Monday, May 19, 2014
Meet Featured Artist Kim Koltzau of Steampunk Cellars!
What is your business’ name?
Steampunk Cellars, jewelry and accessories for the slightly askew and I am Kim Koltzau!
What sort of items do you make?
I make jewelry and accessories, some mixed media, and some sculptured from polymer clay. I make pins, brooches, earrings, hairpins, necklaces, etc. I also make small sculptures. I get bored easily so I am always changing it up.
When and how did you learn your craft?
I have been making jewelry for about ten years and working with polymer for about three years. I always like to try new things, so I had bought a book on polymer clay techniques, and decided to give it a try. I worked my way through the book slowly, trying to find a style that I felt was me. It’s amazing what you can learn from reading a book. Since then I have expanded my knowledge base a bit, and feel like I have found my niche.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ha ha! I am up way too late at night. No, I really love science fiction and fantasy, both book and on the screen. There are a number of artists I follow on Facebook and Tumblr, as well as friends that work with polymer like I do, and we bounce ideas and concepts back and forth between us. My customers also give me a lot of ideas, and I keep a list. If it’s something I think I can make in my style, I give it a try.
How did you get started doing this as a business?
I think it happened the same way it does for most artists and crafters. A lot of encouragement from friends and family, and plenty of persistence.
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out?
If you are looking for an easy or quick way to make money, crafting and artisan work is not it. It takes a lot more time than you would ever imagine, more work than you put in as an employee, and family that is supportive and willing to hear you cry and get upset at failure. Startup costs, supplies, and show entry fees can add up. If you can push past that, join art support groups. Talk to others at shows, listen to their advice on shows and how they have been successful. Develop an online presence. Always be positive with your customers both online and in person. And most importantly, listen to your customers, the good and bad. It will help you shape your product, and figure out what your target market is, and how to reach them.
Anything else you would like to share?
I love the First Friday Indie Market. While I am not always able to be there, I use the opportunity to reconnect with local crafters, buy things I am out of, like soap and coffee and yummy banana pudding, and develop relationships with my repeat customers. I am so excited to be back this year, even if I had to wait until June!
Steampunk Cellars will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on June 6, 2014. The market is located on the corner of MKL and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9pm.
Want to see more of Steampunk Cellars? Check out Kim’s Etsy shop at: www.steampunkcellars.etsy.com or find her on Facebook at: https://m.facebook.com/