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Steph Cortes' Profile

About

HELLO AWESOME HUMAN!

My name is Steph Cortes & my hands turn pixels into textile awesomeness!

I'm the 29 year-old caregiver-by-day / geek-mastermind-by-night behind nerd JERK. A San Francisco, CA native, I have no shortage from which to draw my creativity. I enjoy long walks in the Mission (to scope out the latest trends for my plush, cross-stitch & comics), playing drums in Rock Band even if it's out of style and cooking amazing food from scratch.

For more info about what I've been up to lately, visit my ABOUT PAGE on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NerdJerk/about/

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GET IN TOUCH WITH ME
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  • Female
  • Born on May 21
  • Joined October 12, 2009

Favorite materials

Soft colourful yarn, brightly hued felt, many mini skeins of embroidery floss, plentiful pixels, piles of pens, tiny graph paper notebooks

Shop

  • NerdJerk
    DIY Cross Stitch Kits & Amigurumi Plush

About

HELLO AWESOME HUMAN!

My name is Steph Cortes & my hands turn pixels into textile awesomeness!

I'm the 29 year-old caregiver-by-day / geek-mastermind-by-night behind nerd JERK. A San Francisco, CA native, I have no shortage from which to draw my creativity. I enjoy long walks in the Mission (to scope out the latest trends for my plush, cross-stitch & comics), playing drums in Rock Band even if it's out of style and cooking amazing food from scratch.

For more info about what I've been up to lately, visit my ABOUT PAGE on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NerdJerk/about/

-----------------------------------
GET IN TOUCH WITH ME
-----------------------------------
Want to know more about the creative process and what inspires me as a micro-business owner?

EMAIL ME:
nerdJERK at gmail dot com
[Sorry I had to write it out to deter spammers]

MY ROLES:
Hands Behind the Brand @ nerd JERK
Certified Etsy Educator - California, USA

STALK ME ON THE INTERNETS!
Inspire Your Inner Geek at
Shop: http://nerdJERK.net
Blog: http://nerdJERK.org
FB: http://facebook.com/nerdJERK
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nerdJERK
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nerdjerk/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ZtWA

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MY HISTORY
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I went to school for a Libral Arts degree, with a strong emphasis on Psychology and Early Childhood Development when my grandparents started getting old. I decided that I would help take care of them instead. I still care-give for my grandmother, often spending time showing her my latest embroidery work or newest comic to get her to laugh and smile.

My grandmother and her sister like to compare me to their eldest sister, Hilda, whom they lived with as children in Nicaragua in the 1920s. Hilda was an inspiration to them all. She cooked anything they wanted without knowing the recpie. They didn't have a ton of money, but she would make all of her 5 sister's clothes by hand. She would embroider tablecloths for the convent down the road. She would even make dolls for the children for Christmas.

She would do all of this just because she wanted people to be happy and smile. It wasn't always the easiest of times, but it was the little things that made a difference.

I'm proud that such wise women would compare me to such an amazing sounding person. Everyday I strive to be a little more like her.
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SHOP INSPIRATION
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The name nerd JERK came from when someone asked me what inspired me the most to make these dorky things stemming from rad sayings to Nintendo games of yore. I didn't really have an answer then, but then I figured out that it wasn't so much a decision as it was a "knee-jerk" reaction. I tried to make a catch phrase that would encompass that, but failed. So, it became the shop name. :)

The main driving force behind nerd JERK has always been to inspire smiles, especially from geeks. I'm all about making something so cute that you can't help but want to snuggle it! Unfortunately, that poses a problem on a web-based storefront. So I always strive to describe the awesomeness that you could soon be holding in your hands as best I can.

Objects that usually get my creative juices flowing are old thrift store treasure troves, awesome 8-bit video games, my grandma's old photos, cute things drawn on Trader Joe's marketing boards and lots of bright colours in one place.
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WHAT I MAKE - MATERIALS & ITEMS
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I make a lot of things. Seriously. Most of these items are made from 8 PM to 3 AM while psuedo-watching indie flicks in my living room.

What I've been known for is making amigurumi-style crocheted versions of old school Nintendo video game characters. I make up my own patterns from scratch, usually from a picture someone has sent me. I use super soft acrylic yarns to fashion these little critters and stitch in any moveable parts so that they're safe for the whole family. They are often impressed with the attention to detail and solid construction of my crocheted creations. I make every item with the customer's satisfaction in mind.

My most famous item has been the Bob-Ombs, since they are big (around 6" tall with their fuse) and have a wind-up key in the back that you can twist and turn. Since I'd taken the extra time to figure out how to construct these from scratch, people requested OTHER items. From those, I've made anything from Goomba to Kirby (small and HUGE!) to Kirby's nemasis, Meta Knight as custom orders. For pictures of any of these, please feel free to convo me.

I've recently become infatuated with eco-friendly felt and embroidery floss. My toys have been even more true to the picture ever since I took up adding custom cut embellishments to their structure. It's a little more time-consuming (everything is hand-cut and hand-stitched as I'm no good with sewing machines), but I think it's well worth it.

Other items I've made are Weak Sauces (jars that can't open themselves), Geeky Embroidery (hand stitched home decor) and comics. I hope to be selling small framed embroidery samplers by the end of 2012, but I currently sell my Nerdy DIY Craft Kits here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NerdJerk?section_id=6772779.
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TURNAROUND TIME ON CUSTOM ORDERS
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For the most accurate estimate on my current turnaround time, please see my SHOP POLICIES: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NerdJerk/policy

Most of my items take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours to fulling construct. I usually make all the parts, stuff the item and assemble with care. Due to the involved nature of some custom orders (embroidery and embellishments), they have taken up to 2 weeks to complete.

The usual turnaround time for a custom order that I've never attempted before is 2-3 weeks, since I have to figure out how to make it from scratch. I've found that the most daunting custom orders have always been the most rewarding. I'm always up to being challenged in new and exciting ways. That's how some of my best work has come to be.
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SHIPPING
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I take pride in the way that I present stuff that people have ordered from nerd JERK. Whether it's the coloured tissue paper in the box to the flourescent hues of duct tape for shipped packages. The vibrant colours that have inspired me to make awesome stuff also show how excited I am to deliver the goods!

All my comics come with an envelope with an original drawing of some ridiculous lookin' hipster, for your tearing pleasure.

I try to think of what I'd like to receive in the mail when I order something awesome and send something even better. I'm always hoping that someday, everyone will be more inspired after gettin' that box in the mail with all the colourful tape and labels on it, knowing that it came wrapped up like that just to brighten their day.

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