Fashion leads to nursing, crafting
Jessica Draper has managed, at age 26, to make a living from two of her greatest passions: sewing and working with children.
Draper, a lifelong Pearland resident, originally went to college with the goal of becoming a fashion designer. After graduation, however, she realized that her job options in that field were quite limited as long as she remained in the Houston area. Faced with the choice between leaving the city she loved and finding another career, she ultimately chose the latter.
Draper took a threemonth course to become a phlebotomist. After working in the field for a short period of time, Draper decided she might have a different calling.
“While I was drawing blood in the hospital, I ended up realizing that nursing might be a really good job,” Draper said.
“It’s realistic. I could get a job anywhere I go, and I just love working with babies.”
Draper also credits her mother, who also works as a nurse, for inspiring her to go into the field. Even though many different avenues were available, she went into neonatal nursing, where she works with premature babies.
“That’s pretty much what I always wanted to do,” she said.
At the same time, Draper never forgot her love for sewing and design, and in the little spare time she had, she began working on items to sell from her Etsy shop.
She now has a wide variety of merchandise for sale, ranging from bags to jewelry to clothing.
“I’m constantly making things,” Draper said. “I never thought I’d have any talent, but then I started and realized I was pretty good at it.”
While she has no plans to leave nursing, Draper would eventually like to expand her home business and perhaps branch out into teaching.
Because her two lines of work are so tightly aligned with her own interests, it only makes sense that she would want to combine them.
“I try to incorporate the business into what I do at work,” she said. “I’m thinking of doing a project called Pants for Preemies.
Parents often have a hard time finding clothes forthese babies because they’re so small.”
ABOUT JESSICA DRAPER
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Lifelong Pearland resident
FAST FACT: Has a 2-yearold son and a 9-year-old stepson.
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