This month I am introducing you to Quirky Bits-n-Pieces creators Kristen Smith and Deborah Tingler. These monthly features of other creative businesses are a way for all of us to get to know these wonderful creators. It is a long-time interest of mine to explore how other creative people make their way as professionals.
Introducing Quirky Bits-n-Pieces—in the persons of Kristen Smith & Deborah Tingler—through Who? What? Where?
Kristen and Deborah, I got a lot of positive feedback on Instagram with the photo of your Quirky Bits-n-Pieces yarn cards! This is not how we usually see yarn. I have often laughingly told people that you can’t just buy a few yards of yarn you like, so I’m very curious about what you are doing.
A-Kristen: From the social butterfly side of the equation (me), my VIP might surprise you. I have long followed and admired Caitlin Bacher for her tenacity, honesty, and business prowess. She has helped me, surprisingly enough, find the voice I feel best encompasses our company values and friendliness. On the other side, I’ve needed a dose of confidence boosting, and that I have to credit Tara Swiger for dragging out of me! Those two women have guided me so I no longer fear jumping in head-first and giving something a shot. They have helped me learn that confidence comes from within, and consistency helps share that confidence with the world.
A-Deborah: Hey there, I’m Deborah the other creative half of Quirky Bits-n-Pieces. I’m not sure VIP is a strong enough word for my mentor, friend, and instructor Natalie Redding. I have always been a color lover, however replicating the spectacular colors in nature always seemed just beyond my reach. Natalie has opened my eyes, and my creativity, to both aesthetics and techniques. She has been an invaluable friend who has helped me build my confidence and career. I could not be where I am today without her guidance!
What: What is the what of Quirky Bits-n-Pieces? What makes you do the thing you do?
A-Kristen: Our what is a lot of what, something you might expect with a name like Quirky Bits-n-Pieces! But the most important part of our what is that it is ALL hand made from the ground up! We do this so we know that our customers are getting the most eco-friendly products we can produce. That and we get to play with cuddly sheep and rabbits!
As Quirky Bits-n-Pieces we produce handspun indie dyed yarns and fibers for crafters who are looking for a unique supply that will make their project that much more special. We cater to card-makers, scrap-bookers, crocheters, knitters, doll-makers, spinners, and more!
We have been known to fall in love with yarn and not know what to do with it . . . we created our Quirky Bits-n-Pieces Accessories line! Non-crafters, can grab a woven scarf, wall hanging, or perhaps a pillow! We want everyone to be able to enjoy these stunning fibers and yarns.
Fiber isn’t our only addiction, we also love mud! I am—that is Kristen— the potter. Yep, I have something for our crafters, non-crafters, and of course I have a twist. Crafters need tools right? Well I’m a sculptor and I believe your tools should be just as pretty as your projects. So I’ve created a weaving loom, yarn bowls, and some fun needle holders for our artist friends!
Not a crafter . . . don’t worry, I have the cutest shawl pins in production for you! They will be available in the shop soon!
Now are you ready for the twist? We also have an elegant little sub-shop called Le Petit Gateau Du Temp Perdu or Little Cakes of Lost Time.
This line, like the shawl pin, is still in production. I’m creating unique sculptural dessert stands that are sure to raise your confectionary delights to stupendous heights! If you are a hostess or love to give parties, you won’t want to miss this! Imagine cupcakes tucked amid clouds, or a cake on top of a stack of teetering-tottering circus animals. Be sure to sign up in the shop to be notified when they debut.
Where: Now we need to be able to imagine where all this Quirky Bits-n-Pieces creativity is occurring!
A-Kristen: Our company was created as a mother-daughter enterprise and so our studio is close to home. Literally! We do our spinning and weaving in my mother’s (Deborah) bedroom in the little window seat nook. The entire attic has been over run by our 500+ lbs of wool. The bunnies sleep in our garage, but enjoy roaming the house every chance they get. We are even in the process of building a 14×32 foot barn in the back yard to house my pottery studio since we are bursting at the seams! We are a company founded on family values, run by family, in a family home. (Note: our space is not always this clean!) In a nutshell, that’s us!
Q: Please tell us any exciting projects you have going on or coming up.
A-Kristen: We are so excited about our new and fantastic Creative Team! We just held a call for creative projects and had eight talented artists join our first team. Each artist will get a box of goodies once a month for three months, and in return they will be creating and sharing fun tutorials and behind the scenes work using those materials they receive. These will start rolling out in April so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss any of the fantastic tidbits that will be shared over the next 11 months!
The barn build is slow slow, slow, slow, but will be absolutely heaven once done! I’ll have plenty of space to create ceramics and, more importantly, nothing will blow up in the kiln because of roaming bunny hair or miscellaneous wood scraps.
We have just rolled out our Wholesale offerings, which we are super excited about. We’ve started with some of our dyed wool, but more will come!
Lastly, we are super excited to be on the final stretch of earning our Master Dyers Certification! If all goes well we will be certified to teach Natalie Redding’s amazing groundbreaking dyeing techniques! We hope to be a part of a group that will bring back the prestige of dyeing societies 200 years ago!
Thanks Quirky Bits-n-Pieces! I’ve put all their links below so please get to know them even better!
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces Newsletter Signup
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces Shop
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces Blog
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces on Instagram
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces on Twitter
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces on Pinterest
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces on Facebook
- Quirky Bits-n-Pieces on Google+
And don’t forget: