22 – Kristin Williams of Ephemera Paducah
Kristin Williams - Ephemera Paducah
Ephemera Paducah

Have you ever wanted a peek inside what it’s like to own an art retail store or workshop space? In this week’s episode, Laura and Nikki speak to someone who has done just that.

Kristin Williams has spent a lifetime playing with yarn, glitter, clay, rubber stamps, paper, paints and glue. Collage with ephemera and acrylic paints is Kristin’s current fascination and the basis for her artwork. A Knoxville, Tennessee native she moved to Paducah, Kentucky in 1996, where she fell in love and put down roots. Her business, Ephemera Paducah, is a culmination of years of dreaming about a creative venture and venue after spending decades in business consulting and economic development. Stocked with all the art supplies and chocolate you could ever want, her studio hosts workshops that attract instructors and students from all over the country.

Kristin is here to tell us about her transition from business consulting to mixed media maven and how her business has changed in the last year.

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Topics discussed

  • Kristin’s Startist story (2:07)
  • Getting advice from others in your field  (7:40)
  • Finding Ephemera Paducah’s gorgeous building (9:37)
  • Combining workshops and retail sales (11:29)
  • Attracting “rockstar” instructors (12:25)
  • Effects of COVID on in-person workshops and retail business (14:10)
  • Kristin and Seth Apter’s survey (19:38)
  • Online vs in-person workshops (21:31)
  • Kristin’s Ephemera Workshop Peeps and finding her tribe (26:29)
  • Her pivot to online sales and the creation of Sussies (32:34)
  • Adding a pop-up shop to the Ephemera Paducah website (36:09)
  • Creating a “concierge” workshop experience (42:42)
  • Plans for reopening (46:27)
  • Kristin’s advice for people just getting started (48:53)
  • Figuring out the best use of your money and marketing time (52:04)
  • Getting published in Where Women Create (57:37)
  • Bonus: Kristin’s husband’s Black Walnut Manhattan (we had to talk about bourbon!) (1:04:46)

john williams’ black walnut manhattan

Black Walnut Manhattan

Pour all together in a mixing glass and stir with ice for a 15 to 20 count. Strain into martini glass and garnish with brandied cherries. Alternatively, serve over a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

black walnut manhattan
Black walnut manhattan

Laura

0:07
Hi, this is Laura.

Nikki

0:08
And this is Nikki with the Startist Society, inspiring you to stop getting in your own way and start building an art biz and life that you love.

Laura

0:17
We are artists who believe strongly in the power of community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.

Nikki

0:31
Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.

Laura

0:38

Nikki, who are we talking to today?

Nikki

0:41

Laura, today we’re talking to my friend, neighbor and client, Kristin Williams, of Ephemera Paducah.

Laura

0:47

Kristin Williams has spent a lifetime playing with yarn, glitter clay, rubber stamps, paper, paints and glue. Collage with ephemera and acrylic paints is Kristin’s current fascination and the basis for her artwork. A Knoxville, Tennessee native she moved to Paducah, Kentucky in 1996, where she fell in love and put down roots. Her business, Ephemera Paducah, is a culmination of years of dreaming about a creative venture and venue after spending decades in business consulting and economic development. Stocked with all the art supplies and chocolate you could ever want, her studio hosts workshops that attract instructors and students from all over the country.

Nikki

1:30

Kristin is here to tell us about her transition from business consulting to mixed media maven and how her business has changed in the last year.

Nikki

1:38

Kristin, thank you so much for being here today and talking to us. We’re really excited to share your story with everybody.

Kristin

1:45
Thank you. I’m so excited to be here myself. I love talking about Ephemera Paducah and what we’re doing here.

Nikki

1:52
Awesome. So let’s start with some of your backstory. Tell us a little bit about what Ephemera Paducah is, and how you got to this place from the business life you started before.

Kristin

2:07
That is a long and winding tale. So I’ll try to shorten that up just a little bit. But Ephemera Paducah was my fantasy when I was really stressed out at work. I was recruited to Paducah in 1996; I worked in the field of economic development and I was recruited here to lead our local economic development efforts, which means calling on companies, creating an atmosphere that’s business friendly and working with existing industries to create new jobs. And when I would get really stressed out at night, I would fall asleep and I would dream of a place like this, that I could be in control of and not have a board of directors and not have to deal with mayors and not have to do all the stuff that I would do in my daily life. And being in economic development, the way one advances one’s career is to move to a larger city, a larger metro area, take on a bigger budget, and I didn’t want to do that. I had fallen in love, I had married…

Nikki

3:11
Hi John!

Kristin

3:11
I had fallen in love with Paducah. Hi John! Another dream I’d always had was consulting. So I ended up consulting for about 12 years. You all work for yourselves, you know how that is… Can you do this? Well, yeah, of course I can. So I worked with communities.

Nikki

3:31
Then you quickly figure out how to do it.

Kristin

3:33
You quickly figure out how to do it, or hire somebody who can. I did a lot of meeting facilitation, would write strategic plans for communities, and did a lot of that kind of stuff, which was fun for a long, long time. But it got kind of old, it got very lonely. In that line of work, I would spend maybe 90-95% of my time alone, the rest, you know you meet with your clients, produce a product, come back. And I was 48ish and dreading, absolutely dreading, turning 50 and I was on the road a lot. So all these things converged. I remember I was driving south of Nashville, I remember the exit and I always kept a big pad of paper and a Sharpie in my car when I was driving if I thought of something to lean over and make notes and this was before we could talk into our phones. And I was just really I was feeling yuck and sad and depressed and I still had this fantasy that if I was stressed out I would still kind of dream about this place. And that’s where Ephemera Paducah was hatched, and couple this with I’ve always loved to make art, I’ve always been crafty, I’ve always had to do something, but I never would let myself do something if my work wasn’t done. And since I was working for myself…

Nikki

4:43
It’s never done.

Kristin

4:54
My work was never done. About, I don’t know, five years prior to this, I started taking vacation days to go to art retreats. And that’s when the wheels really started churning. John and I would go on car rides, and I would just wear him out going, I think this could be a business thing. I think we could have, you know, people are coming here for the quilt show. And the first art retreat I went to was in Oregon and I took five or six classes day after day, I didn’t know a soul, it was pretty cliquey. I’m an extroverted introvert, you put me in a room full of people and I’m going to be hugging the wall looking for the one person I can have an in depth conversation with. And also, I came from that Chamber of Commerce background, and I was, the lady asked me, you know, if you have any ideas for how we can make this better, so I was I sent her a unabomber email. Why don’t you have different color theme tags for the new people? And why don’t you have a happy hour, where it’s more comfortable? And why don’t you arrange a lunch so that we’re not, you know, I just felt like the weird kid. And you know, fifth grade, you had no one to sit with. The art instruction was fantastic, but you’re also dumped in the middle of a city and in the middle of the day. It’s like, you know, you have three hours of class instruction, and just when you’re getting in the zone, they go, Okay, go find lunch, we’ll see you in an hour and a half.

