The CraftStar is full of such amazing talented creatives, and we love to show them to you.
Today we're meeting Karen Kepins from Rhinestones Etc.
|Crystal AB 30ss|
What is the story behind your shop name?
Mainly I sell Swarovski Rhinestones and I wanted the name to reflect that. But I also was selling other embellishments and wanted to keep the door open to adding different embellishments later on.
Where, when, how did you learn your craft?
Originally I started out designing and sewing skating outfits when my second daughter was younger. Rhinestones are an integral part of skating outfits. When my husband lost his job just before the Great Recession, we relocated to another state. There was an established seamstress at the new ice rink so I decided to focus on selling rhinestones. When my daughter decided to quit skating, I moved online.
|Sun Swarovski Elements|
What has been your biggest obstacle, or challenge, to finding, and achieving success?
I can't say I am a success yet! Actually I had a big learning curve when it came to shipping. for examaple, I didn't know you could print labels from Paypal.
Tell us a little about your family life...married, kids, pets, etc
I have been married for 28 years and we have 5 children ages 23, 20, 16, 10 and 4, four girls and one boy (he is the 16 year old sandwiched between the girls). I a homeschooler and currently the oldest girls are in college and I am teaching the younger 3.
|Jet Black Swarovski Elements|
Tell us a little bit about where you live....city, farm, suburb
I was born and raised on Long Island, NY, lived in Pittsburgh, PA for 15 years and currently live in North Carolina in a development in the suburbs.
Share a story / memory of your childhood
My favorite childhood memories are of my Grandfather who lived out East on Long Island back when it was still rural. He lived down the street from a duck farm (back when LI ducks still existed) and a beach. He had a small boat and he would take us out in it. He fished and one of my favorite memories of him is his smoked eel that he would catch and smoke himself.
|silver nailhead stars|
I always had a secret desire to be an author and illustrator of children's books.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why?
I suppose Pippi Longstocking because even though she makes lots of mistakes, she tries hard and never lets the mistakes get her down. She also is never afraid of adventure.
|peridot swarovski elements|
Green is my favorite color so peridot is mt favorite item.
What advise would you give a new artist just starting out?
Work hard and don't give up! Be willing to try new things and don't be afraid of making mistakes.
|Bright handpainted turtle|
Pick a favorite item from another shop, and why is it your favorite.
I just love everything in this shop but I think this is my favorite.
I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
That's it for our visit to Rhinestones Etc. Karen has graciously offered a 10% discount to our readers, just use the coupon code SPARKLE10 at checkout.