story was written by Nicole Murphy.
Silke Jacobs is living the true American dream.
After falling in love with the man she would one
day marry when visiting the United States several years ago, Jacobs decided
that continuing her life in Belgium was no longer an option. While working an
administrative job and earning her master's degree in education at Molloy College,
Jacobs found her niche in a simple at-home hobby creating handmade bags.
Within a year, after perfecting her craft sewing
for family and friends, Jacobs promoted her wears through her store on
Etsy.com, under the name Silky Smooth
. Today, Silky Smooth makes daily sales of handbags, totes, pencil
cases and cosmetic bags to clients across the world.
"I was going on full-time teaching interviews
when my husband and I made a pact that if I was making a certain amount of
money each week by the end of the summer, I would stick with this business full
time," Jacobs said. "By mid-August I way surpassed that amount and it
was very exciting."
As Silky Smooth took off, Jacobs received a
handful of requests for baby products like burp cloths and bibs, leading her to
the creation of her second online store, Kribbe Handmade
"I started making baby items because they
were good to give for baby shower gifts," she said. "A lot of people
told me they saw handmade products and I knew I could roll into that. In the
near future, I think I want to start designing laptop and smartphone
In addition to her business, Jacobs works
part-time in the Oceanside School District as an elementary ESL instructor.
Teaching is something she will always love, she said, but sewing has bought her
a fresh and exciting shift from the norm.
"If I were still in Belgium, this would
have been possible, but the atmosphere here really encourages creativity.
Risk-taking isn't exactly the Belgium spirit. I would have pursued my PhD there
to become a professor, but now I tell myself I have a PhD in sewing. I know I
won't regret this. No matter what happens, I can say I did this. People forget
that anything you can buy, you can make yourself, and it's really nice to bring
that to customers."
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