Laura

6:29
Right. And when you’re alone, that’s tough, right?

Kristin

6:31
And then you’re alone, and then the stress of navigating a strange city and then to come back and get in the groove. So it was a mixed experience. I started going with a friend after that. Anyway, so mishmash together, background in economic development, Chamber of Commerce, grew up in a home where we entertained literally thousands of people a year, my dad was Chancellor of the University, so we had lots of people around, a mother who went into that hospitality mode as part of her job being the Chancellor’s wife, and being really dissatisfied with life and travel and needing something different. So I leaned over, and I wrote, you have got to get excited about turning 50. So I tell people, this is my 50th birthday present to myself, and that’s a really long intro for that. Sorry about that.

Nikki

7:21
That’s okay. It’s really interesting. Okay, so you had the idea. And then, so we know that you were thinking about it for quite a while. And the 50th birthday was the the jumping off point. But how did that transition happen?

Kristin

7:40
Immediately I started business planning. So each time I switched careers that dramatically, from Chamber of Commerce work to consulting, and then from consulting to Ephemera Paducah, I went and talked to people who were already doing it. And so before I was a consultant I interviewed, I spent over the course of a year probably, I interviewed 10 or 12 consultants who I admired.

Nikki

8:10
Smart.

Kristin

8:11
And just from basic things like how do you bill people? How do you keep track of your time? And there’s one consultant in particular named Kate McEnroe, and we’ll come back around to her name. But she is the hot-shit, economic development, site selection consultant. She gets the great deals. She’s demanding, she’s successful, she’s awesome. She was so kind to me, she hand me to her house in Atlanta, we had lunch. She likes to make art, and she is a quilter and all these things. And she gave me incredible advice that I use to this day, about work for yourself how to work from home. So I did that. And then before I opened this shop I talked to again, same kind of thing. And I had that economic development background, so it’s no big deal for me to pick up the phone and go, Hey, or make an appointment. Can I have an hour of your time? I want to ask how you do these things. So before Ephemera Paducah I was talking to some of those artists, like how do you charge and how do you get paid? And what are you looking for when you’re looking to teach? And just collected a whole lot of information. There was some business planning software online that I used and I don’t think I’ve looked at it since.

Kristin

8:22
But it helped you get your thoughts together.

Kristin

9:28
It helped shape what needs to be done when and how much money did I need for startup and you know, things like that?

Nikki

9:37
Well and let’s talk real quick about the beautiful space that you’re in.

Kristin

9:42
The beautiful space that I’m in. So that was part of the process as well. I knew I needed a physical location for this adventure. And I looked at a number of places in Paducah. I knew the workshop space needed to be much larger than the retail space because I do not like that when you go to a retreat and you have this much space to work.

Nikki

10:05
It’s all the retail space.

Kristin

10:07
Yeah. And people will suffer it because they’re invited and they’re there. But I want to make the experience something different for folks.

Nikki

10:14
And my good friends Karen and Steve Utz had this beautiful building in Lowertown Paducah, the arts district, that they built to be their home upstairs and her art studio and gallery downstairs. And you contacted them. They weren’t even thinking about selling yet.

Kristin

10:35
No, I contacted her and that was a bad year for her and through Patience Renzulli who was visiting every week to help with some things. And word came back of, you know, we’re not really interested in, I asked if I could just rent the downstairs. And they said, we’re not interested in renting it, but we might be interested in selling you the building. And I’m like, okay, and I had looked at a number of buildings, and everything else was a huge renovation project. And the building is great for the workshop space. It is really not the best for a retail. I don’t get walk in retail. It’s one of those I wish I had it sometimes, but I’m glad I don’t sometimes, you know, because it’s an odd store. People really don’t know what to do with half the stuff in here.

Nikki

11:23
Right. And it’s in a mostly residential neighborhood, not in the downtown area.

Laura

11:29
I would say that a lot of your retail could be tailored to the people who are coming for the workshops anyways.

Kristin

11:34
They shop like drunken sailors. I mean, that’s when I make my money. Yeah, they’re on vacation, they have vacation money. The teacher shows I have this. What’s that pen, I must have that pen!

Laura

11:47
Yeah, I’ve done that.

Kristin

11:49
Yeah, I’ve gotten a whole lot smarter about that. One of the first classes I had was Sonny Carvalho, who’s just lovely. And I met her from going to retreats. And she was doing some drawing and had a pen, and said, I really like this pen. And everybody would look at me, and I’m like, yeah, it probably would have been smart to ask you about that and stock it.

Nikki

12:09
But now you do.

Kristin

12:11
Now I do and there’s a list, that big list. Yes. Tell me exactly what you’re going to be showing.

Nikki

12:17
So let’s talk, you mentioned a name, let’s talk about some of the amazing instructors that you’ve had come through.

Kristin

12:25
Well, I call them my rockstar instructors. And they are, there’s a very, in any hobby, there is a community of people that you’re in awe of, right. And so again, I had no shame and just calling and asking and saying, hey, do you want to teach here? And they check, they have their own little, they check each other, they know, you know, we talk, you know, I talk among other venue owners of Oh, this guy, you know, don’t do that.

Nikki

12:59
And then I’m sure the instructors do the same about the venue spaces. Everybody’s checking everybody out.

Kristin

13:04
They do the exact same thing about the venue space. Marybeth Shaw, who owns StencilGirl Products has been here a number of times.

Nikki

13:12
And we’re gonna have her on the podcast, too.

Kristin

13:16
Seth Apter, you know, Mr. Mixed Media. Melanie Morris, Rae Missigman, if it all works out this year, supposed to be coming this year. Really, each year, up until last year, last four years, I’ve averaged maybe what 10 or 12 visiting instructors. And I try to space those out about three weeks apart, at least, so that we’re not competing for people’s time and money in the same, you know, they can’t turn around and come back and do two weekends.

Nikki

13:48
And then I’ve noticed some growth in your teaching experience. You started out just doing like little brief an hour or two here and there or like an open studio to work on things. And as Ephemera Paducah has grown, your teaching has grown and you’re doing bigger and more elaborate courses yourself now, which is great to see.

Kristin

14:10
And you know, I was so excited a year ago, January. Because I felt like I had finally gotten the perfect calendar. So instead of teaching, I still do like an art journaling series that will last about six weeks, and it’s an afternoon but I’m here anyway and that kind of helps fill the day. But I thought no, I actually make the most money when I teach, because I get the double phenomenon of getting paid and then the shopping on the weekend. So I scheduled me teaching before or after every national teaching instructor and actually got some feedback on that, that people were, I was competing with myself because people didn’t want to, they want to take one of my classes, but a class was scheduled too close, so I need to think about that again. That it was Filling up nicely. And I had one class that I did like that, built in March, middle of March. It was an art journaling two day art journaling class. And then it shut down for the year and I was not…

Nikki

15:11
Was that the last one that you did?

