Meet an artist who is new to The Handmade Market, Kristin Austin of bird + beau. bird + beau is a Raleigh, NC based jewelry biz. Kristin has found a wonderful, unique way to up-cycle wine corks into delicate, beautiful works of art.
How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I’m still relatively new at this, so I celebrate it all! Each sale, every social media mention, every show invitation, I am so thankful for. It’s so exciting and validating to be selected into shows such as The Handmade Market. To be included among some of the finest artists + handmakers of our region is a huge success to me! Having the ability to do something I love so much is quite a measure of success as well.
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. It depends on what I’m working on. I can hunker down and make, make, make sometimes — and I work pretty well under pressure, so that helps. However, when it comes to designs I’m creating for my site or new sketches, sometimes taking a step back helps me gain a new perspective and spark ideas.
How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? Both. I’ve met so many awesome folks at other art/craft shows, and we generally keep up with each other online, via Instagram most often. Some of them I’ve seen more often than others in the real world. I love supporting local and it’s so fun to get together with other creatives.
Is there a new item that you’d like to share? My newest collection has been really exciting me lately. I have been recycling wine corks by hand cutting them into faceted “gems” and using a few different methods of applying color or glitter. The neatest part, aside from being recycled, is that cork is so very lightweight and also really durable. No one else is doing anything along these same lines with cork (I checked!).
What’s your favorite tv show to binge-watch? Oh no … my husband and I just re-watched Breaking Bad, but when it’s just me at home or up working late, I put it on Gossip Girl. It’s silly, but it has become a guilty pleasure.
Which actor would play you in the movie version of your life? Emma Stone. She seems cool and laid back, and she’s funny, so I think I’d cast her.