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How an art shop founder starts her day

We teamed up with the wonderful Jenny Lemons, a colorful boutique and DIY art school run by San Francisco-based artist Jennie. Her shop in the Mission is a community space where she collaborates with other artists, hosts craft workshops, sells vibrant products created by skilled artisans, and provides a curation of art supplies. We LOVE Jennie's eye and her community spirit, and Jennie loves gluten-free granola, so this was a match made in heaven. 

We sat down with Jennie to chat about how she continues to spark creativity seven years after opening her shop, and what she loves for breakfast. Try our collaborative granola here! It's got lemony tartness, wild blueberries, poppy seeds for crunch, and pitaya for a perfectly pink hue. 

How did you choose these particular flavors for our Jenny Lemons x Nana Joes Granola granola - lemon, blueberry, poppy seeds? 

Lemon poppy seed desserts are some of my favorites, so I included those flavors in the granola. I am a total blueberry fanatic and eat them almost every day with my toddler. I love how the final product is a nod to a delicious lemon poppy seed muffin. 

You chose to support SFArtsEd through the sales of this granola. Can you tell me more about what this org means to you?
SFArtsEd provides art education to public school children in San Francisco. I love that they not only expose kids to art in the classroom but employ professional artists to share their talents. It’s an excellent organization that has connected artists with kids for over 50 years. 

What’s your favorite way to eat this granola?
I love it with oat milk! 

Do you have any morning rituals?
I have a toddler, so my morning rituals revolve around her. We start our day with cuddling and then enjoy breakfast together. Her current favorite breakfast foods are peanut butter toast and berries, while I tend to go for granola. After breakfast, I lace up my walking shoes, strap my child in her stroller and take our dog for a long walk around our neighborhood in Bernal Heights. It’s my favorite part of the morning. It's a way to get a little exercise and spend time with my family before work and other activities begin. 

How did you take that first leap toward Jenny Lemons? Was there a final straw that pushed you to just go for it?
I started Jenny Lemons part-time in 2015. I was teaching art classes in the evening and making my handmade products as a side hustle while working as an Office Manager and teacher at a preschool. In 2017, I quit my day job to dedicate myself to Jenny Lemons full time. At that time, I was working out of a tiny studio in San Francisco’s mission district. I got notice that our landlords were selling the building, and we were losing our studios. That day, on my way home, I saw a little “for Rent” sign on a shop, so I called the number, started renting the space a couple of months later, and the rest is history. 

Can you tell me about one moment where you felt like, “Okay, I got this, we’re going to make it”?
In April 2020, when the pandemic shut the world down, our customers were incredible and supported us in a way they never had before. They ordered tons of products online and signed up for all our virtual classes. I felt so loved by my community, and I knew we would make it!

How do you spark your creativity on days you’re not feeling it?
I love walking! I take a little break and go for a walk outside. Moving and getting away from my work usually refreshes me enough that I can start creating again. 

What is something few people know about Jenny Lemons that you wish more people knew? 
We work with over 200 outstanding artists in our shop!

Who / what inspires you? Any words you live by?
The saying “progress, not perfection.” With Jenny Lemons, my goal is to inspire creativity and joy in my community. I try my hardest every day to do this, but some days are not perfect. I feel lucky to have a job that sparks joy in myself and others!

What’s your favorite thing in your store right now?
We just launched this adorable tin cup! It’s the perfect vessel for a granola snack! 

Okay, I have to ask - why is your store spelled Jenny Lemons, and not Jennie Lemons?!
People misspelled my name my entire life, so I decided to make it easier for them when naming my business. Jenny Lemons is an alter-ego for me.

Don't miss the Jenny Lemons x Nana Joes Granola blend! It's only around for a limited time.