Kristin

15:13
Yes. Last year, I was able to have Kate Thompson…

Nikki

15:17
Which I was in, which was amazing. Yes.

Kristin

15:20
She has amazing stuff. And then me the next weekend, and then it’s been crickets ever since. So anyway, but no, it’s been fun. And I’ve gotten a lot more confidence teaching and people are asking me and it’s parlayed its way into some online, I haven’t done a whole lotta online teaching but a few, a video with Nathalie Kalbach, I was in Jumpstart, Creative Jumpstart this year. And that was great.

Laura

15:51
So tell me a little bit about how because you own a product-based business and also a teaching business that’s bringing in traveling artists. How did COVID impact you last year? And how did you pivot when everything happened come March? So you said that last workshop happened around March timeframe. Share with us what happened after that?

Nikki

16:11
What happened after that March, Oh, shit, now what?

Kristin

16:14
Oh, shit, now what. So I’m very fortunate, because I really feel like I just went into hibernation. The way I changed my registration fees a couple years back really, really, really helped with cash flow. So when someone, I do this thing where you pay $99 and it holds your spot, and then the rest of the money comes, you know, generally about 45 days before the start of class. So when I get paid for, and I know when I have a class, I’m going to have to write a big check to a teacher. And then I’m also going to have to buy product before that class, so I have what they need. And you know, that game of how much do I buy and what are they going to buy, that kind of stuff. So I’ve had, for years, I’ve had a sweep account, where I know I can’t spend this money. So, this goes over here and I just don’t even look at it. But I know the $99 is essentially my profit off of the class registration fee. So I know what I can spend. So I swept a lot of money aside, and we own the building, so that’s nice. And my biggest expenses are when I have classes. I buy lunches, I buy the product, I pay the teacher. So really, it’s just very minimal expenses when I don’t have classes going on. So it you know, it hurt, and it’s been a weird kind of year, but I’m ready to come back out of it. So when we went through a couple of different gyrations, like everybody else, we thought, oh, surely by the fall this will be over. So I started rescheduling classes to farther in the year, kicking it down the road. And unfortunately there were a couple of people early that got rescheduled more than once. And then June 1, I just thought no, this is done.

Nikki

18:17
The year is shot.

Kristin

18:18
I just did the entire year, and cut, and lots of communication with the students. And if someone wanted a refund, I gave a refund and was able to because I had that sweep account. Other places were not you know, their cash flow is different. And they were stuck. I mean, they had already spent the money they got from the class fees, anticipating that next round of income when they came and did all that. So June 1, I just rescheduled everybody. And my next class is June 2021.

Nikki

18:53
And you pretty much just took, didn’t you take your schedule from from 2020 and say, Okay, we’re just going to change the year.

Kristin

19:01
Yep! And I haven’t put me on there yet. I need to re up but I just had my first shot Monday.

Nikki

19:09
Me too.

Laura

19:10
Oooh, congratulations!

Kristin

19:12
So April 5, two weeks after that, I’ll feel comfortable teaching again. But yeah, I just read redid, and then I only let Seth was teaching, but he had already scheduled into 2021, he schedules about two years out. And I don’t know if he’s gonna come this year or not. It’s just kind of total right question mark. He holed up, he didn’t leave his apartment building for like 90 days or something.

Laura

19:38
Well, I think one of the smart things that you did when all of this started was that you and Seth got together and did a survey. Right?

Nikki

19:47
Yeah, we want to talk about the survey for sure.

Laura

19:50
I’m curious about that process. I know that the data is a year old now. But I am curious about you know what prompted you to go Okay, this is something I need to do.

Kristin

20:01
Well, part of that’s my nature. I have a master’s in planning, I used to do a ton of survey work. And I’m anxious now too, as far as what the next steps are. But talk about anxiety last year of Oh my god, what do we do? And Seth and I were on a just a friend Zoom call together, and he mentioned he was doing a survey and what you’re doing a survey, I’m doing a survey, let’s combine forces. And so we did just to ask about, you know, When do you want to start having classes? And we did it in May, and then we repeated it, I think in August. But it was great information, just to understand, that survey really helped me make the decision. Nobody’s coming to a class in 2020…

Nikki

20:47
Everybody’s still scared.

Kristin

20:49
Yeah. And in retrospect, it really there were a few venues that tried it that I think people you know, you could, you’ve done survey work and you know, that the early on, especially the ones that were saying, Oh, it’s a hoax. I don’t want to do this. Yeah, that’s, you know, I don’t believe it. That’s the ones you really didn’t want to have in your class.

Nikki

21:11
Right? They’re the ones spreading it. We’ll link to the survey results so that people can see it. But let’s talk about just like a couple of the one or two main takeaways from it and what you might think is different now. And are you thinking about maybe doing another survey?

Kristin

21:31
Well we talked about that just the other day. I don’t think we’re going to do another survey to answer that question. Seth has a group and he posted a question in there, When are you ready to come back to class? And it was all over the board. Well, I haven’t studied it, but it looked like a third were ready now. A third would be ready as soon as they feel fully vaccinated. And then a third said, now they’re not coming back ever. And they’re worried about the travel and the unintended consequences of COVID has been people like Seth has done amazing. People who have turned, who… you can’t take a two hour class from Seth after in real life. If you’re gonna take a class from Seth, it’s a three day weekend. And you’re looking at, you know, with travel and class fees, and everything else couple thousand dollars. Now, you could do it cheaper than that, but let’s just, you know. So he started teaching online. So two hours, 25 bucks. 600 people doing it? So people have really embraced, so the second surveys showed so much more than the first one people really embracing the online learning. And what I don’t know is that my assumption is that as soon as those gates open, and people can have in person instruction again, we’re going to be overwhelmed.

Nikki

23:04
I think so because…

Kristin

23:06
I think people miss it so much. Now, yeah, I’ve taken some online classes, it’s been great. You can sit there in your pajamas, you don’t have the travel, all those costs involved. But a lot of people who really poo-pooed online learning embraced it this past year.

Laura

23:22
And I would agree with that, because I used to teach in person workshops once a month. And then I moved to Zoom. And I’ve also developed an online class recently. But people are craving that connection. So Zoom is the closest they can get at the moment, and they’re okay with Zoom. But they’re all like, man, as soon as we can get back into a room together, they want that. And I think the challenge is being able to do that safely, you know, finding new ways to do that safely.

Nikki

23:53
I love online learning and I love not leaving my house and not putting pants on. But I also have felt that isolation too. And I love getting in a weekend workshop and just immersing myself in that, that I can’t do on a Zoom because my day to day work is calling me when I’m sitting at home doing it when I leave and go somewhere else, even if it’s just to your place, which is two blocks from my house, I can let the day to day stuff go and really immerse myself in it. So I think I think there’s going to be room for people to to change their business so that maybe it’s half and half.

Laura

24:34
And the other thing I want to say is that the type of classes that you are hosting are ones where I think you get just as much benefit from seeing everybody else’s work and what they’re doing, like when you’re working on it, like especially mixed media and stuff like that, because it sparks ideas. And if you’re sitting on a Zoom call, you can’t see somebody else’s table.

