Inspiring Moms: Karen Kimmel, Stacy Bernstein, and Tait Chatmon of Crafting Community
Sooo, we cannot wait for Crafting Commmunity, you guys. It’s going to be such an amazing family vacation! And we think the ladies who started it are most definitely inspiring as creative women and moms. They’re the perfect fit for the next installment of our inspiring moms column, don’t you think?
That’s Tait, Stacy, and Karen. Don’t they look like they love their job? Their offices aren’t bad either.
Business name: CRAFTING COMMUNITY
Date/year started: 2009
Where do you work?
I ended up moving to Atwater Crossing with a couple of my artist friends because we had all lost our leases in the Seeley Building, and when I moved in it was still very raw. My studio was in a dye house and all of the other studios that now form the complex hadn’t been built out yet. I completely fell in love with the place and I’ve been here ever since – the community in Atwater just gets richer every year. Being part of an art community and watching it grow is super satisfying because it makes me believe in the worth of taking chances and building something from the ground up. It also doesn’t hurt to work around the corner from Proof Bakery!
What was the inspiration or impetus to start your business?
Crafting Community was established as a unique way to spend quality time with family and friends while cultivating the creative spirit through art, curated design, fitness and plain old fun. As three very liked-minded mothers and entrepreneurs, we strongly believe that creativity is an essential tool for life. Crafting Community is the vehicle to actualize immersive design experiences where families can play, grow and be together. Whether manifesting as a family weekend getaway, a one-day event, a campaign for a partner brand, or social media initiative, Crafting Community is driven by an enduring commitment to design, community and partnership.
How does your business inspire your family, or your family inspire your business?
So much of what we do in business is based on the life skills we’ve acquired as moms. From the brands we partner with to the type of programming we offer at our family events. Our priority is to create experiences that enrich family life as a whole. It is important for us to work with companies that adhere to sustainable and ethical business practices as well as support products that we as moms use in our daily life. We feel that if you can run a household you have the tools to run a successful business.
How has it changed or evolved as your child/ren have grown? (I know each lady has children of different ages, but it would be interesting to hear from all of them since they’re all in different positions and every family is different.)
Absolutely. For me personally, my own son’s interests have definitely influenced certain aspects of the activities we create on-site. Each year, as he grows, I have watched his interest grow in the more advanced programming. It’s so wonderful to see him fall in love with something new and watch his creativity expand right before my eyes. Because the three of us have children in various age groups, we’ve got quite a unique perspective when it comes time to concept our programs. It’s so important to us that all of the attendees, young and old, are engaged throughout our weekend retreats and bonding with the people they love most.
For me the family highlights have been watching Jersey go from a learner to a teacher now helping other parents and kids make things. For Ace, he is one of the reasons we developed the recreational component of the weekend, he doesn’t really hit the craft tables, but he sure does work the obstacle courses, skate lessons, and pool.
One of the things that I am most proud of is that I get to bring my family to work! Our first Crafting Community Stella (my oldest) was just 6 months old (now 4). Every event she literally has a different experience because she becomes more and more engaged in the programming. She also makes REAL connections with other kids (so cute) that she now looks forward to seeing. In fact our CC family booklet is often her favorite bedtime story to go through all the family pictures!
You three are partners and also moms. That must be nice! How do you support each other as business partners, friends, and fellow moms?
Before anything, we’re friends. Our families play together and our children have grown up together. This creates a unique foundation and a level of understanding that is not often found in a traditional business partnership. Also as fellow moms, there is a definite connection that helps us to support each other during the everyday challenges that arise in running a successful business and family.
How do you figure out the balance of time with your child/ren and time to work?
How much time do you have? This is a question we continually grapple with! The balance of family and business is an ongoing challenge for any working parent. Some of the success of balancing the two comes with experience, and some just comes down to feeling comfortable with knowing what to let go. The three of us are perfectionists and to say we’re obsessed with the details is an understatement. That being said, we are lucky to have each other as confidants and sounding boards when we are feeling pulled in every direction. Our common thread as parents allows us to truly relate to one another when we face the ever existing work-life challenge. Bottom line, we always remember that we can have everything, but maybe not all at once.
Aww, look at that crew. These ladies and their adorable brood will be at The Ace Hotel with the rest of us to celebrate family, creativity, and fun. Want to join? You totally should! We’d love to meet some of you too. And there are still a few rooms available so if you’re thinking about it, you should book yours now!
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Stacy, Karen, and Tait! We can’t wait to see what you’ve planned for all of us.