Like many people during the height of the pandemic, Jenna Derrenbacker found herself needing a creative outlet to fill all of the free time she now had living in quarantine. A University of Central Florida junior at the time, she moved back to Stuart after the college sent students home for the remainder of the semester and started focusing on something she has always loved—art.
“I was using every art medium imaginable because I was just so bored during that time,” says Derrenbacker, 23. “I needed a Father’s Day gift for my dad and saw someone online using resin. I thought, ‘That looks cool, I’ll try it out.’ I made a set of coasters for my dad.”
She began experimenting with resin on various other projects and discovered how much she loved the medium. And soon, her friends took notice and started asking her to create items for them. That’s when she decided to launch her online business, Art by Jenna Lynn (formerly called Arts ’N Crafts by Jen), selling resin-made wall and table decor, jewelry dishes, serving boards, and trays featuring ocean waves, sunsets, and galaxies. Now in its second year, Art by Jenna Lynn has become so successful that it is currently a full-time job for Derrenbacker.
“I attribute a whole lot of my success to TikTok,” says the artist. “There have been quite a few videos of me creating art that have gone viral. I’m thankful that the social media platform exposed me and my work to so many people. It’s the reason why I have repeat customers from around the world.”
In addition to using her social media savvy to grow her business, Derrenbacker has also set herself apart by creating memorial pieces for clients. She mixes the cremated remains of customers’ loved ones with the resin and uses it to create ocean-themed artwork in their honor. “One video featuring my memorial artwork had millions of views [on TikTok],” she says. “Now I have a waiting list for these custom pieces, and they make up about half of my revenue. It’s cool because I have two different types of clientele—those who want a memorial piece and those who want everyday artwork for their homes.”