Nikki

24:53
You’re just watching one person demo.

Laura

24:55
Yeah, you’re watching the one person demo. So there’s that community aspect but I think you learn from the other students sometimes, too, so.

Kristin

25:02
Exactly. Well, there’s just nothing like that, you know, fourth hour into a workshop where everybody’s calmed down and quiet and in the zone. And I, I work and create so much better if there’s just another living being in the room, it’s weird. I can get so much more busy work done if I’ve got a studio helper here doing stuff, because I just can’t, you know, dick off and watch Netflix down here with somebody…

Nikki

25:36
Well, with strategic positioning and headphones….never mind.

Kristin

25:43
You’re working, I’m paying you so oughta do something to pay for you.

Nikki

25:45
Right, definitely.

Kristin

25:48
So I can do some things that I create really well by myself. But then there’s some again, I think I do better work or I learn a whole lot better around some other folks, looking at other folks. And the building of the tribe, the biggest unintended, the thing that I didn’t anticipate at all was this whole new group of friends and people and experiences that have just so enriched my life. My world was was pretty, you know, I don’t know, it’s just been fantastic doing this.

Nikki

26:29
Let’s talk about that because I know that, from my experience taking workshops there, you have a set of people who just keep coming back and take more workshops. And you’ve formed a Facebook group for your workshop peeps.

Kristin

26:45
My peeps!

Nikki

26:46
Yeah, so talk about that a bit.

Kristin

26:49
The most interesting thing is, when I – not the most, but when I opened up Ephemera Paducah, I advertised locally, I was in Paducah Life, I was buying ads. And I just assumed, you know, Paducah, McCracken County, Western Kentucky would go oh my god, finally, a mixed media workshop and supply store. I think I have five local clients. Nikki being one of them.

Nikki

27:20
You’re kind of in a good geographic place, because there’s not much around so you’re going to attract people…

Kristin

27:29
Well, it’s it’s really there’s a couple of things that I have figured out. So early on, I tried to be everything to everybody. So I would do project oriented classes where you come make a wreath and you come do this and I felt that it was not a good fit for me because it was people who don’t make art on a regular basis. And so it was challenging for them. And it was stressful. And so it might be a group of friends and everybody’s happy but one person is not and they would suck all the time out of and energy out of the room. So I quit doing that stuff, you know. And then I focused really on my tribe, which is people who leave, what I say is when you come take a class at Ephemera Paducah, my students go home and make art afterwards. It’s not waiting until they can go make another reef somewhere.

Laura

28:24
They’re learning that techniques to take home.

Kristin

28:26
They’re learning the techniques, they’re making them their own. So 95% of my students come from, drive in from at least three hours away, if not further. I mean, St. Louis, Atlanta. I get a lot of students from there, Lexington…

Laura

28:41
I know people from Texas who have come.

Kristin

28:46
Dina Wakley is such a huge name and she draws people from all over. I had two ladies from Alaska. I wish I had a big map because I think I have hit every state. And I started realizing this and I’m like I call the tourism, going well hey, you want to know my numbers? It is a it is a destination instead of… and then I have people I always say I’m open by chance or appointment. What my gateway drug to this was rubber stamps. I was a card maker galore. I loved…

Laura

29:19
I used to design for Hero Arts Rubber Stamps.

Kristin

29:21
Oh, I love rubber stamp, I still have every rubber stamp I’ve ever owned. They’re taking up half of the supply room because I can’t get rid of them. John has driven me, anytime we would go to a new city of course you’re looking up, Is there a rubber stamp store? And you know, Viva Las VegaStamps and Stampa Rosa and so he would just sit out in the car and I’d be in there you know? So Ephemera is like that for a lot of folks. This is a good stopping point. People are planning trips to stop here and shop on the way to Florida or back or up to… so it is a destination. And like I said, I may have 10 local clients but, and people who do take the same classes over and over and it is lovely. It is just absolutely lovely.

Nikki

30:09
Well, let’s also mention real briefly, you don’t just have new art supplies in the shop, you have a lot of actual ephemera, you have vintage things that you find in junk stores and antique places along the way. So I mean…

Kristin

30:25
That is fun to do, and toolboxes galore.

Nikki

30:28
I think I may I think I may have one or three toolboxes that I got from you.

Kristin

30:36
Finally priced the red ones that I wouldn’t sell the red ones for the longest time.

Nikki

30:40
She was hogging the red toolboxes.

Kristin

30:42
I charge out the ass for them. If you’re going to buy a red toolbox, you’re going to pay for it.

Nikki

30:46
Everything has a price.

Kristin

30:48
Everything has a price. Yeah, I try to… curate is probably an overused word, but I try to stock things that you are not going to find, most of the stuff you will not find in Hobby Lobby or Michaels, you know it is… the full line of golden acrylic paints, the golden heavy bodied acrylics. All Seth Apter’s new stuff from Aladine, which comes from France, the Paper Artsy paints now coming from France, and the things that you’re going to walk in and not find other places, and Ephemera, so again, because of the collage and the mixed media aspect and everything else, then and then some fiberarts as well. Sara Renzulli, who owns, she’d be a great one to interview Sara…

Nikki

31:32
She’s on my list.

Kristin

31:33
She’s fantastic. She has grown that business like nothing I’ve ever seen. She started about when I did. And she has just blown it out of the water with needle felting. And she’s taught here a number of times. So yeah, it’s a fun… I say, we have that we have had the quilt show, we’re not having it this year, we didn’t have it last year. But like, I don’t know, they say 25/30,000 quilters descend upon Western Kentucky. And you’ll have more women walk in and one of them’s just the fun mixed media person who’s along for the ride. And three of them will go Oh, what is this place? And one will go…

Nikki

32:14
Give me everything!

Laura

32:17
It’s a kid in a candy shop, right?

Kristin

32:19
Yeah. And you know when someone walks in whether or not they get it or not like okay, you’re my customer. You three go on, she’ll catch up. Yeah.

Laura

32:27
So is your store currently open?

Kristin

32:31
By chance or appointment is what I’m saying. Yeah.

Nikki

32:34
But let’s also talk about all the things that you’ve brought online since this all happened. So I know that you started with what you call Sussies.

Kristin

32:44
Sussies!

Nikki

32:44
So let’s tell let’s tell about those.

Laura

32:47
What is a sussie?

Kristin

32:48
Oh yeah, a sussie. So back in April, I was in my shop and I thought, well, I just need to do a Facebook Live. And I just started talking and I said, I’m going to show you what’s in the shop on Facebook. And so we wandered all around. And I said, you know, and my mother. So I credit my mother with a lot of stuff. She was an incredible craftswoman. She could knit a sweater in three days, she did any kind of arts and crafts all the time. And so if we were, I remember being five or six at Woolworth’s and I would ask for a new doll and she would go no. But if I asked for the loom where you may potholders, I could get any art supply I could get, or art classes. And she, but then she discovered later in life QVC and all those things. She loved to shop. In my 20s and early 30s I would be on the phone with her and I’d be having a bad day at work or mad at a boyfriend or just you know, feeling ugly. And my mother would go oh Krissy, do you need a little sussie? And I would go, Well, yes, yes, I need a little sussie. And about three or four days later something would show up in my mailbox and it could be a purse or and outfit or something. But she would go buy me something to make me feel better.

