1.When did you start Katie's Kreations and 55 Maple Designs? Katie’s Kreations started in the fall of 2006. I had been making adult jewelry for many years and happened upon ETSY and thought I would give it a try. Since then Katie’s Kreations has evolved into more of a younger whimsical site that includes accessories for the entire body (i.e. hair, fingers, ears, neck, etc.). Missing the more adult jewelry I opened 55 Maple Designs in the Fall of 2008 to display my more adult modern designs. I started that shop with just maple pendants, but will be introducing more Jewelry in the next few months.
2. How do you make and/or find such neat items for your shop? I spend a lot of time at Craft Stores looking for inspiration…often my kiddos say, “do we have to go to Michael’s again”. There is also a local paper store that I love to browse in.
3. How do you balance being a mom and a business woman? I often find this balance very hard. The business end started as something that I did at night when the kids were in bed. It gave me something to do. But, as they are getting a little older, their bedtime is getting later…this presents more of a challenge because my creating and business time is shrinking. As my small business has grown, I have found the need to steal time from my day to do some of the more tedious busy work associated with a business (i.e. packaging/shipping). I think this is the part that has surprised me the most about having a business…how much time needs to be devoted to packaging and shipping. :)
4. Are your daughters creative? My oldest two daughters are SUPER creative! The oldest has an eye for design and is an impeccable matcher (even helps her Dad). The next oldest loves to experiment with color, she makes the most amazing colorful pictures. The next two little ladies I’m sure will emerge as creative souls too, but they are pretty young yet (2 and 4).
5. Do you have any spare time, and if so, what do you do? There isn’t much spare time these days with running a very busy household of 6 people (keeping everyone fed, bathed and on time to their many events), but what little time there is, is usually spent being active. I am either at the gym or can be found on our new rail trail biking, walking or rollerblading.
6. What is something you're looking forward to in the near future? I’m so looking forward to my kids being out of school and having some unstructured time with them. The school year seems so rushed and structured. I love waking up late in the summer and not having a care in the world.
7. What kind of things do you enjoy and what is your favorite book? Lately the thing I enjoy the most is having a glass of wine with friends both old and new. I also love to read, but it has been a VERY long time since I have read a book. My favorite all time was Kite Runner, but I was very disappointed with the movie.
8. What kinds of things do you shop for on Etsy? I try to support handmade whenever possible. I shop for lots of supplies on ETSY, but LOVE to shop for unique “thank you” gifts for others.
9. Do you have a favorite purchase or shop (or two)? These are my two all time favorite shops:
Whimsy House - Molly has the greatest unique goodness. My favorite item from her shop that I bought is my Gratitude - Leather, Silver and Mother of Pearl Bracelet.
My other favorite is: Elm Studios – Erin has the most beautiful dishes…I have several in my home and have shared with several friends as baby gifts, shared with my kiddos grandmother, a neighbor and a teacher or two. When looking for that perfect thank you I usually shop with Erin first. Plus she is super nice! :)
10. What do you want to be doing in the next few years? In the next few years, I want to continue what I’m doing now…staying at home with my beautiful 4 girls and continuing to make people happy with their little purchases from my shops. At some point, I will probably have to get a “real job”, but hope to be able to continue with my business venture. I would also like to find a little time to read a book or two. :)
Not only was Katie kind enough to share a little bit about herself, she's kindly giving one lucky winner their choice of a Scrabble Tile Pendant from her shop, either personalized or not. To enter simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite item from either Katie's Kreations or 55 Maple Designs (or both if you'd like). You can also earn extra entries by doing the following, just make sure to leave a comment (and link to your Tweet):