Category Archives: spotlight on
I was first introduced to KB Cute Designs at Phoenix Flea, a local market for vintage goods, arts & crafts and fashion, in November 2014 when I was pregnant with Lawson. I picked up one of their boppy covers in a deer antler print. It was one of the first items I purchased for him! Since then I’ve seen the owner of KB Cute Designs, Kerri, at several local markets. And each time I manage to make another purchase. :) I’m so excited to feature Kerri, and KB Cute Designs, as the next installment of my spotlight on local creatives series!
It’s no secret I’m obsessed with their baby beanies! Yes, these are all mine. To be fair, I bought a couple of them as gifts and then I found out I was pregnant again. And now I can’t bear to part with any! In addition to beanies and boppy covers, KB Cute Designs also has crib and pack ‘n play sheets (I have this cactus one), changing pad covers, headbands, swaddles and quilts.
Read on for a little Q&A with Kerri and more photos of her adorable products!
Me: What was the first product you started making? How did you get started?
Kerri: The first product I made was a green and white plus quilt using my sister in law’s grandad’s t-shirts for the back.
Me: Is KB Cute Designs your full-time gig?
Kerri: Being a mom is my first full time gig. But KB Cute comes in a close second place.
Me: What is a typical day like for you?
Kerri: Weekdays are pretty much all pretty similar. I walk my oldest daughter to school in the morning and get in a quick run. Then get home to my other kids and try and balance sewing and packaging and not sticking my kids in front of the TV too much. I package more on preschool days than non-preschool days. My husband usually gets home from work around 5:30 or 6 and we sit down for family dinner (even if it is mac-n-cheese again) and go over all of our “highs and lows” of the day. We do the bedtime routine together and then I sit myself down in the studio until about 1 or 2 in the morning and sew some more. It really is a glamorous life :)
Me: The fabrics you choose are so darling! How do you find them and decide what you want to use?
Kerri: I have a love/hate with choosing fabrics. There is an absolute limitless supply of absolutely darling fabric. I act like a crazy person with fabric. I have literally been in tears when I don’t buy what I love in time and it sells out or I can’t get more of a fabric I have had. My husband thinks I’m super special. I buy all of my cotton fabrics online but knits are a hit or miss because I can’t feel the fabric. I have spent way too much money on sending fabrics back because I am very particular about the 4 way stretch and the composition of the fabric.
Me: What’s next for KB Cute?
Kerri: We have some fun things in the works for KB Cute that involves a lot of collaborations making one of a kind fabric prints. It has been a long time in the works and we are getting close to rolling it out.
Me: Do you have a personal favorite product or design?
Kerri: I always think I have a favorite fabric but then I will get a new one in and have a “new favorite” and it’s a never ending cycle of new favorites. I absolutely love our new throws, but I am a sucker for a newborn beanie. I love the swaddles when you can see the print in its entirety but I just love seeing these tiny little beanies and knowing that each one will be placed on a babies sweet head. I have to say the beanies are my favorite.
(This beanie is the first item I purchased for our little girl…I can’t get enough)
Me: What’s the biggest challenge of running your own business?
Kerri: There are a lot of challenges in running your own business. The biggest challenge for me (and I’m sure for so many others) is balancing time. Time working vs. time with the littles. Time used to sew vs. time at social events networking.
Me: Where can we find KB Cute products?
Kerri: Right now the best place to find our products is in our online shop at kbcute.com. We are working on a new website that will launch before the fall. We also have our product in the Jaxn Blvd store in Mesa and will have product in the Petite Party Studio in Gilbert soon. Getting our product into local boutiques is also the next thing we will be pushing.
Me: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Kerri: The best advice I have been given especially lately is to “Keep your head up and be true to who you are. And remember that competition is not a bad thing”
Me: Your Instagram is addicting, so many cute little babies! You have a contest each week for pictures that include your products. How does someone enter? How do you pick a winner?
Kerri: Each week we have a “happy mail” giveaway. To enter it all you have to do is tag us in your picture and use #kbcute in the caption somewhere. It is always hard to pick a winner because there are SO many darling babies so I basically pull up all the #kbcute pics for the week and close my eyes and scroll until I decide to stop. I always check to make sure that the winner isn’t a blogger or another shop owner that we are working with.
Me: Last question…You were recently in Thailand. It looked like such a fun trip! What’s your favorite memory from your vacation?
Kerri: We were in Thailand for two weeks for fun and got to stop over in China for a couple days for business and it was absolutely amazing! My favorite memory from the trip was sea kayaking with the John Gray Sea Tours. It was half a day long tour with lunch and dinner, the most amazing views that started with these caves on the side of a mountain that we literally had to deflate our kayaks to get through and opened up into these amazingly stunning “hongs” basically the opposite of an island where there was a circle of water surrounded by the tallest cliff mountains. Amazing really doesn’t do it justice. It was absolutely beautiful!
Thank you Kerri for being a part of the Spotlight On series (and some of my favorite moments with my little one)!
I’m so excited to introduce you to the next creative in my Spotlight On series! Jenny Rodriguez is a local Phoenician that created PureLife Jewelry where she makes and sells her own unique jewelry. I met her last fall and fell in love with her triangle necklaces (worn here, here and here). I’ve honestly received more compliments on it than any other piece of jewelry I own! I’m not embarrassed to admit I own the necklace in both black and turquoise and would gladly add any of the other colors to my collection. To top it off, Jenny is a complete sweetheart!
Read on to learn more about Jenny and an exciting giveaway!
Me: What is your background?
Jenny: My background is in Marketing, events and promotions. Currently, I work as a Marketing Manager for a media company in Scottsdale.
Me: Is Pure Life Jewelry your full-time career? If not, how do you balance your “day job” and Pure Life Jewelry?
Jenny: Pure Life isn’t my full-time career at the moment, although I would love for it to be that way! Balancing Pure Life between my day job consists of a lot of coffee and late nights. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. I really love making jewelry and owning a small business.
Me: How did you get your start in making jewelry?
Jenny: My Etsy business started from a small project my friend Dustin asked me to help him with. He was working at a Phoenix-based advertising agency at the time and needed some unique jewelry for a photo shoot. Dustin asked if I could help create some nice jewelry pieces and I was totally on board to help! I always had a knack for creating jewelry. Even as a kid I sold bracelets and different pieces to my mom’s friends and co-workers, just so I could make some money before Christmas time.
After the photo shoot I had actually sold a couple pieces to the owner of the clothing company. I felt pretty confident at that point and thought about taking this “hobby” a step forward in the right direction. I went to Etsy and created my site and soon enough orders kept coming in and it bloomed from that moment on.
Me: You have mentioned you’re inspired by your Costa Rican and Mexican heritage. In what ways does your heritage inspire you?
Jenny: First of all, my Costa Rican heritage influenced the name of my company. In Costa Rica, “Pura Vida” is a term used by Costa Ricans. Although it has a simple English translation, “
Me: What is the most challenging part of running your own small business?
Jenny: Finding the time to balance everything is extremely challenging. Sometimes I find myself up till the wee hours of the night busting out orders but when I look back at those nights I can’t help but feel proud.
Hard work always pays off and I know if I keep working towards my end goal I can attain it!
Me: I saw a couple of sneak peeks on Instagram and at Phoenix Flea. Can you talk about any new designs or jewelry you have coming out soon?
Jenny: My spring designs are going to be bright & incorporate lots of fun gemstones! You will see plenty lightweight everyday wear earrings. I am currently taking a couple metal-smithing classes so more complex pieces are in the works, as well as some rings!
Me: Where can we find your jewelry?
Me: This is going to be a tough one. If you had to pick one piece of your jewelry, what would be your favorite?
