Michelle Odom, one of the co-founders of Kitsch, a craft art store focusing on local and regional Virginia craft artists, educational center, and gallery speaks about craft art and marketing hand made products.
AltDaily: How did you begin to create the art that you make?
Michelle Odom: I didn’t really start creating anything until Hannah, my daughter, was born. Around 2005 we started making things together. Mainly just gluing paper images with modge podge and adding a little paint. It didn’t take long before we were doing switch plate collages and making fridge magnets. Going to lots and lots of art and craft shows did it for me! I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.
What kind of work do you make?
How about what type of work don’t I make? I have dabbled with all sorts of stuff. Jewelry making, painting, embroidery, candle making and sewing are my most favorite things to do.
What has it been like to develop a brand and sell your work?
It’s been fun, challenging and very rewarding in many ways. I believe if you love what you do and are passionate about it you can’t go wrong. I am still having fun with it.
How did the idea of promoting local artists turn into Kitsch?
I have been so fortunate to know so many creative, amazing people. Just seeing all the amazing things people were making really inspired me. I knew we needed “a place” a place where you could go anytime and find all this really cool handmade stuff. Like having a craft show all the time!
Do you have any advice for the young crafters out there?
Yes, yes I do! Make what you like and have fun with it. Do whatever the heck you want with it! Never stop learning and trying new things.
Can you tell me a little about Crafted Indie Arts & Craft Market?
Well, the idea was to create a show to bring together artists and crafters in a way that compliments each other. To have all sorts of fun, unique stuff that you couldn’t or wouldn’t see at your local high school or church craft show. I’ve been throwing around ideas and talking about doing this for years.
I heard so many people say, “I wish we had one of those shows around here!” You know like, Crafty Bastards in D.C. or Spring Bada Bing & Handmade Holiday in Richmond. I just couldn’t find the right venue big enough to do it or it would cost a small fortune to rent a place. Luckily we now have O’Connor’s Brewing Co. and what better place than a brewery to have a big indie craft show.
Getting people together in the name of craft, celebrate your handmade community!