Moomah the Magazine
Girl Crush: Karen Kimmel, Creator of Crafting Community

Girl Crush: Karen Kimmel, Creator of Crafting Community

As a mom of two, Karen Kimmel originally started Crafting Community as a means to spend more quality time with her family and friends,  to "cultivate a creative movement that enables families to build in together-time under the umbrella of art, recreation, and just plain fun," says Karen. "Compelling, well-designed programming sets the stage for meaningful engagement. Building environments that come to life through the innovation of the participants is a thrilling experience. Crafting Community believes in arts and crafts as a fantastic way to ignite the imagination, making the point to collaborate with brands that share the same mission and that truly value family."

Held at the iconic Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, the Crafting Community's program is filled to the brim with crafting activities, workout routines for adults and kids, recreational programs and more, all lead by leaders in their respective fields. In fact, Karen herself even leads a workshop on her signtaure stencils, with an emphasis on the reuse and repurpose of natural materials in art.

We caught up with Karen to talk about all things Crafting Community and Motherhood.

tell us a little bit about why you started crafting community.

It began with the desire to spend time with my family. A significant quantity of the programming arises from my fascination with traditional crafts and my desire to collaborate with innovative artists and artisans, but the workshops also provide a means to an end for carving out unstructured, creative time for our busy families. Though we offer a jam-packed schedule of activities, we want our families to set their own pace during the weekend—to really savor the vacation time, to be present with their families, and to indulge their artistic minds. It's incredible to see what inspiration can foster between parents and their children when we give them some raw materials, some encouragement, and the gift of time together.

 

what is your background?

I am an artist, a designer, and a consultant. My studio, Karen Kimmel Studio, offers a variety of creative consulting, marketing, branding and design services for a wide range of private and corporate clients including Splendid, Nike, Target, Ella Moss and Cole Haan. Karen Kimmel Inc. also produces a line of artistic tools and bespoke items called Kimmel Kids, which are designed to stimulate creative thinking and empower children to make their mark.

HOW has becoming both a wife and mom changed your outlook on life and work?

I have two pretty darn good kids named Jersey and Ace. They were really the inspiration for Crafting Community. I am married to James Bond, a partner in Undefeated, a sneaker store with outposts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Japan. But without question the title James is most proud of is 'Dad'. No joke, parenting has been the most humbling experience of my entire life. To be honest with yourself and the demands of what a family needs is one tireless commitment. It truly is an endless work in progress.  Together, James and I are working on giving it our best shot. Will let ya know how it turns out (in about 20 years…)

Motherhood, simply put, makes me value my time. For me, parenting demands the willingness to constantly reevaluate how to best address situations and balance priorities. If you can run a household, you have the tools to run a business. In both cases, it takes hard work to build something meaningful from scratch. Watching my kids grow reminds me how critical it is to make mistakes and take risks. So-called “failing” is often where the learning begins. In business, you can’t be afraid to fail. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable and to put things on the line—at least this is what I tell myself!

 

CRAFTING COMMUNITY IS NOW AN ANNUAL EVENT. HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THE PROGRESS OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS?

The very first Crafting Community in 2008 was incredibly intimate; just a handful of families participated. Now we’re hosting over 130 families! I have always wanted the event to feel like a party in a friend’s backyard, with families going back and forth from the workshops to the pool at their leisure.

The events were immediately popular! In 2008, I joined forces with two very liked minded mothers, entrepreneurs and family ambassadors, Stacy Bernstein & Tait Chatmon, to further grow the event each year. The DIY movement has been gaining traction in the blogosphere for years—and ironically, is strengthened and spread by new developments in technology. The concurrent timing of this movement has really supported our efforts.  In addition, over the last few years, we have enlarged our network of like-minded, enthusiastic, and creative friends, all of whom take very little convincing when it comes to involvement in these types of endeavors. Generally, the only persuasion we need is directed at the ladies holding the budgets to keep us from overdoing it!

 

WITH YOUR DESIGNER BACKGROUND, IT MUST BE A TRICKY TASK CHOOSING WHO YOU want TO HELP HOST WORKSHOPS FOR THE EVENT. WHICH STAND OUT ARTISANS HAVE been AT CRAFTING COMMUNITY?

The last couple of years we have been fortunate enough to host the leading design talents of our day as featured artisans at Crafting Community. Acclaimed Los Angeles artist, Tanya Aguiniga, has taught families how to paint beautiful henna tattoos in an array of modern geometric designs. Clare Vivier, the renowned designer of the eponymous Silverlake accessories company, has led families through a series of leather-working activities such as painted belts, wrap bracelets and leather pom poms. Rene Holguin, the mind behind West Hollywood boutique RTH, has shown families how to craft their own crest, turn it into a beautiful stamped leather pin, and embellish it with vintage beads, fabric and paint.

WHAT IS SOMETHING SPECIAL THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE EVENT?

Being a parent involves making critical decisions about the brands you invite into your home and share with your children. Crafting Community partners with brands large and small to exchange ideas organically in the fields of creativity and play. We help teach families where to get the tools they need to incorporate art and recreation into their day-to-day. At the same time, we enable brands to celebrate the family space by bringing their products to life in more immersive, intimate ways. Some of the amazing brands we'll be teaming up with this time around include Splendid and One Kings Lane. We are also extremely excited to reveal that Target, in collaboration with Crafting Community, will offer a Design-It-Yourself Studio hosted by celebrated designer Todd Oldham, featuring the Kid Made Modern collection of arts and crafts supplies.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLE THAT ARE CONSIDERING COMING TO THE NEXT EVENT?

While crafting workshops remain the core of Crafting Community, so much of this retreat is designed to bring families together and encourage a true sense of community. Our art and recreational programs are carefully curated to nurture rich relationships among the entire group and promote family bonding.

Over the last four years, Crafting Community has grown from an intimate gathering of friends to a fully programmed weekend with families attending from across the country. We have seen our families return to their local communities to share our message of together-time and to incorporate their new-found passion for the handmade into their daily lives.

Crafting Community encourages kids and parents alike to push their creative and physical boundaries, step out of their daily routines, and slow down to enjoy the process. The key of Crafting Community is not necessarily to deify artists, but rather to emphasize the critical role of creative thought in whatever fields we pursue.

KAREN HAS PUT TOGETHER A LITTLE CRAFT JUST FOR FOR MOOMAH READERS. ENJOY!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR CRAFTING COMMUNITY >>

CLICK HERE TO SEE KAREN'S WEBSITE >>

Posted in: Discover & Learn   

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