The Etsy Blog

Quit Your Day Job: Quernus Crafts handmade and vintage goods

Tell us about your shop and the idea behind it.
I am a polymer clay artist specialising in miniature animal sculptures, which I call “the wee creatures.” Each one is alive to me, and I love seeing who wants to come out to play next. I’m on a mission to bring more fun and happiness to the world – it’s hard to be angry or sad when you’ve got a wee mouse gazing up at you offering you a slice of cake! I giggle a lot while I’m working, and I’m pretty sure that some of the giggles stay with the creatures as they go off into the world.

The name Quernus is a play on the Latin word for oak tree, “quercus.”

Tell us about your previous working situations and how you discovered Etsy.
I worked as a lawyer for 15 years, but although I enjoyed the intellectual rigour of the work, it never felt like a good fit. There came a point in 2008 when I knew I couldn’t carry on with it any longer. I was pushing 40, and the thought of being a lawyer until I retired just filled me with horror. I didn’t know what I would do instead, but I saved up and gave myself the gift of a six month mini-retirement. Although I told my parents that I could always go back to law if things didn’t work out, I knew this was a one-way ticket for me, whatever came next.

It was only once I completely left my job that I had the time, space and energy to explore what I would do next. I started working with polymer clay again, something I hadn’t done for over 10 years. It was just so much fun to discover what I could do with this wonderfully versatile material, and all these wee creatures just started pouring out – I think they’d been waiting for me to catch up with them! I started a blog to chart my progress, and people began asking where they could buy them. That’s when I started researching the best ways to sell online. I found out about Etsy and realised that this would be an ideal way to sell to a world-wide audience. I opened my shop in October 2009, and although sales were fairly slow to begin with, they have absolutely rocketed in the past 12 months.

I have absolutely no regrets about leaving behind a career in law – I have never worked harder, and I’ve never been happier!

What steps did you take to prepare for transitioning into full time Etsy selling?
Initially, I was thinking that Quernus Crafts would be one of several income streams for me – I had trained to be a life coach, and I was also writing for UK Handmade. However, during that first year, the orders starting coming through thick and fast, I was selling well at craft fairs, and I was also getting a lot of commission orders. I realised then that I was actually able to make a full-time living from Quernus. In the year that it took to get to that stage, I had my savings to fall back on, and I also took a payment holiday on my mortgage, so I was able to scrape by until I got properly established. Throughout this time, I worked very hard and practised making all the time, honing my technique and coming up with new designs. It was hard work, but I’m a great believer that if you’re doing what you love, things have a way of working out!

What is your favorite part of the process in working with polymer clay? 
Oh, there are so many good things about working with polymer clay! I love it when I start shaping the clay and I can begin to see how the wee creature will turn out – it’s like releasing the creature trapped in the clay. It’s a magical process, and one that always delights me! I feel that the clay tells me what it wants to be – I just follow the instructions. When working on a design, I don’t make sketches or plans — if I can picture the design in my mind, then I know it exists already – it’s just a question of bringing it into this world.

When I’m working with people on commissions, they usually come to me with an idea and then the magic comes from the two of us building on that idea to create just the perfect design. I consider it a real honour when I’m asked to create something very special, like a wedding cake topper, or a sculpture of a much-loved pet, and I’ve kept in touch with a lot of my customers. I do love working on completely new designs, and I particularly love the engineering challenges that crop up when making the wee creatures interact with their environment, like the Teapot Mice I made recently for a wedding.

What are your best marketing tips?

  • Be as professional as you can be from day one. Start as you mean to continue – have a website, business cards, banners (for craft fairs), and create a cohesive look for your brand.
  • Do what you love. People can tell when you love what you do, and they buy into that first and foremost. If something gets stale or tired, have a break from it and try something else. Keep things fresh and interesting for you and your customers.
  • Treat each customer as you want to be treated. Aim to give them a lovely experience from start to finish, from the initial enquiry or order, to keeping them updated, to the packaging you use. I think this is one of the ways in which micro-businesses have a big advantage over the larger companies: we can give our customers very personalized service (which often results in lots of repeat custom work).
  • Be active online, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Pick a few social marketing tools that suit you and focus on them. If you try and keep up with everything, you’ll have no time to run your business! And don’t become too dependent on any one online tool; if Facebook went belly up tomorrow, could your business still carry on? Make sure that it can and would.
  • Give something back. Promote other businesses, donate to charity, be generous with your ideas and information. You will be surprised at how much comes back to you as a result, and it makes you feel good, too.

