"The Maker" Series | Volume 2: Cream and Concrete

Meet Kaitlan.

She is the owner and maker behind Cream and Concrete. She designs beautiful, handcrafted pieces for the home.

Today, Kaitlan is sharing her journey of becoming a maker.

Taina:: When and why did you choose what you do as the creative field you wanted to pursue?

Kaitlan:: I've tried a little bit of everything including soaps, scarves, watercolor, calligraphy, etc. I liked knitting but I wanted to find a more trendy and unique way to go about it. Weaving was an experiment but after doing it, I loved the freedom it offered with colors, textures and styles. It was something that all finally came to together for me.

Taina:: I can definitely relate when comes to trying different things creatively until you finally find the right thing that just fits and feels right! How long have you been doing this?

Kaitlan: I have been experimenting with different products and style for about 2 years but I made my niche into an official business only 4 short months ago in June of 2018.

Taina:: Was this your dream job growing up or did you have different plans for yourself?

Kaitlan:: I have always crafted and love my art classes the most in school but I never thought that making things could be a job where I could sustain myself. To be honest, I still haven't gotten to that place because I currently still have another full time job. My dream job has always been to work for myself and make my own hours. The idea of staying home to work for myself really excites me. My dream is to get this business to the point where I no longer need to have another job. I know a lot of people craft as a side hustle but my goal is to make this a full time job.

Taina:: I totally understand where you are coming from. That was me for years. I had a full time job and had my business on the side as well. It was a lot to balance but I let my passions take the lead and it wasn't until I became pregnant with my son that I took the leap of leaving my full time job to pursue my own business full time. It takes times and A LOT of hard work but I have no doubt that you will get to that point Kaitlan, your handcrafted work speaks for itself! 

So tell us, being that you are balancing a full time job and this business, what does a typical day look like for you?

Kaitlan:: Typically, I get up early and go to my day job. When I get home, I make dinner, go outside to my garage and pour cement. Then I sit in front of my loom and weave pillows while watching tv with my husband. Basically, I leave one job to come home and start another. It's hard to keep up with orders when I only have the evenings to do them!

Taina:: That does sound like a lot to balance. I'm sure it can be very overwhelming at times. How do keep yourself motivated?

Kaitlan:: Seeing others who have had success and hearing their stories is very motivating. Podcasts are fun to listen to as well, especially when they are motivational or talk about businesses starting from the ground up.

Whenever I find myself questioning what I am doing, my husband asks me two questions: "Do you want to be your own boss and work from home? Do you want the job that you have for the rest of your life?" Those two questions always seem to motivate me! I also find it really encouraging when I work at markets and sell items because I get to see how people react to my products.

Taina:: What advice would you give someone that is looking to start his or her own small business or Etsy shop?

Kaitlan:: It sounds cliche, but you just have to go for it. If this dream is what you want, nothing should hold you back. If you are making decisions out of fear, then they are not coming from a good place. Be a yes person. Sometimes I feel like I can't do everything that is asked of me, but the more I've said yes, the more opportunities I have had. This answer is slightly hypocritical because I still have to tell myself these things everyday!

Taina:: Where do you gather the inspiration needed to do what you do?

Kaitlan:: Since high school, I followed various people on social media who create all sorts of different textile patterns and art. I take bits and pieces of things that I enjoy from all sorts of artists, homes, businesses and people and mesh them together to create my own style.

Taina:: Which school media platforms do you use and find to be the most beneficial? Do you find yourself to have any challenges with media?

Kaitlan:: I use Facebook and Instagram however my main focus is Instagram. It's a great way to build community and connections. Instagram seems to be the place where most of my connections and engagements take place. The use of hashtags, location and a well curated feed have been useful for me through Instagram. I would say there are a few challenges that come with social media. I am indecisive, so it takes a lot of time  deciding on the best picture, caption and tags to post. Another struggle I find with social media is making sure to not play the comparison game. I sometimes find myself feeling better or worse then others depending on the day and that's not healthy. It's so refreshing to use Instagram as a way to support other makers and be supported as well. The small business world is full of hard working and loving people that social media has allowed me to meet!

Taina:: Wow Kaitlan, that was such a "real" answer that I can really appreciate hearing. At one point or another I'm sure we have all found ourselves feeling the negative affects that social media can present at times. It's great to know that we are not alone in our feelings sometimes. What's the best advice on "life" you can offer us?

Kaitlan:: I don't claim to have all the answers in life but I know that love and grace should be a big part of it. Kind, supportive people make doing all of this worthwhile.

Taina:: What are your hopes and dreams for your business? Where would you like to see yourself in 3 years?

Kaitlan:: I want to eventually bring on team members and no longer need to work my day job. My dream is to make Cream and Concrete a household name. When people hear about the business I want them to think of quality, intentional products that promote community. What are dreams if they aren't big?!

Kaitlan, I can't thank you enough for being so open, real and sharing your Cream and Concrete journey with us. I'm sure your story will inspire many.

You can shop Cream and Concrete @ www.creamandconcrete.com 

Also, be sure to follow Kaitlan on Facebook and Instagram @creamandconcrete .

Be sure to check back soon for another inspiring journey on "The Maker" series.




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