Nikki

34:18
Where did that word come from?

Kristin

34:20
It’s a it’s a southern thing, I think. It’s just a little gift. A friend of mine use it too if they’d go on vacation and they’d bring sussies back for everybody. You know how you bring gifts back from your vacation.

Laura

34:31
Little surprise gifts.

Kristin

34:32
Little surprise gift. So I asked my Facebook friends and I said all right, do you need a little sussie? And so overwhelmingly, I mean…

Nikki

34:42
The answer was yes.

Kristin

34:43
Yes. I think in April and May I sent out like 100 sussies. So I said give me a price range. And tell me a few things about what colors you like, what aesthetic you have, blah, blah, blah. And if I was smart, I would have written down what I’ve sent everybody, but I was not that smart. But, um, part of it though, is it’s nice because I feel like I know my customers. And yeah, a lot of the people asking for sussies I’ve met, and they’ve been here for classes, and I know what classes they’ve taken. So I’ll put together a box of stuff. And then you know how it is, you always want a little something extra. So I would make up you know, little packets of collage papers or charms or something, just a little something extra. And I always write a note and it looks pretty. And people get sussies. So on my website, now you can order a sussie.

Laura

35:41
I think that’s probably just as much fun for you as it is for them, to like put it all together.

Kristin

35:47
Yeah, it really is fun to put together. Yeah.

Nikki

35:50
And it helped make up somewhat for people not being able to come in and shop

Kristin

35:54
It was very nice, yeah, it was some nice income. And then I did that and then I tried Facebook sale, which was successful, but so much work between, oh my gosh…

Laura

36:07
So what does a Facebook sale mean?

Kristin

36:09
In past years, I would do them at Christmas time, where I’d have bundles of stuff. And in a Facebook Live, I would show it and say the price and then someone would say sold. And then you have to like track ’em down and get the money and get the address and ship it up and mail it out. Then in August or so I took pictures of everything I wanted to sell and I always do bundles, I’ve resisted doing picking just because I want to sell more at one time. And I want a larger sale for all that effort. So I would bundle stuff and take pictures and then people just right sold on the Facebook post. So I had some like some Paper Artsy paints that I was worried about this, you know, we really need to be using these paints and I want to get a fresh batch of paints. And so I discounted those. All my Paper Artsy was sold in August, and then I restocked in December. But then Nikki and I started working together for an actual online shop.

Nikki

37:13
Originally, I designed and built Kristin’s current website for Ephemera Paducah. And since we launched that, I don’t remember how many years ago that was.

Kristin

37:23
2015 or 16?

Nikki

37:24
Yeah, something like that. So since then, we’ve been doing all of the workshop registration online, but not selling retail because you were concerned about having things online versus having them in the shop and managing inventory and not wanting to sell like just individual pieces here and there. But once you started, once you weren’t having the workshops, and you started doing these bundles. And it was a pain to do on Facebook. We started talking about how we could bring that online and do them online and synchronize it with your with your inventory in the shop versus on the website. So now…

Kristin

38:03
Well, that was a big thing last year because that we transition from Talech to Square, which allowed us to do that, and that needed to happen. Yeah.

Nikki

38:11
Yeah. So now now Kristin can sell these online through the website and not through Facebook. And that avoids all the…

Kristin

38:19
Oh my gosh now and then you have it tied into Pirate Ship and WooCommerce and they all talk and then it’s like okay, print. So much better! Lord have mercy.

Nikki

38:32
A little more work a little more work up front. But then once it’s set up now, now it’s just…

Laura

38:38

Kristin, I totally get it because I was teaching my workshops and selling everything via email, and then they would come back and then I would say what’s your shipping address? And then I mean, and literally doing everything through PayPal manually. And now I’m using WooCommerce like you and it’s just like, Oh, I can print a shipping label after they’ve ordered it. It’s like amazing.

Kristin

38:58
Yes, I’ve bought the cute little printer, the label printer. I have a new scale. I had this janky-ass scale, I mean the glue was gone, so you had to like… for two years I’d been weighing packages… I’d looked at it was $24, so I treated myself to a new scale.

Nikki

39:20
Yeah, some of the shipping companies will give you a free scale when you sign up with them.

Kristin

39:27
Yeah, no. So now I feel like the USPS back here so let me tell you. So the shop, yeah, Nikki and I had to we were like this a little bit on the shop because finally I said no, no, no, I do not want everything on my shop online. And so I call it a pop up shop. So I will populate it at different times. But I think that also builds anticipation and excitement.

Nikki

39:54
Scarcity.

Kristin

39:56
Scarcity. I did something with Seth recently, he had Aladine he had 12 independent shops who he promoted, and they can pre-order his new texture and some of his new products that just came out. So I was part of that snd that was nice to have that. And but then I’ve taken it down, because I need to recount and figure out what I got and put it back up.

Nikki

40:22
Yeah, so now you have the ability to, you have everything in place. So Kristin likes to travel and leave town a lot. So when she’s not going to be around, she just.

Kristin

40:35
I just take it down.

Nikki

40:36
She shuts the shop down temporarily, builds up that suspense for the next time she’s going to be opening it. And then she says, Hey, new products in the shop.

Kristin

40:44
Here we go here.

Laura

40:46
Yeah, I love that and then I assume that you have also built an email list over time with all the people that have taken your workshops that you can then tell them about the products, right?

Kristin

40:56
I have and I am. I used to be, I was a pretty good once a month or if maybe 10 times a year kind of thing. And now I have been so bad this year, mainly because I’m a little flat footed as what do you say? You know, I’ve emailed a few times saying okay, this is what’s happening. I emailed about the you know, if I was opening back up the shop, but it’s been… I need to get one out like yesterday, and let people shop for the next couple weeks because I’m in town and let that happen. But yeah, I need to, there’s all this long list of things I need to do and that being a better email or is one of them.

Laura

41:37
Oh, well, me as well, so you’re not alone.

Kristin

41:41
As I went through my, I think what happened to the email with the instructions… I had let my inbox get up to 10,000 emails. So I’ve been deleting a lot of stuff lately. But as I went through, I’m like, you know, is this where my emails are? I don’t want to over, you know, I’m very conscious not to spam folks and write too much. So yeah, that’s my big issue.

Laura

42:01
Well, people want to hear from you. Because you have an amazing product, you offer something unique that they can’t get at a box store. You’re also offering amazing teachers from all around the country. I know Melanie Morris was one of the ones on your list that’s coming and I actually took her workshop in Dallas when she came through Dallas. And that was amazing. The Fearless Florals workshop was so much fun. So knowing that you can go to this awesome space and you know, participate with other people. You know, once we get past this difficult stage that we’re all in. It’s unique and I want to get emails like that, you know, let me know what the new things are. So we have to get past her own mindset sometimes of not wanting to annoy everybody.

Kristin

42:42
And that, so just a kind of a dogleg conversation, when the space, when you take a workshop here there’s certain, I have a level of expectation for what your experience will be like. And the things that are important to me are a lot of communication upfront. Pretty much a concierge experience. I will tell people where to get dinner reservations. We will have one night out with everybody and the teacher whoever wants to go. And in particular, I will… we have great local restaurants. For a town our size it’s amazing, the quality of food you can get here in Paducah. So I have a great, I have probably what is it 2000 square feet Nikki or at least 19/1700 square feet of studio space. And then there’s a patio, in the back. Beautiful patio, I have lots of seating out there. So food is included, your day food is included in your registration fee.

Nikki

43:41
And not just lunch. Kristin will make a different spa water every day, you’ll have like cucumber and mint or citrus and…

Laura

43:52

Kristin, you don’t miss any details do you?

Kristin

43:54
No, no, they are very important. I grow herbs in the back and that goes into the spa water.

Nikki

43:58
Bowls and bowls of chocolate.

Kristin

44:00
Chocolate is an art supply at Ephemera Paducah and always a healthy alternative. There’s always fruit, but nobody ever eats the apples. They just languish.

Nikki

44:11
Coffee and tea all day. Yeah, yeah, she does a really beautiful job.

Laura

44:18
But that makes it so special, right? And it takes that a worry, because I know when I go to workshops, personally, a lot of times I even want to like almost work through lunch. If I’m really going on something, I don’t want to be away for like two hours or an hour or whatever.

Kristin

44:32
I hate that. I mean, no, you just lose… We’ll stop for lunch and you get to order your lunch, unless it’s a really big class. And you’ll still have options for a buffet but we ordered…and I’ve learned ahead of time to get your order and I’ll get that to the right place and 9 times out of 10 it works great and it shows up on time. But you can wolf down your lunch and get back to your work if you want and the teacher.

Nikki

44:59
And if the weather is nice you sit outside and longer over it.

Kristin

45:02
And he or she will decide how much time they want to take. And so we mentioned the Utz’s lived upstairs. So the second floor of the building is called The Loft. And when I first bought the building, I had tenants, I had two different sets of tenants longer term. And they, oddly enough, they were all attorneys. Yeah, at least one person in each family was an attorney. And then they each adopted children, while they lived up there. And there’s this long, scary stairway, I would not be hauling stuff up and down that stairway with the baby.

Nikki

45:41
Little kids, uh uh. But it’s such such a beautiful space up there.

Kristin

45:46
It’s a beautiful space, it’s amazing. So I furnished it. I want to say what, three or four years ago, days or years of blending together.

Nikki

45:55
It’s been a while.

Kristin

45:56
I can offer a private room up there to the teacher, which cuts down on their costs. And then I can rent out the beds or somebody can rent the whole loft for the workshop and have their friends in there. And then it’s on Airbnb in non-COVID time. So

Laura

46:14
Oh, that’s awesome. It sounds so fun, I wanna come.

Kristin

46:20
Come on, let’s do it, let’s do it.

Nikki

46:21
Soon as those workshops open up again, yeah, you need to come for one, Laura.

Laura

46:25
That’d be so fun.

Kristin

46:27
It’s in flux, and hope. So if this is four weeks away, then I will have talked to all of my teachers before this. My plan is if I’ve been vaccinated, and the teacher has been vaccinated, we’ll host the class. And we’ll follow whatever CDC guidelines are in place at the time. And I’m assuming the social distancing will still be important. So, I’m going to ask the teachers to consider if they’ll add days on either end. And so it’s a if it’s two day class, they’ll teach for four days, and we’ll split it into two groups.

Nikki

47:02
Oh nice, yeah.

Kristin

47:04
Or if they we can extend it a day for a two day class and have a morning session. Kick everybody out, clean have an evening, afternoon session. Really what it’s up to their stamina

Nikki

47:16
The place is big enough that you can still have a reasonable number of people in there, each at their own table.

Kristin

47:23
We could have 12 and everybody would have their own table, and that would be six feet apart. Technically, yeah. And a couple of years ago, I put in an overhead projection system.

Nikki

47:34
Yeah, that’s helpful.

Kristin

47:36
A camera so you don’t have to huddle around the teacher.

Nikki

47:40
Because everybody always cramp in close to watch.

Kristin

47:44
Then there’s a screen and it works really well. We had a very crowded, Seth and MaryBeth put together a couple of years ago. And they used it and it was so nice, because it was a huge class and a crowded class and everybody could see. So.

Nikki

47:58
Great.

Laura

47:59
Very cool. So one of the questions we have, you know, a lot of our audience are people who are just starting out. And looking back on all of everything that’s happened, you know, and kind of where we’re at right now, what is some of your advice and maybe some resources that you think have been really helpful for you to get to where you are today? For people who are starting out?

Nikki

48:22
And also, well, a lot of people are like, like all of us who have had corporate careers, have always done art but maybe put it on the back burner and are trying to make that transition from the corporate world to starting their own thing.

Laura

48:38
Exactly.

Nikki

48:39
What advice would you give somebody to really make that leap?

Kristin

48:43
You asked the wrong question. You’re gonna get a lot of data dump here.

Nikki

48:46
No, that’s good. We like that. We like that. We’re left brain/right brain people. So we like that.

Kristin

48:53
The story that I tell, folks, my background was economic development, right. I have a master’s degree in planning. I love planning. I love looking ahead all this. And actually one of the things, I’ve done a lot of volunteering for different things here in Paducah, and I actually led a think tank on entrepreneurial development. Or I was 12 to 18 months where I, and I had a co chair but he and I would you know we put together these really smart people in our community to talk about how can we foster more entrepreneurial development in Paducah/McCracken county and that and I don’t know if Nikki, you remember EntrePaducah was the brainchild of that.

Nikki

49:38
Yeah, of course.

Kristin

49:38
And then as different people came in and out of the economic development group, it was raised and lowered in importance. And now what Monica and Suzanne are doing is a lot of what was in there. So when I opened up my business, I was rather arrogant and I thought I know…

Nikki

49:53
I know everything!

Kristin

49:55
I led a think-tank on entrepreneurial development. Three here, oh, yeah, no. Yeah, three years, three years before you start making a profit.

Laura

50:06
You have to be prepared.

Kristin

50:07
You have to be prepared. The other thing and so what I tell people is I understood, within six months, I knew exactly why so many small businesses fail. And they do fail it a remarkable, the number that make it out of a year is just, I forget… I don’t know the current statistic, but you know, it’s like, 75% fail, it’s, it’s a ridiculous number. And my analysis is, you have to know what the most important thing for you to do that day is. So you just absolutely have to know…

Nikki

50:45
Your next best step.

