It’s 2a and I’m lurking on LetGo.com, a website and mobile app that allows you to buy and sell your used stuff, when I stumble upon BJ’s Basement Creations, a new local home furnishings store. Their unique, simple pieces marry old world embroidery with today’s risqué jargon. Needless to say, they caught my eye, and I fell in love immediately.
BJ’s Basement Creations is an upcycled home furnishings business developed from the hobbies of Jeni Moss and Brian Meyer. Jeni creates her own cross stitch patterns that are as catchy and relatable as those inspirational posters adhered to the ceiling in your dentist’s office, but a little (or a lot) dirtier. Brian creates the one-of-a-kind frames that capture the sentiments, which include lovely phrases like, “We had sex in this room,” or, “Please don’t do coke in the bathroom,” presented in classic cross stitch technique.
“I hear phrases and think, ‘That would look good in my living room,'” said Jeni.
“I think it’s funny to take something that’s viewed as crotchety, old lady – but talk about anal sex. I started making my own patterns, since the ones I saw weren’t dirty enough for my liking,” continued Jeni.Jeni from BJ’s Basement Creations
What started as a hobby is quickly becoming a passion and small business for the duo, who have gone from a post or two on LetGo to a Facebook page and, well, this article. “I have no expectations,” said Jeni, “Even this interview is way more than expected. I put them on LetGo because it would be ridiculous to have them all in my house,’ Jeni says about her cross stitch handiwork. “I would give them away, but, I’ve got a lot of time into each and every one. And the extra money would be a nice cushion to go to law school.”
The art pieces are a reflection of Jeni’s personality; she claims she is more disgusting than the average person. I’m not sure I agree with her, but I do know that the juxtaposition of a classic craft with a sailor’s tongue is just nasty and ridiculous enough to make me purchase every piece she has. At $15 to $40 a piece, it seems like a small price to pay for the amazing conversation at my next ladies’ brunch.
Jeni, a.k.a. “The Sweet Ass Cross Stitcher” isn’t the first to take the classic cookie-baking housewife craft to aesthetic new places. The broader embrace of the traditionally female handicrafts by edgy, urban, educated, non-filtered women goes back to the ’90s, according to Emily Matchar, the author of the “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity.” During that time, the Riot Grrrl movement began taking “iconically old-fashioned domestic work” like sewing and knitting, and reclaiming it as edgy and political. Hence, the feminist patterns you now see available, and why former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had political cross knit patterns as part of her swag during the last campaign. But Jeni seems to take the sugar-and-spice art to a whole new level.
BJ’s Basement Creations aims to please, and Jeni will create custom pieces so you can fully express your own words and proudly hang them on your wall. Just don’t blame us if you have to hide the art when grandma comes to visit.