1. Tell us a bit about yourself, your shop, and what brought you to the Etsy community.
Hi All :)
First I would like to thank Allison of Allysattic.etsy.com for inviting me to be this weeks Feature Friday, I was thrilled to be asked to participate.
My name is Kim Bauer I live in New Jersey and love walking the beach with my 5 kids. My shop is filling quickly with the Sea Shells we find during our hours of scouring. Even my youngest who is 3 gets to fill her bag with as many as she can carry. I have been with Etsy 7 months and have been having the best time. I first heard of Etsy through a friend who said her son had a shop here and for me to check it out, I was amazed at what I saw and have been addicted ever since.
Wow, what a question, what do I spend my days doing? Well, if I could, I would Etsy all day everyday. Recently my computer went down and I was without Internet for a few weeks and was going through Etsy Withdraw big time. I even started to wonder what I even did with my time before we even had a computer, which has only been about a year. After a few days went by and I realized it was "gonna be a while" before I got online again, I turn my attention to my Sea Shells and truly focused on them. It really was a blessing in disguise, I could concentrate and wasn't distracted by needing to lurk in the forums.
I also spend my days doing mounds of laundry and dishes, my husband is like my 6th child, even though school has started and we now only have 2 little ones home with us during the day, he is high maintenance. He is a fisherman and makes our living off of the Sea, and in a smaller way, so do I.
3. What sources do you draw your inspiration from and what is your creative process(es)?
I love the beach year round. We are on it all the time regardless of the weather, the best time for me to collect Sea Shells is after a storm. Last weekend Tropical Storm Danny past up the coast, and the weekend before that it was Tropical Storm Bill. The rough surf brings up the best Sea Shells. We bring them all home, clean disinfect and sort them. Ones that I find that arent up to being hand painted we put in our Sea Shell garden. I just started drilling holes in the Sea Shells, and will be listing ornaments and necklaces shortly. (remember that blessing I was talking about earlier)
4. What market (group of people) do you see your items being for?
Well, I think Sea Shells are for everyone, and since anything can be written on them and anything can be painted on them it is an open market. For years I have been leaving hand painted "I Miss You" Sea Shells at the graves/resting places of loved ones who have passed away, they are always there when I go back to visit, and folks who visit after me know I've been there. Mostly I enjoy painting the beach scenes, with the sand and the dunes, and a beautiful sky. Anyone who enjoys the view would appreciate the work involved, and enjoy these authentic ocean treasures.
5. Name your top three:
- Wow, it's been so long since I've read anything cover to cover, I do love to read and with the kids getting older I will put it back up on the "to do" list. I do enjoy anything by Sidney Sheldon, and a favorite to take to the beach would be ANYTHING by Jackie Collins!
- Music (song or artist)
My favorite is Rob Thomas of Match Box 20, his voice sings to my soul.
- Movies or Television Shows
- I am a fan of Rescue Me with Dennis Leary, my brother is a firefighter, he called me a few years ago and said "Kim, you gotta watch this show." I've been hooked ever since.
I am a huge fan of Do You Etsy, Chili Mango does has done an excellent job of making that site very user friendly, I linger there alot :)
I recently discovered the Lab Rats Blog, I love it, really well done I'm so happy to be a part of the team.
6. How do you market your work? What has or hasn’t worked for you in the past?
I talk about my Sea Shells where ever I go. I'm a chatter box at heart and can almost always find a way to talk about my Etsy Shop. I was at the market this morning and gave the cashier my card, we were talking about the weather and I said "Looks like I won't be going to the beach today" she said "I love the beach" so I told her about my Etsy shop :)
7. What do you like most about the Virtual Labs?
I like learning in the Virtual Labs, and listening to all the helpful advice. Alot of times I hold back because I can't type fast enough. I really should have paid more attention in typing class in high school. I wish I was as fast as some seem to be. Maybe I'll add typing to my "to do" list.
8. What topics or events would you like to see added to the Virtual Lab offerings?
I would like to see more Virtual Labs scheduled. With so many etsy shops that are here world wide, I'd like to pop in all times of the day or night and see something going on that I can participate in. The chats are OK, but that's where my typing skills are put to the test, and most days I just can't take that kinda pressure. . .
This was fun, thank you Allison, and all the Lab Rats team, lets all of us keep in touch