My name is Kathy and I own Made with American Hands. I have always had an interest in crafts since I was a child, but had never really been settled enough to attempt a serious business venture until settling in Oklahoma four years ago. My grandmother spent many hours with me after everyone else was down for the night teaching me different things, ceramics, needlepoint and crochet to name a few. I used to be an avid crocheter until teaching myself to sew about 6 years ago. I'm a stay at home mom to two boys, 7 dogs, a cat and two parakeets.
2. Tell us about what you make. When did you start making it and why?
I started making doll clothes years ago when my sister and nieces got their first American Girl dolls. I would make them clothes for their dolls for Christmas mostly. After the girls got older I still had an interest in making the clothes and worked some small craft bazaars to see if I could make any money at it. I finally got computer literate, tried Ebay without success and somehow discovered Etsy. Since discovering Etsy, I have also found other marketing tools. I was approached by someone to do a flowergirl dress replica last April and got the idea to advertise that. That has brought me many sales and I have ad on liweddings.com. I am doing tshirt/memory quilts now as well. I was approached by someone last summer about one. I did some reading and taught myself how to make them. What I love about the quilts is that no one is the same since I'm always an different individuals memorabilia. I consider it a priveledge when someone trusts me to do their quilt.
3. How long have you been crafting? When did you decide to start selling your handmade goods?
I have been doing many crafts since I was a child. I started out on needle work. I always figured I would go to art school since I loved all mediums of art in highschool. I don't draw anymore or paint outside of water colors and sidewalk chalk with my three year old son Ben.
4. Other than what you sell, what's your favorite craft?
I love gardening, canning and preserving foods. I especially love making jams and jellies. We've got bookoo wild blackberries around our property. In the summer when they're ready, I wake up, grab coffee and head to picking, every morning, till the season is over. I like to cook , especially on the grill.
5. What do you love best about Etsy?
My favorite things about Etsy is the simplicity of use. I have met some of the most wonderful, honest and patient people. Etsy is what has kicked my business off really by allowing me to get the word out about what I offer.
6. What's your favorite thing about Oklahoma?
My favorite thing about Oklahoma is the rural life of where we live in Cushing. I come from bigger, fast paced places. I love the folks here and my sons have blossomed. I go to Tulsa often to the Joann's store. I'm impressed that the Oklahoma Aquarium had so much to offer and enjoy my zoo visits as well. I love our vet here in Cushing! He's good and reasonable which helps with a pack the size of mine.
7. Do you sell anywhere else or have a blog, Twitter, MySpace, etc.?
I don't sell anywhere except Etsy. I do one craft show a year in Stillwater at the Expo Center for 3 days in the fall. It's more of a marketing and advertising tool for me than money maker. I love visiting with the vendors every year. It's like our annual social affair. I have a MySpace, mrsclniccum. Also Facebook, Katherine Bowles Niccum.
Check out katherineniccum's ad on liweddings: http://liweddings.com/vendors/gifts/American-Hands/!