This month I am introducing you to Kimberley Bridgwater and Bridgwater Crafts. Kimberley is both a knitter and crocheter, making things and a life with chronic illness.
These monthly features of other creative businesses are a way for all of us to get to know wonderful creators. It is a long-time interest of mine to explore how other creative people make their way as professionals.
Bridgwater Crafts – Who? What? Where?
Kimberley, I love that you make dishcloths. I still make them, using them to explore shape and pattern placement, but I think they are such a wonderful and useful thing. Mine are facecloths, and I use them every day to clean my face at the end of the day.
Q: Kimberley, I’m always interested in who is instrumental in guiding creative people and their businesses. Who is your VIP?
A: I don’t believe one person in particular has my guided work; it’s been communities. Joining Ravelry in early 2009 taught me there was such a thing as independent designers and that I could become one. There are great forums there that help budding designers and having integrated shops makes the step to selling your designs very easy. But I think it was Tara Swiger and her Starship community, which I joined 1.5 years ago that have given me the confidence that with a few income streams I can make my business, Bridgwater Crafts, profitable enough to one day be my only income source. Learning from Tara and the other Starship captains has been amazing. The Starship and its successful entrepreneurial captains are a great inspiration.
I often think that needlecraft is all about communities–even for those who are solo practitioners, knowing that there is all those others, both current, past, and future, makes community.
Q: What is your what, Kimberley? Is it a physical thing or something else?
I have multiple chronic illnesses that have limited my ability to hold a standard job. Owning my own business allows me to work with my limitations instead of fighting against them. My ability to crochet and knit, and therefore design, helped tremendously in accepting those limitations and keeping my sanity during health crises. I’ve recently added blogging about chronic illnesses to my business. It allows me to unite more aspects of my life with my business. Hopefully, sharing my story will help others understand living with chronic illnesses.
I think chronic illness is such a mystery to any of us not participating. I have been interested to see that you are adding changes to your diet and exercise.
Q: Describe a place that is meaningful to your work or how you work.
I live in a small town surrounded by the beauty of nature. It is a constant inspiration and reminder that life continues no matter what.
I always think bleak when I think of northern places–and I was stunned when I looked up your town! So pretty.
Because my health is unpredictable, I have chosen to self-publish my designs and e-books. This way I set the deadlines and can adjust as needed. I am currently working on a backlog of designs some of which will be part of an e-book.
I’m working on integrating the new chronic-illness blogger aspect into my business model and my website. My business has always been a reflection of who I am. Now it’s just to balance designing and blogging about chronic illnesses so that my love of fibre crafts doesn’t get left behind.
Thanks Kimberley. I’ve put links to all Bridgwater Crafts online places so you can check out her work. I grabbed this kitty photo from Kimberley’s Ravelry profile page.
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Twitter – bridgwaterk