Kristin

50:47
Your next best step. And then I will ask myself, is this gonna make you money? Really, really, is this gonna make you know, it would be great… there’s this wonderful piece down at Frenchtown Station, with all the little cubbies. I don’t know if you saw it yesterday, but I’m like, is that gonna sell more paint? I know you want it but is it gonna sound more paint? So you have to, I understand why you default to a comfort zone or default to something that makes you feel accomplished, like cleaning your shop, or sweeping your walk or doing a comfort level thing.

Nikki

51:22
Procrastiworking.

Kristin

51:22
Procrastiworking, and a comfort zone working and not doing what is the most important thing for you to do that day. So that’s one is the, it’s gonna take a while to make money. Two, you’ve got to figure that out extremely quickly. And the thing that I didn’t do enough of early on, when I felt like I was kind of limping along, was knowing where to invest. Because you do have to spend some money to make money.

Nikki

51:53
Right? And you’ve got to figure out where the best use of those dollars is.

Kristin

51:57
Yes.

Laura

51:58
So what did you find? What was your answer to that? Like, what areas do you think are important to invest in?

Kristin

52:04
Yeah, the Sunny Carvalho example. I’m a cash flow girl, I can look at my checking account and understand how much money I have, and how much I’m going to have to spend on a teacher or have that sweep account. And I was afraid to go into any more debt to buy merchandise to sell. But then I had all that missed opportunity not having what the people wanted. And so it was a finite amount of money I was gonna make off of them from just being there and taking the class.

Nikki

52:35
Right. And that would have been a smart debt.

Kristin

52:38
That would have been a smart debt. And so I started spending a little more on product. And now it’s a comfortable thing, I know, oh, yeah, I can sell this or I can get… you know, comfortable thing. So knowing when to spend that, and also even advertising, figure out your your advertising, what’s your social media channel, someone had told me perfect one, you know, you go in and you feel like you have to be on all of them all the time. And I probably spend 75% of my time on Facebook, and maybe 20 on Instagram, and maybe five on Pinterest. And I feel woefully behind. I feel like I need to even that out. I had someone helping me, Jessica, who’s a friend of mine and Nikki’s. And she’s helped me, she was fantastic for a long time. And I think I just had her for 10 hours a month, but just to help me keep up with social media and being on calendars and everything else. And that was a great…

Nikki

53:34
But I think you’re smart, because your audience is on Facebook.

Kristin

53:37
My audience is on Facebook, but more and more. I’m hearing from my friends, a lot of feedback about Instagram. And I just feel like I need to do a little more on there. But focusing on one, then get it down pat. I mean, I know Facebook.

Nikki

53:52
Until it’s a habit and you can do it without thinking and then focus on next one.

Kristin

53:56
And then add the second.

Nikki

53:57
And that advice works for any part of your business. Anytime you want to add a new service, a new anything, get a new system, get what you’re doing down to where it’s habit you don’t even have to think about and then add something new. And I’m really great at saying that I’m not great at doing it.

Kristin

54:17
And then there was, I wrote this down because I wanted to talk about it. But um, so Jessica was working with me, I think it was probably, I was probably two and a half years in business maybe. It must have been two or three because it was right after Quilt Week but I was not looking, being the planner that I am and the expert in entrepreneurial development, I had not been looking far enough down the road. So I was really focused on and it’s a square peg in a round hole. One year I’m gonna make money off of Quilt Week I swear to God, I do not make big money off of Quilt Week. They’re not my customers, but they should be.

Nikki

54:53
They just don’t know it.

Kristin

54:56
They don’t know it, dammit! But I had really focused on Quilt Week which is end of April in Paducah, and I didn’t make the money that I thought I needed to make off of it. And then it was crickets in May, I did not sell a single class in the month of May.

Nikki

55:16
Really?

Kristin

55:17
Really. And I had just focused on Quilt Week. I wasn’t promoting down the road.

Nikki

55:23
Oh you weren’t promoting because… right.

Kristin

55:25
No and poor Jessica came down here we had our and I remember I cried the entire meeting. I sobbed and like, I don’t know how we’re gonna pay anybody. We’re gonna have to shut down. Went home and cried all during dinner. And John was really sweet. And he’s like, no, this is you know,

Nikki

55:44
Made you one of his amazing cocktails.

Kristin

55:47
Made me one of his amazing cocktails. But he has a phrase that is another important phrase to remember that the path to success or failure is the same path. I mean, you just work it. So Jessica and I went into overdrive. And I said, Okay, we’ve got this much money, we’ve got this much time, and we just busted our butts. And immediately we start, you know, oh, we put that effort in there it was, but it was it’s… I was telling Brandi Harless about this, and she said, Oh, yeah, you hit your cliff. And apparently there’s this thing and entrepreneurial development where you will get to a cliff. And it is a sheer drop off. And what you do whether you jump over the chasm or fall down, and that was my cliff of oh my gosh, how do I go forward from here? I could not see a way forward. I knew how much money was in the bank. I knew what teachers were coming. I knew. And but it was that… So from then on out, we started working a lot farther down the road, promoting a lot farther. Yeah.

Nikki

56:48
Yeah. It’s amazing how if you actually promote things and market them, they will sell.

Kristin

56:56
Yeah. And I think I was doing it too close to the, I mean when you think about it. So what I tend to do is talk so much, talk about a year and a half in advance. And then I start teasing in the summertime. And then in September, I will announce for the next year. And then I always, the Peeps is great, because I would, on my Facebook group page are in Peeps I would ask people who do you want? You know, that’s how I got Melanie Morris, did you want to come teach? Melanie Morris? All right, I’ll call and ask her. And so filling those needs has been good.

Laura

57:32
And asking what people want is so important versus just assuming that you already know the answer, right?

Kristin

57:37
Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. So I’m trying to think if there’s anything else I wanted to talk about. Um, so I think when I knew that I had made it was when it, so Jessica, again, working with Jessica was like, I want to be in Where Women Create, I want to be in Where Women Create, how do we get that and we researched and we tried, we found and it didn’t happen. And then one Friday afternoon, I’m waiting on John and I’m flipping through my phone. And this is in the early days of Instagram Messenger. So I open up my phone and I see that someone who I followed and love their work had liked pretty much every picture on my Instagram feed.

Nikki

58:20
Yeah.

Kristin

58:20
And I was going, Oh my god, oh my oh my god, this guy. And I wanted, I was trying to figure out a non-geeky way of saying, Thank you for liking me, you know. And as I’m trying to compose this, you know, thank you dude, I get this Instagram messenger come across. Oh, and this message. He was a photographer that I can’t remember the magazine. It’s not Folk, but there’s an online magazine who I followed. He was the photographer for that, and he said, Hey, have you ever been in Where Women Create?

Nikki

58:54
No, but I want to?

