Returning to the Handmade Market is a local favorite (and ours, too), Tiny Peepers by the talented Kelly Smith. She screen prints everything by hand in her small home studio to create nostalgic and thoughtful gifts.
How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I think a successful business is one that works on all levels–it’s creative and enjoyable to have, it’s engaging but doesn’t take over your personal life, and it generates income. I started tiny peepers mostly as creative outlet, but now, four years later, it’s become an important part of my family’s financial support. Just by the nature of the business, sometimes it takes over my personal life, but usually it fits in really well with my family’s schedule.
When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. When work starts to get intense, I step back–I lay around and procrastinate for a while, eat potato chips, and read Tiny Buddha posts on Facebook. For some reason, this helps me refocus when the real crunch times come. I like managing the business side during the week, and the creative side when I have longer stretches of time on the weekends.
How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? I connect with others mostly through other makers who live here, but I also love meeting other artists at craft shows. There’s a WHOLE WORLD of fantastic artists and warm-hearted people out there. The added bonus of taking trips to new cities for work is the best!
Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? I’m *hoping* to have a new North Carolina design finished in time for the Handmade Market. It’s still in the early creative stages, so no sneak peeks yet!
What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? Lately I’ve been catching up on New Girl on Netflix and Hulu. I actually don’t watch much tv.
What city should you really live in? For now, I’m completely happy living in Raleigh, but it’s not yet able to support something I’m totally obsessed with–Tiny Houses. If I didn’t have two growing boys, I’d sell my fairly small house and build a tiny one. I can see myself doing this one day. Maybe I can rent out my current house, and put my Tiny House behind it and live in my own back yard! I think it’a growing movement that will continue to be more and more realistic as people yearn for a low/no mortgage lifestyle, free of excess clutter and full of doing what you love. Sounds divine to me.
We love to see Kelly’s beautiful smile all day at the Handmade Market and we think you will, too. Hopefully she’ll have that new North Carolina design ready to make its debut!