What’s been your most popular item or line to date?
The Teacup Mice have been a big hit, particularly after the Yellow Teacup Mouse appeared on the Etsy homepage back in December 2011. I had about 20 orders that day, and I’ve been steadily selling them ever since. The Little Sewing Mice are also very popular, as are the Love Mouse Couples. Many of these have found their way to the top of wedding cakes, and they have been featured in the national press.

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion? Have you made any business mistakes you regret?
Not so far, I’m glad to say! I post a lot to Facebook, and have built up quite a large following organically, rather than doing specific promotions. Mistakes are really opportunities in disguise. I went on a course earlier in the year which ended up not being as helpful as I had hoped. But instead of being a write-off, I was able to apply some of the things I’d learned in other unexpected ways, and my business has grown as a result. So even mistakes happen for a reason – there’s learning in everything!

What is the biggest challenge you face during your daily schedule?
It’s a challenge to keep to some sort of structure through the day; I prefer to do things as the mood takes me. This can mean that I end up working late into the night catching up on things I’d planned to do that day. Remembering to stop work is also quite hard at times, particularly as I work from home. It’s just too easy to say “I’ll just do this and then I’ll go to bed,” and before you know it, a couple of hours have passed and you’re having a chat with the dawn chorus.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Sometimes, it can feel like a bit of a treadmill; unless you actually plan for it, there really isn’t such a thing as down time, and the need to keep paying the bills can feel like a lot of pressure. But whenever the pressure gets to me, I take a step back and remember that I get to make mice for a living, and that I also get to choose how I feel about that. That usually has me giggling again.

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? 
I love not having to answer to anyone except myself and my customers. My time is my own, and I get the benefit of all the work I put in each day. I can’t imagine going back to working for someone else; we only get one chance at life, so why spend all your precious time and energy not following your own dream?

What is the most exciting thing that has come out of selling your designs through Etsy?
As well as some national press coverage, I think the most exciting thing is when people get in touch to say how much the wee creatures mean to them. That always brings a lump to my throat and reminds me why I’m doing this, and that this is what I’m meant to be doing.

What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
Go for it! It’s not an easy way to make a living, but if you are doing what you love, there is no better way to earn a crust. It’s far better to live a life with no regrets, even if it’s a roller coaster ride, than to look back at the end of your life and wish you’d done things differently.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help — the creative world can be a solitary one at times, but if you’re prepared to reach out, you’ll find lots of people out there willing to help. Etsy has created a wonderfully supportive community of like-minded people, as well as a fantastic library of selling and marketing tools. Make use of them both – they will stand you in very good stead. And above all, have fun!

Thanks for sharing your story, Kirsten. Check out her items below.

Seller Handbook | Quit Your Day Job Series

  • readyruthieoriginals

    Beth from ReadyRuthie says:

    Ahh,I LOVE reading quit your day job posts. I also always love it when the seller is someone who had a serious, long term career prior to etsy, one that inevitably involved a lot of student loan debt and brought in a good income. I think that makes the person even braver for changing to this lifestyle. When people talk about turning full-time seller after low paying jobs in retail or customer service, it seems like less of a leap.

    3 years ago

  • ChezMargot

    ChezMargot from ChezMargotVintage says:

    Lovely story, thankyou for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • Dedalos

    Patty from Dedalos says:

    Really inspiring interview, I love your creations!

    3 years ago

  • friendlygesture

    friendlygesture from friendlygesture says:

    Adorable shop!

    3 years ago

  • foundbymarie

    Marie Williams from foundbymarie says:

    such dear little creations! it is immediately apparent that lots of heart goes into each one! thanks for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • hanroach

    Hannah Roach from hanroach says:

    I absolutely love your work!!! They are so adorable and I can totally see how you would giggle away to yourself!! Such a great idea. I'm very tempted to buy one!:)

    3 years ago

  • atreasure

    Haylee from aTreasure says:

    Great tips! I've worked some with polymer clay and it made me learn to appreciate those who do it for a living; it can be hard! You're wee creatures are so adorable. Thank you!

    3 years ago

  • jgaido

    Josie from JosiesBoutique says:

    great story! congratulations!!

    3 years ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    I admire your courage! Great advice. Congrats.

    3 years ago

  • ErinAntiques

    Erin from ErinAntiques says:

    Congrats! Your polymer clay mouse and snails are so cute! :)

    3 years ago

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak says:

    Thank you for sharing your work are and advice. Your art is beautiful.

    3 years ago

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie says:

    Sooo Cute! Congrats on the feature!

