make it happen is how this boss lady is able to manage it all. #swoon. Since the launch, her instagram following has continually grown and most importantly, she has touched the lives of dozens of women and men.
I love the way God has blessed Jackies business and sent his children running to her with their most precious possessions but what I love the most is the entire process of creating the bible and how closely it resembles life.
After Jackie gets an order, she buys a bible and starts the work. First things first, she strips the bible. When she said this my jaw dropped. She said “yes. it is very weird to rip your bible apart. I feel guilty every time!”. Jackie takes the entire cover off of the bible and essentially destroys it before putting it back together. Once the cover is off, Jackie can apply the fabric and begin painting. But what to paint? Sometimes people send her their image requests and scripture preferences but Jackie said that more times than not, people just TRUST her with their bible. And those that make suggestions, she often has to change because it contradicts what God puts on her heart. At this point I was so intrigued and I began to wonder about how she chooses what to put on a bible when someone trusts her with it. Naturally, her first response was: PRAY. She prays over the bible and lets God speak to her spirit about what should be on it. Additionally, she scopes out the social media pages to get an idea of who they are but most often, social media fails to really capture who someone is and she has to rely mostly on what God speaks to her. I am sure my face expressed my speechlessness and she immediately responded that it can be a very frustrating process but she has learned to trust it. And testimony after testimony has shown her that God IS speaking to her as she creates these bibles and He does have a message for each bible that comes into her studio.
The process is far from easy especially when working with paint. When she makes artistic mistakes, or no images or words come to mind at first, she has learned to take a break and step back and then approach it later. Makes sense- can’t rush God or art! After painting and 72 hours of drying- she ships it off to its owner so they can dive into the word with their brand new bible. Sounds a lot like life right? So often we have to get stripped down to our bare self before we are remade into something beautiful. The whole process requires an immense amount of patience to wait on God and wait on the actual bible to be done, gratitude to appreciate every single bible even on days where she is exhausted from her full time job, and grace for herself during the successes and failures of being an artist/entrepreneur. She uses everything God taught in her valley season in her mountain season.
Hard to believe, but this superwoman struggles with fear. She opened up to me about how she feels God tugging her into spaces she didn’t intend to go and how scary that is sometimes. She is not a fan of public speaking, gets nervous to say the right thing and believe it or not this beauty got camera shy on me when I tried to snap some photos! But every day, she leaves her 9-5 and plops down in her studio and does what God has called her to do with boldness and a confidence we should all be praying for!!
Favor and Faithfulness have been all over this business before Jackie even recognized it. She was equipped with patience and perseverance prior to even knowing she would need it. God has continued to send her people to serve, energy to execute and financial provision to keep the business going. God is dope. Her number one piece of advice? Trust the process.
I hope you all are inspired at how Jackie uses her gifts to lead women into an exciting and beautiful journey with the word of God. If God is tugging your heart to use your gifts for His Kingdom, go with it, trust the process and watch God use you in ways you never imagined! Who knows, maybe you can do something as cool as painting bibles!