Kim Stewart of Poisoned Creations talks monsters, DIY, her mini-me and her new crafting forum. Poisoned Creations will be vending next at Hot Rods and Heels on May 15th!
Interview: Divertida Devotchka
1. You’ve been on Etsy since 2007, but when and how did Poisoned Creations actually begin?
I think being crafty runs in my blood. My grandmother on my mom’s side sews and crafts like no other. My grandfather on my dad’s side used to run sweater machines and would make sweaters, scarves, etc. Poisoned Creations began sometime before May of that year. I started making baby bibs, blankets, and burp cloths for my unborn twin nephews. I was also making dresses and skirts for my daughter. My friends seemed to love the non-traditional prints that I used so I started making items for their kids. They encouraged me to start selling them based on responses that they were getting from strangers.
2. What are some of your sources of inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my love of culture, tattoos, music, cars and burlesque. They all inspire my styles, colors and prints. They also drive my passion and are where my ideas flow from. Some ideas have actually come in my dreams.
3. You’re active in the hotrod, burlesque and art scenes in the Dallas area, correct? Of those, do you have a favorite specialty, or is that the whole reason you decided to bring all those elements together in your business?
My husband is a photographer for custom car magazines so I started vending at the car shows since we always seemed to be at them anyway. They usually have good crowds and they always seemed to appreciate my fabric choices. From there I made more local contacts and decided to add craft and art shows. Eventually, I shifted the focus of my shop and started doing clothing. Burlesque shows quickly became my favorite places to vend. Unlike car shows, even when the weather isn’t that great, the crowd is always big and you always have a great show to watch.
4. Can you tell me more about your project Poisoned Monsters?
My daughter saw a sock monkey and really loved it but didn’t like the color. Me being the DIY type, I took it to a new level using my own style. It took a few tries to perfect my pattern but it worked! They are a hit at shows, whether it’s for a child or an adult who happens to collect weird dolls. When I shifted focus of my shop they really didn’t fit in. So after I got the clothing and accessories store going, I started to work on the Poisoned Monster shop. I do regular monsters but also have a line of character monsters that include the punk rocker, zombie and hippie.
5. You were a vendor at Hotrods and Heels last year and your designs were featured in the fashion show. Care to share about your experience at the event?
Hotrods and Heels was an absolute blast! It was my first fashion show. I was paired-up with three fabulous models: Amber Deville, Rachael Sin and Dolly Dangerous. All three showed off my designs very well and each had their own unique look that was so perfect! I loved how the show had a mixture of everything. While the ladies shopped the men had cars outside to keep them entertained. It was truly a one of a kind show. I can’t wait to do it again this year!
6. Based on your Myspace and Etsy sites, it seems the “do it yourself” mentality is very important to you. Can you offer any suggestions for those who’d like to try DIY?
Many major companies aren’t being mindful of where their products are coming from or what’s being used in them and I think that has pushed the growth of the DIY movement. You no longer have to choose the big corporations and their mass made products. You can choose to buy quality, hand-made items made from the best materials. As for advice, I would simply say just get out there, practice and try something new. There are all kinds of DIY tutorials on the internet that can help you. In an effort to support the DIY scene, my friend Cindy from Angry Girl Gear and myself have partnered up and will be coming out with a DIY forum called Attack of the Craft. It goes live April 1st. Whether you DIY for fun, own a shop or you just love handmade items, it’s a place to talk, get advice, tips, or just hang out. It’s a community where everyone has at least one thing in common – their love for DIY. The website is http://AttackoftheCraft.com.
7. What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of being DIY?
The most challenging aspect of having a DIY business is time. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I work full time, have a daughter who’s in school and dance, travel with my husband when he’s doing photo shoots for magazines and I own my own business. It’s rough sometimes but I definitely wouldn’t change a thing. I adore being creative and making my own things. I do it all by myself but have the support of an awesome brother and sister-in-law who help me at shows. Other than that it’s a one woman shop.
8. How old is your daughter and does she have any involvement with your crafts? Are her interests similar to yours?
My daughter, Leila, is 10. She is very much my “mini-me.” When I do non-shop designs, she will pull up a chair next to me and try to help. She has her own crafts as well, from sewing felt stuffies, to screen printing (a kid’s screen printer) her own shirts, to making bubble magnets. She actually started selling bubble magnets at some of the shows that I have vended at in the past. She was so proud when people loved them and has even sold out at a few shows. She sometimes helps me package orders, pick out colors or fabrics and keeps me entertained while I sew.
9. Have you ever had any problems with someone copying your designs?
I have learned that people who copy will never succeed. They usually get bored and try to find the next “big thing” and move on. All you can do is improve your own product and keep on going.
10. What is your big picture goal for Poisoned Creations?
My big goal is to get my designs into shops around town and other cities. I have been concentrating on getting my name out there and working on my online presence.