It gives me great joy to introduce you to Kim Berger of KbOriginals, etc.! Be sure to check out her shop by clicking here. Enjoy.
1. Where is your business based out of?
My home. I throw pottery in a small studio in my basement during the colder months. When the warmer temps arrive, I drag my wheel outside and throw. I also have a pet free studio on our 2nd floor. That's where I sew, bead and any other project I might be working on.
2. Where are you from originally?
I was born, raised and lived in Waukesha, Wisconsin up until November 2006. My husband Kurt and I bought an older ranch and renovated it on Lake Beulah, which is in East Troy Wisconsin. We live there with our 2 dogs, 2 cats and chickens.
3. How long have you been an artist and/or business owner?
I guess I would say I've been an artist my whole life. Looking back, I was crafting and creating as a small child. I remember selling earrings in high school-remember those??? the black wire and wood beads...oh gosh...I'm dating myself here. I started doing a few craft sales when my boys were young. I decided to officially sell my goods and began KbOriginalsetc in the early 90's.
4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?
From everything! Color, nature ...you name it... I just can't turn it off! There are nights I lay awake thinking about something I saw earlier in the day. I can visualize colors and textures. I also visualize how I'm going to market it! I love reading magazines such as Martha Stewart, Country Living etc. for creative inspiration.
5. What does your creative process entail?
I'm a pretty organized person, so I work best in a neat area.... It keeps my thoughts clear. Then I’m not wasting time looking for tools, paperwork for orders etc. I also have folders full of ideas I’ve seen in magazines etc. I rip them out and occasionally I sit down and go through a file or two. It freshen my thoughts and sometimes reminds of things I had thought about a while back. Years ago I would just jump into projects without thinking things through. Age is a wonderful thing....you can learn from your past mistakes.
6. Would you say your environment (where you live, work, play) influences your creative process? If so, how?
Absolutely! For my day job, I work with the public.. You can learn very interesting things from others...all you have to do is ask. We live in a rural wooded area on a lake...so the nature surrounds us. For the most part-my time is my own. Both our boys Kyle & Kalob, live out on their own. So I don’t have the extra chores etc. that young mom’s do….Been there done that.
7. Who are your creative mentors?
I guess I would have to begin with my mom...showing me how to sew very young. Then my grandma...she would have never considered herself an artist, but I now know she was. She always had some type of craft project going on at her house. That's where I learned about candle making, casting silver jewelry and so much more. In high school I took every art class available. I always had very supportive art teachers, but I think about my pottery teacher the most. About 12 yrs ago, I was taking an art class and was invited by the instructor to assist in her class. Ruth, a very talented special lady has become a good friend over the years. Her spiritual connection with art allowed me to see that art can make your "soul sing"-her words not mine. Most teachers have no idea how much of an impact they can make on a student’s life. Currently my mentor is a potter named Jessie. She has graciously allowed me into her private studio. I volunteer my time, but while I'm there I get to ask lots and lots of questions. She has shared so much knowledge with me over the past year. I truly admire her talent and tenacity.
8. Tell us about the one project you would say you are most proud of.
I have done so many things over the years that I’m quite proud of, but I think I’d have to say that the success of my Etsy shop is at the top. I’m so thrilled to see emails from orders coming in…not because of the money…but because someone is actually interested in something I’ve made! I also enjoy collaborating with customers working with custom orders. In general I really enjoy the communication with people.
9. What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?
I enjoy cooking/baking, gardening and relaxing on our pontoon with my husband Kurt our dogs Kirby & Jade. Honestly...In my mind, I'm always creating.
10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to own my own business...a little gift shop with all handmade art. I would invite a few fellow artists to sell their work along side mine. I would serve homemade soups & sandwiches….. But if that does not work out, I look forward to each day throwing pottery in my PJ’s.