Jenny: I would say my bullet necklaces they’re simple & perfect for layering! Although that is my one favorite, all my designs are near and dear to my heart! As far as making necklaces, I do have specific pieces I enjoy making more than others. For example I love making long beaded necklaces and anything involving wirework and/or beautifully colored stones/gemstones/minerals/crys
You can find PureLife Forever on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Etsy. Jenny so graciously offered to give away three necklaces to Luv in the Bubble readers. Enter below for your chance to win! Giveaway ends on Friday, June 12th at midnight.
All photos courtesy of PureLife’s Facebook page.
One of my favorite things about Phoenix is the local, creative community. In the past year I’ve met so many people doing amazing things, which inspired me to start a new series. Once a month, I’ll be spotlighting a local brand that I know and love. First up is SLATHERlotions. I was first introduced to Chelsea at Phoenix Flea last November when I purchased her face and hand lotion. I keep mine by the kitchen sink to use whenever my hands start to get dry, which seems to be all day long this winter. I can also use a little on my face if I notice it drying out throughout the day. Read on for more on SLATHERlotions and my interview with Chelsea!
Me: What was your first job out of college?
Chelsea: A Candle Chemist working in product research & development for a local-based company, Gold Canyon. It was a lot of fun and that’s where I was introduced to the world of fragrance and learned what makes up scents, how they evoke emotions, appeal to people, etc.
Me: The company you worked for decided to move their operations to the east coast. How did you decide to start your own business at this point?
Chelsea: I had the opportunity to keep my job and move with the company, but I didn’t want to move away from my family and home. I loved being a Skincare Chemist, but sometimes the products I developed (based on marketing direction) weren’t products I would normally use. So, I used it as an opportunity to start my own company…where all the products I make are ones I use, love, and want to share with others.
Me: What’s a typical day like for you?
Chelsea: Wake up, do yoga, walk the dogs, and go through emails while I eat breakfast. Then, if it is a market/show day, I bottle and label products I need for that day and pack it all up. If it’s not a show day, I have more flexibility and can run errands, batch products I am running low on, research new products and ingredients, and do ingredient inventory and ordering as needed. And I always try to keep social media, online marketplaces I have a shop on, and the website updated as much as I can.
Me: What is your biggest challenge in owning your own business?
Chelsea: Trusting my instincts and not getting swayed by what other companies are doing and fancy marketing offers. It’s hard to know exactly what you “should” do when the sky is the limit, but I like to trust my gut and go with what feels right. Also, I am a scientist…I didn’t go to school for marketing, web design, finance, or accounting. But, because I am a one-woman show, I have had to learn how to do all those things (and more)!
Me: What advice would you have for someone struggling to find a career they are passionate about?
Chelsea: Try to focus on what makes you the happiest. Too often people focus on money first. Instead, think of what you would want to do if money weren’t a factor…then figure out how to do that and make a living.
Me: Where can we find your products?
Chelsea: Online at http://www.slatherlotions.com. Or, if you live in or visit Arizona, I list the local farmers markets & boutiques I attend under the “Events” tab (Erica’s note: Chelsea will be at Phoenix Flea this Saturday, March 7th). There are also links to online marketplaces I have a shop on, like Etsy & Scott’s Marketplace. If you have skin allergies, sensitivities, love or dislike particular ingredients, or just haven’t found the perfect skincare products for your skin…contact me about a custom product made especially for you. Custom formulations are really my passion! You can check out some I have done on the website.
Me: What is the number one item you’d recommend from your line?
Chelsea: EYE Cream–it’s my best-seller and personal fave. All plant-based, no Botox-y like chemicals, and works. Really light and silky…it sinks into your skin to help smooth, de-puff, and soften fine lines by stimulating your own collagen for tightening. Plus, the caffeine in Green Tea helps with dark circles. And it smells nice too.
Me: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Chelsea: You are your brand. Always stay true to yourself and your brand above everything else.
Chelsea, thanks so much for kicking off this series!