Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Kim Westad and I ‘m 32. I’m married to a very supportive person who tolerates the occasional (or constant) clay bits that I track into the house. We have two dogs, Jake and Maddy, who like to eat those clay bits. I’m currently living and working in Yonkers, New York, on the verge of moving to the Bronx. Go Yankees! I’ve moved 6 times in the last 10 years- I’m getting pretty good at it.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I wish I had a better memory of the very first thing I made. I remember always drawing and coloring as a kid. I was the one to always get some kind of art kit for Christmas. I remember making a book in first grade and a leaf shaped ashtray made of clay. Do they even let kids make ashtrays anymore?
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Nature, the city, the beach. Definitely modern industrial design. Or sometimes I just see some random shape or object and I think- hmmm, I should try that with clay.
What are your favorite materials?
porcelain and stain
What is your favorite color?
I don’t really have one favorite. It’s all dependent upon the context. I love bright greens on my pots though not necessarily on my walls.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
This is a tough question because I’ve never really been a film person. I have a hard time sitting still in a dark theatre. One film that I can watch over and over is Say Anything with John Cusack (because – come on – John Cusack). I also really liked The Hours. Least favorites are a bit harder because if it seems the least bit uninteresting to me, I drift off or zone out and miss most of it anyway. Exposed blood and guts, super heroes or multiple explosions are usually good indications that I shouldn’t spend the 10 bucks.
What are you reading right now?
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. When that gets too heavy, I switch over to Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
Make selling and promoting a priority, be honest and take care of your customers, be honest with yourself and figure out what your goals are (even if they are subject to change), have confidence and believe in what you are selling, constantly strive to be better and work A LOT.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Lately I’ve been spending my free time looking for a place to live. Exploring new neighborhoods has been a bonus and is something I’ve always liked to do. I also spend my free time repairing–or trying to repair–my pug mill, letting my dogs take me on our daily walks, spending time with my husband and our friends, keeping tabs on the Yankees, finally understanding the hype about the Sopranos via reruns, enjoying good yet reasonably priced wine, having ladies lunches with my Grandma and Aunt, fixing my pug mill some more and listening to what I like to think of as an “eclectic” mix on my iPod.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
My favorites are getting out of control- seriously. It would be great if there was a way to sort/categorize them the way we can with the sections in our shops.
Also, zoned shipping options for the U.S. would be fabulous!