Whenever I walk into a shop, they always seem to sell pins and badges by the tills for illnesses that everyone knows. Cancer, cancer research, heart disease UK, etc..
But because I have an illness that isn’t as ‘common’ as others, I never find anything that I can purchase that represents my illness, and what i go through. I always find myself looking at other peoples badges that they rock on their uniform or outwear, and I never saw anyone rock a badge that represented my illness and I never thought I’d find one.
So I decided to go on Etsy because I know that a lot of independent artists sell their items on there. I love Etsy. Etsy is the place where you can find anything and everything! So i figured, if I can’t find any ‘spoonie’ related badges on there, i’ll never find them!
Through searching, I came across ChronicallyDivine (once SpoonieThings) and was instantly mesmerised by how many products she had, and the wide variety, not only that, you can order your own personalised item.
She makes pins, badges and necklaces that people can wear with pride and to promote awareness and empathy for whatever silent battle they face day to day.
As i’ve spoken to Sam over the past couple of months through e-mail, she’s expressed how creative empathy means a lot to her, and she hopes that if people see something pretty with a name or wording they’re curious about, they are more likely to strike up a conversation with you and ask, instead of wondering, there-fore a positive way to spread awareness!
So, when I e-mailed Sam, the creator and owner of her Etsy store ‘chronically Divine’, I was curious on whether or not she would be willing to talk about ChronicallyDivine for my blog, and very kindly I got a yes!
A little background on the artist
Her name is Sam Martin and she is a mature PhD student finishing up a PhD focussed on how people use social media to help them manage their chronic illness, and visualise how they feel via Instagram. She is based in London at the moment, and she studies her Grad course at Warwick University.
How did she start ChronicallyDivine?
A few years ago, Sam decided to leave her job as a web developer and took a risk to do an MSc and then a PhD in Digital Sociology and Digital Health. As someone herself who has different chronic illnesses, she wanted to find out how people interact with each other, and support each other via social media, and how they use creativity to express themselves. Sam told me that whilst writing her PhD thesis and dealing with chronic illnesses, things got challenging and she found herself turning to arts and crafts as a way to relax. Whilst turning to arts and crafts to relax, Sam started looking into how she could use her arts and crafts, and a little bit of sparkle to bring some happiness to someone else with a chronic illness, and thats how ChronicallyDivine was born in December 2016!
How long does it take to make a pin?
It takes around 3-4 hours for Sam to make a batch of pins, from designing, to cutting out, to baking, colouring and finally glazing with glitter or a clear gloss. Then it takes an extra 4 hours for the pins to dry (so on average 8 hours!) Sam will usually make 10-12 pins a week. Wow!
Does ChronicallyDivine make custom Design?
Yes! She does! Just ask 🙂
Her favourite design so far?
’Straight Outta Spoons’ is Sams favourite design (and mine!). The blue and white stripes, shimmery glitter, you can’t go wrong with this pin! Sam said she wears one herself for the days when she’s feeling drained, and usually gets some curious or fun comments. Like she always says, it’s a light hearted way to spread awareness!
I’ve never had such good quality products off an independent artist, and the fact that they represent my illnesses just makes them even more special to me. You can’t go wrong with chronicallydivine. It’s a fact 😉
Please go check out her Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChronicallyDivine