Story By Hannah Lester/ Photos Contributed By April Hardy
Southern Chaotic Charm was the goal of a mom who wanted to stay home with her children while also providing an outlet to provide and be creative.
“I am a stay-at-home mom, I have two children, one who is autistic,” said April Hardy.
Art has been a part of Hardy’s life since she was in high school. She took a class with a teacher who was, rather than encouraging, degrading.
“She was like, ‘you can’t draw,’” Hardy said. “And I was like ‘okay but there’s other forms of art that you can do.’”
Hardy said that in college she really picked up on crafting.
“And within the past thirteen years, since my daughter, I really got to where I was like, we need stuff for decor, and you go out and buy stuff and I was like ‘I could have made that,’” she said. “And it’s blossomed from there.”
These first few projects included things like a door hanging for her daughter’s room, hooks, her name spelled out, etc.
“Current projects that I work on is not only home decor, but I also do t-shirts, I do dance bags, makeup bags, anything that people can use in their daily lives as well as for their kids to wear or to put in their rooms,” she said.
Hardy said that while her art is a therapeutic outlet for her, it also allows her to make her own schedule and be at home with her children.
“I knew that I needed a way that work could work around [her son’s] schedule, not him work around me,” she said. “… I love that I not only get to share the different things that I’m creating with him but the memories that it gives me to be able to have that time with [my children], because you can’t ever get time back.”
Hardy said that she enjoys being able to take a customer’s vision for a product and making it real, and making it her own.
“I usually ask them to send me a few different projects they’ve come across and reasons why they like that, and I usually have them give me at least five different designs that way I can kind of pull a little from each of what they’re looking for,” she said.
This involves the customer in the process, she said.
“You can’t always please everybody, but you always find a way to say, ‘I can’t exactly do it this way because then that’s stealing from somebody else but let me help you see a different way of doing something,’” she said.
Hardy said that when getting back to why she started in the first place, she’s most creative.
“Never give up, always keep pushing for what you want to do,” she said. “Don’t let somebody tell you you can’t do it. Always say, ‘Okay, you say I can’t, but I say I can.’”
Find Hardy at Southern Chaotic Charm on Facebook.