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Friday, November 13, 2015

Shop & Support Moms - Heidi Pauer - Kind Finds

I am REALLY excited to start this year's Shop & Support Moms series on the blog! I started this a couple of years ago, with the goal to feature amazing, hard working, super moms who are talented and creative, making their own items to sell to help support their families. I wanted to feature their great work, but also to encourage other moms to shop locally and support these mommas with all of their holiday shopping gifts. It's a win-win for everyone! Who doesn't love a handmade item?!

This year I've searched all over Etsy and even attended various craft fairs seeking out great moms and amazing items for you to shop from. Each mom will be offering a discount or deal of some kind to encourage you to purchase from her. Please like their pages, share this feature on your page to encourage more people to purchase from these great moms.

Thanks to Heidi Pauer from Kind Finds for showing us her awesome items. I found her at a craft fair a year ago and held on to her card, knowing someday I'd want to order some cool gifts. I'm so excited to feature her here today! Thanks for sharing your beautiful work with us, Heidi!

Happy shopping, mommas!

Images shared from Heidi Pauer

How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
I started my business by accident.  I found glass tiles at a yard sale and thought about what to make at the time.  At the same time, I visited a shop that sold all sorts of handmade items from different artists and I was mesmerized and inspired.  Also at the same time, a good friend of mine had Thymoma Cancer and I felt helpless.  Creating crafts to sell was a helpful way to make some money for her Thymoma fund for research. Kind Finds is three years old.

     Why was owning a business a perfect situation for you and your family?
My husband was out of work and we needed some extra income.  

I love to create and I feel passionately about being a role model for my son, that creativity is in everything we do.   I can create WITH him.  

He likes to create 3-dimensional with cardboard and I work smaller, but both of us like to use recycled materials.

What does your business specialize in? What's your favorite product? How'd you come up with the name?

My business specializes in using re-purposed materials as much as possible.  Right now, that is mostly in the form of one-of-a-kind jewelry.  My favorite product is anything with words, like my lockets, pendants, and bracelets.  I love the power of a positive word.  

I came up with the name by thinking that kindness was going to be a big part of my concept and I use “found” materials.  I like the rhyming and the double meaning of Kind Finds.

What do you love best about working for yourself?
I can make my own hours and make my own artistic choices.  The freedom is what I like best.

When working, where do you work?  When do you work in the day/evening? What's your process for working? Things you do daily, a routine?
I have a space in my basement with two big windows.  It’s such a great space!  I work all times of the day.  Morning is when I have the best energy for creating, but sometimes I get a second wind at night after everyone is asleep.  I do not have a routine at all.  Every day is different.  I work with whatever recycled materials I have and decide if I want to make earrings or a necklace or magnets or anything else.  My custom orders take precedence over the other pieces.  I work very intuitively.

Take me step by step through working with customers. Do you do anything special or unique, wrapping, specials, etc.?

I love do custom orders!  Making something special for someone else is so powerful.  With my online orders, I like to wrap up the purchases in a funky recycled way that surprises and delights the customer.  A hand written note is always included.  When I am at craft shows, I always tell the customer where I found the materials in the piece she is buying.

What is your success rate? What do you think customers would say about your work, shop?
I am very grateful for my success so far!  Every year, my business grows.  My items are in 10 shops around the country and I keep growing.  Most places find me on Etsy.  

Customers think my work is cheerful, clever, and unique.  They actually tell me this!

Why do you think people should shop in your store, and why should they support moms who work for themselves?
People should shop in my store because they will get a one-of-a-kind piece that is eco-friendly, has a positive message, and a portion of my proceeds goes to charity.  We should support moms because they already have the most important and toughest jobs being a mom.  If a woman is going beyond that amazing job, then we need to support that passion.

What are your items to sell?
I sell jewelry, magnets, stationery, wine charms, bobby pins, wallets, totes, key chains, and more!

How does your business allow you to be a great mother?
The flexible schedule is key.  I can work as many or as few hours as I want.  I can create WITH my son while he is creating.  Using my creativity is always good for my happiness.

What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I have A LOT of education.  I am finishing up a CAGS degree which is between a master’s degree and a doctorate.  I love to learn and I love teaching.

What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business?
One thing is some of my customers become my friends!  The most powerful part of my business is I do a lot of memorial work for people and pets who have passed away.  I love being part of someone else’s healing and hearing the stories.

Above: son, Below: 3 generations of artists  

What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays?
A handmade gift is always best and to customize the gift for that specific recipient is so thoughtful.  I gave my grandma a handmade book with all my favorite memories of her written in a poem form.  She loves this book.

How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have one son.  One word to describe him: curious and compassionate (okay, that was two words!)
for the Mommy Stories readers, you have a special deal - 10% off orders with coupon code:  SUPPORTMOMS

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