April 4, 2010

SPOTLIGHT Moments!

I am very excited to introduce a very Hip Chick WHOO
is guaranteed to bring a smile to you face and some spark into your creativity! Here she is Jenn Kautsch of Hippie Bliss!

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Jenn Kautsch. I have been married for almost 15 years to the most supportive man in the world. We have 2 children and a 14 yr. old dog(our Marley but better behaved!:-) I live in the country with beautiful sunsets, and wide open spaces. I got the name of my business, Hippie Bliss, because I I've always loved the FREEDOM that comes with creating and sharing that expression with others. I'm a t-shirt, jean, flip flop kinda girl who likes to laugh a lot and keep people guessing.

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? My inspiration is drawn from the ultimate artist Himself... the vibrant colors of the rainbow, the intricate detail of a flower, and the wonderful world of nature. When I think of beads, I think of candy. When I see a unique paper, I think of the most amazing fabric. Colors and textures are all around us, mainly in nature...sunsets, trees, and the ocean!! Honestly, I like the way I feel in a candy shop-I know that may sound strange! Have you ever stopped to notice the amazing art in a swirled lollipop or ribbon candy-I mean yummy and beautiful! I absolutely love contrast and pairing the unexpected. My matchboxes were born out of practicality... useful and artistic-good combo;-) The mixed media pieces come from a place of whimsy and/or deep reflection-I usually have on music and candles when I create! The one of a kind jewelry designs start with the pendant and then take off from there...I only buy beads that I love but I rarely know exactly how I will use them until they are "just the right". I figure if I love it, buy it, and it will always fit in!

What are your favorite materials? glitter, textured paper, ribbon, Mod Podge, Tacky glue, any kind of bead, vintage pendants found at flea markets

Any tips for selling handmade stuff? do excellent work...make it look handmade with amazing attention to detail rather than "homemade"--big difference! Just know that you are competing with goods that are made in mass volume and therefore low quality/cheap prices. Show people they get what they pay for!



Apart from creating things, what do you do? I home school my 4th and 6th grader...just been a "teacher" for a couple of years and it is so rewarding and challenging! This past year, I began Bikram yoga(the original HOT yoga) and I love it...breathe! I spend as much time outside as possible...one of my favorite places is the FW Botanical Gardens! I also am an avid reader and like to bake on rainy days!

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
painting of a storm on the beach from my mom, needlepoint stocking from my Aunt, and hand written love notes from my family.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy? jump in, keep learning, and have patience. The hardest part is getting started...once you do, just keep working at your business a little bit each day. Ask yourself, "What's one thing I can do today to help my business grow?". Stay focused and create a niche. Create a "name brand" for yourself(i.e.-logo or symbol that identifies you to others--in my case, OWLS!)...Keep it simple and have visual synergy between your creations. As others have said, take awesome photos...close-ups are best.

How do you promote your work? Etsy FW(of course), Facebook fan page--special offers and giveaways, I currently have items in a couple of retail/gallery opportunities, trunk shows, and good old "word of mouth"...create "raving fans" through customer service and going the "extra mile".

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc. My crafting kind of happens all the time. Usually I'm gathering materials(I love the hunt!), thinking about my next design, or actually in my "sweat shop"(i.e.-laundry room)--each step of the process brings its own joy. I'm one of those organized artist that might appear chaotic from the outside looking in. I've lost count of how many storage containers I have but I can always quickly find what I need;-)

What first made you want to become an artist?
interesting question. I think I was an entrepreneur before I was an artist. When I think back to the very beginning of my childhood creativity, I think of all the things I tried to sell...always the thrill of finding or creating something and then watching & waiting for others to respond;-) I've always enjoyed the challenge of display and marketing. In fact, that was my degree from Texas Tech! My husband and I also owned a retail store for 9 yrs.! I guess it's in my blood. The pinnacle of selling is someone buying something handmade...the process is still amazing to me--it's gone from my mind to someone willing to pay$$ for it--so flattering!! I deeply enjoy making something unique and one of a kind. I really can't imagine making the same the twice-so I don't.


Simply Lovely!
Thanks for the interview Jenn, can't wait to
see your next creation.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/HippieBliss
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/HippieBliss/145773377954?ref=ts

4 comments:

whoopsiedaisiesgal said...

Way to go Jenn! You're awesome and inspiring!

revel designs said...

Great to get to know you better!

Funky Finds said...

I enjoyed learning more fun facts about Hippie Bliss! :)

Crystal said...

I love this lady!
Truly one of the sweetest persons I know!!!