This week's featured artist is actually a team of artists, consisting of mom and two daughters. Although their Etsy shop name is KZ Embroidery, they do much more than embroidery!
Kathy (mom, and the "K" in "KZ") told me "I am married with a teenager at home. We moved here from Arizona about a year and a half ago. Hubby lost his job and after a year of searching finally found one, so here we are. We moved in December in the middle of a snow storm. Talk about cold! Our first stop was Old Navy to buy coats, boots, long sleeve shirts! It's our new favorite store. People in Arizona don't own coats! Due to the recession, my oldest daughter moved in with us not too long ago and she does jewelry so we added that. I left 3 grandchildren in Arizona and can't wait for them to come visit!"
KZ Embroidery's shop name comes from the first initials of Kathy and her teenage daughter, since she helps with ideas and design. Soon the three will open another shop, 'Not Just Embroidery', since they have started adding jewelry and paper goodies.
Kathy and her daughters started doing embroidery about 8 years ago. "Hubby bought me an embroidery machine when I asked for a sewing machine. Well that hooked me! It's so much more fun to personalize a gift for someone than to sew clothes!" As for their other offerings, Kathy's youngest daugther was homeschooled until junior high "since the schools in Arizona are not the best. It's so nice to have great schools here! Every year for Christmas I would have my kids make their gifts so we tried lots of different crafts. We still try new ones!" The first items they creafted were gifts for people, but in doing those they did test items. Kathy says "One can only have so many towels or burp rags so I started selling them online."
The KZ team hopes that their quality and customer service will make them stand apart from the crowd. "I know that's a longshot, but I love what we do and our other website has a few items that are favorites at Christmas time." Customers should know that they only high quality items in their designs, and test everything to make sure it will stand up. "I buy USA made when possible. For our jewelry, we use mostly semi precious stones and swarovski crystals."
When Kathy isn't creating, she is taking care of her family. "I love love love to cook so I'm always looking for new recipes. I like to craft so I'm always trying new things. We may soon be adding quilled items and bottle cap magnets to our site. I also might try gardening since we can do that here! The only thing you can grow in Arizona are cacti, and they just aren't that yummy!"
One interesting thing about Kathy that is not related to anything Etsy? "I met my hubby on the internet, way back when, when it wasn't what it is today. We met in an online game that was run by Sierra games. We still keep in contact with our friends from back then."
Kathy says that the best thing about being an artist is doing what you love. (Editor's note: I couldn't have said it better!)
Kathy and her daughters have several venues where their creations can be found. Their Etsy shop address is http://www.etsy.com/shop/KZEmbroidery They also have their own web site at
http://www.kzembroidery.com/ for personalized or monogrammed items. "I started this site before Etsy. We use Etsy for pre-made items and my oldest daughter's jewelry." Kathy blogs at http://www.kzembroidery.blogspot.com/ "I blog recipes, facebook tips, fun stuff." Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kzembroidery, and on Twitter and Pinterest with the email address email@example.com. Last, items can be found on a second Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/ootbsteamshoppe Wow, that's a lot of places!