I LOVE her story of how she got into this business also- you'll be surprised what led her to this path. I love when something good comes from something negative.
Thanks for sharing with us, Kathy!
MOMS: discount at the bottom of this page! GREAT gift ideas!
Images shared from Kathy Pickering
1. 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 really. We were robbed in early spring of 2012 and they took all my jewelry including a beautiful blue sea glass bracelet that my husband bought me during our first Christmas together as well as my engagement ring and lots of other very sentimental pieces. I was devastated and angry. I had a hard time getting past the fact that I would never see my jewelry again. I tried to find a sea glass bracelet to replace the one I lost but couldn't so I was determined to teach myself how to make one. It took me a while but I finished it. Things sort of took off after that. I started making sea glass rings for myself then started branching out into stamping. I mostly made gifts for friends and family and my business grew mostly by word of mouth. I didn't go public until April of 2015.
2. Why was owning a business a perfect situation for you and your family?
The funny part was that my intention wasn't to start my own business. I already work full time as a physical therapist and barely have any free time for much else but my family. This business is perfect for me and works for my family because I don't have to spend too much time doing it if I don't want to. My workspace/office is in my home (a closet to be exact). I set my own schedule and keep only as busy as I would like. I am grateful for all my friends and family who recommend my work.
My favorite part is seeing someone out in public wearing something I made and hoping that they enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it.
3. What does your business specialize in? What's your favorite product? How'd you come up with the name?
My business specializes in personalized and custom made pieces mostly made out of sterling silver with my most popular item being a "mothers" necklace. My favorite is working with a client who has an idea and trying to help them make that piece that they imagined. I also love working with the sea glass that I find locally and figuring out what it will become.The name Old Falls Designs came from the street I live off of as well as the falls that are behind my house. I make a wide variety of jewelry including key chains,necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and ornaments (during the holidays) mostly hand stamped with a loved one's name/s,favorite word/saying and coordinates of a special place. I love to incorporate the sea glass that I find into my jewelry as well.
4. What do you love best about working for yourself? When working, When do you work in the day/evening? What's your process for working? Things you do daily, a routine?
Because I already work full time, I love that I can make my jewelry on my own schedule. I am just busy enough that I don't get too stressed out and still have time to focus most of my energy on my family. This time of year though I am really busy getting ready for the holiday fairs.
You can find me at the York Hospital artesian fair on from 11-2 and at the Dorothy Stevens/West Kennebunk Fire Station on from 9-2.
5. Take me step by step through working with customers. Do you do anything special or unique, wrapping, specials, etc.?
Most of my customers get in touch with me directly through Facebook and Messenger but you can also contact me via phone, text and email. I do like to try to go out of my way and deliver my customer's items to them depending on where they live or meet them at a location that is convenient for them. Every piece I make is placed in a little box with my stamp on it and tied with a ribbon.
6. What is your success rate? What do you think customers would say about your work, shop?
I have gotten a lot of great feedback from customers that I truly appreciate. It helps me to better my work in a way I couldn't without their comments. I would hope though that if someone is not satisfied with something I've made them,that they wouldn't hesitate to contact me.
7. Why do you think people should shop in your store, and why should they support moms who work for themselves?
I am the mother of one very energetic boy who consumes me completely. I find it very difficult to find a balance between work and family. I wish I could be at home more. I think it is so important to have a great network of friends/mothers for support. I truly respect those moms out there who are running their own businesses and it just makes sense to support each other.
8. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?
My business allows me to be a great mother because I only have to put in the time that I want/need. I started this business as a pasttime with the understanding that I wouldn't let it take over my family life. Summers are super busy for us as a family so I usually put jewelry making on hold then. I also have the freedom to work at night after my son has gone to bed and that way I don't feel like I'm missing out on important family time.
9. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I think it would surprise readers to know that I take such pride in making every piece of jewelry that it makes me super nervous not knowing if my customer will like it or not.
10. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business?
The coolest thing I have ever experienced as part of having my business is meeting so many great people. I am not originally from Kennebunk so it has helped me get to know the community in which I live and the wonderful people who make it so.
11. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays?
My favorite gifts to give during the holidays are ones that are personalized.Something that they can wear everyday that reminds them of the people who love them or who they love.
14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have one child, an 8 year old son who I can sum up in one word: energetic!
# is 207-251-2410.
20% off purchases through 12/31/16