Kristin

58:55
And I said no, but it’s a dream. He said, Okay, well, we’re looking, would you like and I’m like, Well, yeah, yeah. And usually I’m this incredibly collaborative work together kind of person. That guy told me he was coming to town. I didn’t tell a soul. And turns out this kid, this young man, he looked to be early 20s and the head of the Beaver Dam Tourism Commission, drove to Paducah. He lived in Beaver Dam, Kentucky.

Nikki

59:29
Which is as big as you think it is.

Kristin

59:33
And he drove, he never drove way, never had been to Paducah. He hadn’t heard about the Artist Relocation or anything like that. So he came and took a lot of photos. And then I took him out to lunch and I said, Well, how did you find out about Ephemera Paducah? And he said, Well, you tagged us on some, we’ve been following you, you tagged us in some photographs. And I think they had a contest or something. You know, there’s some things like that that I would keep track of and he said but you’re all the Beaver Dam Arts Council can talk about.

Nikki

1:00:03
Oh wow.

Kristin

1:00:04
Not Arts Council but Art Guild. They wanted to take a road trip and come here. So don’t underestimate where those things. You know, it was the photographer guy and he said he was very surprised with Paducah. He said, Man, I thought there’d be a sizzler in your place. And that was it.

Nikki

1:00:27
We’ve got a lot more going on than you’d think.

Kristin

1:00:31
That was a high holy moment for me to make it in that magazine. And then a lot, it was interesting for about a year afterwards people would show up in the shop and you know, it was other women who wanted to start their own shops. This one lady, some would make appointments, and I’ll talk to anybody and tell them anything, obviously. And but one lady was here just shop and she said now you do well don’t you? And I said I get paid in wholesale art supplies and free art classes. I’m like, No, girl. No, no, you’re not gonna you know, you’re not gonna send your children to college on what you’re gonna make here. But if you want wholesale art supplies, and a lot of free art classes, do it. Yeah.

Nikki

1:01:10
That’s great. But you’ve also been in a couple other publications and on podcasts, like you like you were on The Left Brained Artist.

Kristin

1:01:21
So come back around to Kate McEnroe, the high powered consultant.

Nikki

1:01:25
Oh right, right, right.

Kristin

1:01:26
And she listens to the left brain artist. And she sent me some, I guess she’s gets my newsletter and she said, Oh, my gosh, you should listen to this podcast. So again, not being shy, I said hey, if you ever need somebody to interview, I’ll talk to you. And it came back around. And then Kate was listening to it. She said, Oh, my God, you’re famous. So I’ve been on that, and then I’m a StencilGirl creator, I’ve submitted work to Somerset Studio of, the art journaling. I’ve been in that. What else Nikki?

Nikki

1:02:03
I’m trying to picture all of the framed clippings you have on your bathroom wall!

Kristin

1:02:12
Yes, yes. Yes. That was very, you know, those are some milestone exciting moments.

Nikki

1:02:17
Yeah, definitely.

Laura

1:02:18
That’s amazing.

Kristin

1:02:20
Those were all good.

Laura

1:02:21
You are passionate. You are a Startist. You figured it out as you went along. And you have done amazing things. And you’re providing access to these amazing artists and classes and creativity for people. And that is, to me, that is the highest, one of the highest callings. I’m not a mother, so I can’t say that. But I would say, being able to provide creativity and help people get in touch with that side of themselves. And I think you do that incredibly well.

Kristin

1:02:49
Well thank you, and it is, you know, I didn’t realize that until you know, the the cliff conversation with John. John was like, you understand what you’re doing for all these people. And I didn’t until he said that. And I’m like, oh, and people do they love coming here and it’s a place you can’t… Unfortunately, I wish more wish there were more places because I think COVID is hit a bunch of them. And it’s hard to figure out the finances of it. But there are fewer and fewer places to go get a weekend like this. And I wish there were more because I think the more people who do this, the more they do it. So yeah.

Nikki

1:03:24
Well, for our audience who’s listening. We want you all to get vaccinated. Then sign up for upcoming workshops at Ephemera Paducah. And come to Paducah and see us.

Laura

1:03:38
And how can our listeners find you Kristin, online?

Kristin

1:03:41
Well, Ephemera is spelled, uh oh, I have to rattle it off… E P H E M E R A. Ephemera Paducah, and on every social media channel and ephemerapaducah.com, and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, LinkedIn, all those places. 

Laura

1:03:52
We will definitely put links to that in our show notes.

Kristin

1:04:03
Yeah. Twitter’s a whole lot more personal these days, so don’t put Twitter.

Nikki

1:04:09
Alright, we’ll skip, we’ll skip that one.

Kristin

1:04:12
Now everybody’s gonna go what’d she say on Twitter?

Nikki

1:04:16
But go to startistsociety.com/ephemerapaducah. And we’ll link to all of the places and show some photos of her beautiful space.

Kristin

1:04:29
Thank you. Nice to meet you, Laura. This was fun.

Laura

1:04:32
So nice to meet you too. It’s been a blast.

Kristin

1:04:36
Good to see you, Nikki.

Nikki

1:04:37
Yeah, same here.

Laura

1:04:39
Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Laura

1:04:46
Still listening. In case you were wondering why Nikki didn’t mention the word bourbon in this episode…

Nikki

1:04:51
I gotta tell you Laura, you know the drink that I make for myself before we record – with the cherry and the black walnut bitters? I got that from John and Kristin. They had a Zoom cocktail hour with me and some other friends and John and Kristin delivered cocktails to our front porch.

Laura

1:05:12
Wow.

Kristin

1:05:13
There was about a month during COVID with, we thought we’re missing drinking with people, so we would pick a few people every week and go Do you want a cocktail? And we would mix it up and drop it off in cute little Mason jars and cherries and everything. He is a great mixologist.

Nikki

1:05:27
He is.

Kristin

1:05:28
The black walnut Manhattan is my favorite drink of his.

Nikki

1:05:32
Mine isn’t a perfect one because I don’t have the…

Kristin

1:05:35
The Amaro? Do you have the Amaro?

Nikki

1:05:37
I don’t have the Amaro. I need to get that.

Kristin

1:05:39
Yeah, that makes a big difference.

Nikki

1:05:40
Yeah, but still it’s great just with the bourbon, the cherries and I got the kind of cherries that you guys have.

Kristin

1:05:47
The cherries make it, I have to have three cherry.

Nikki

1:05:49
And just a little bit of the cherry juice…

Kristin

1:05:51
Just a bit, yep.

Nikki

1:05:52
And the black walnut bitters and now I put those black walnut bitters. I steam it in my milk that I make with coffee.

Kristin

1:06:00
Oh, what a great idea.

Nikki

1:06:01
It is so good.

Kristin

1:06:04
That is a fantastic idea, I’m gonna try that.

Laura

1:06:08
And that’s a wrap folks. Hop on over to the show notes at startistsociety.com/ephemerapaducah to get the recipe for this delicious cocktail, along with links to the other resources mentioned in today’s episode.

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