    3 years ago

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld says:

    Your sense of humor and love for your pieces really shows! Congratulations on your successful jump into a completely new, creative career!

    3 years ago

  • vintagecdm

    Cindy McCandlish from VintageCindy says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! I am amazed at how much personality you can squeeze out of a simple ball of clay.

    3 years ago

  • DecoFamara

    DecoFamara from DecoFamara says:

    Oh my!!!! They are so cute. Love your work!!!!!! Great story.

    3 years ago

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose says:

    Awww! Such cute little mice!

    3 years ago

  • Mikono

    Ling Abson from Mikono says:

    I have to agree with the first poster that going from a lawyer to a self-made crafter seems such a huge leap and thank you for following your dreams and being brave. You are among my list of Quit Your Day Job sellers that inspires me on a daily basis that one day, I could be on this list too. Thank you for sharing and I never thought I would say this by your mice are SO ADORABLE!

    3 years ago

  • OliveSpoonStudio

    Michael and Erin Waite from OliveSpoonStudio says:

    Adorable!!!! Love your little guys and your article - I read parts to my husband, as we are on the same road as you :)

    3 years ago

  • mylittlebigcheeks

    Kellie Estep from mylittlebigcheeks says:

    omg these are so amazing and cute! im completely in love! im going to hint to my husband for christmas to get me some :) to cute! LOVE IT!

    3 years ago

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ says:

    Very inspiring story and great marketing advice. Adorable little creatures, too! :)

    3 years ago

  • LovelySeason

    June from LovelySeason says:

    Very inspiring story! Thank you for sharing and OH I LOVE your shop! They are so cuteeee!

    3 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    I love your shop Quernus, lovely to see you featured on the etsy blog!

    3 years ago

  • mvmayophotography

    Mary Mayo from MVMayoPhotography says:

    They are soooo adorable!!!

    3 years ago

  • tinprincess

    tinprincess from tinprincess says:

    Truly inspirational! I agree, it is so meaningful that she left a well paying career to follow her dream. Obviously she had the smarts and tools to succeed! So very many nuggets of wisdom in this interview, and she literally brings these mice to life because she loves what she's doing. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    3 years ago

  • MelindaRoseDesign

    Melinda Rose from MelindaRoseDesign says:

    Fantastic read! Thanks so much for sharing your story! Touched my heart :) Such adorable little creatures

    3 years ago

  • warnellcreations

    warnellcreations from warnellcreations says:

    Inspiring story and great tips.

    3 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    OMGosh! Is this not the definition of cute?! Best of luck Kirsten. There's nothing better than following your heart.

    3 years ago

  • SecondSpringSoaps

    Milly from SecondSpringSoaps says:

    AHH! Your shop is adorable!

    3 years ago

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says:

    I love your story and your shop. The mice, the sheep, the adorable. I appreciate your advice and the inspiration you provide by sharing your story with us. Even what seems impossible may be within reach, that is what I'm holding on to, and it's up to me to create my own life as I want it to be. I look forward to the QYDJ posts because they reinforce my hope and expectation that this is truly possible for me too. Thank you and best wishes for continued success and giggles!

    3 years ago

  • suzedablooze

    Susie Morrow from SusieMorrowJewelry says:

    Kirsten - this is SOOOO good to see!!!! You've always had he drive and vision though needed to do this Susie xxx

    3 years ago

  • mfrawley

    Mary Frawley (Calligraphette Ltd) from Calligraphette says:

    Well done - I love your mice and the Keep Calm ones are so cute! I'm very inspired after reading your story. I'm an accountant but I'm now crossing between my calligraphy work and my accountancy, and hopefully later this year I'll be selling a lot more of my calligraphy work to be able to pursue it full time. Thank you xx

    3 years ago

  • swirlyarts

    Lynsey from swirlyarts says:

    Kirsten is such a lovely person and is always willing to offer advice and chat :) I own several of her creatures and they are just gorgeous. I commissioned a set of Star Wars mice for my husband and the attention to detail is brilliant. I'm thrilled that you have featured Kirsten as she is such a nice person and deserves every success that she works hard for.

    3 years ago

  • thedoghouse

    Jane Jones from thedoghouse says:

    Kirsten you are an inspiration! Great interview ;-)

    3 years ago

  • rachellucie

    Rachel Lucie Johns from rachellucie says:

    Great article about a great crafter/designer and friend of mine. I can confirm that as a household owning several wee Quernus Creatures, they are even more gorgeous than they look on the web!

    3 years ago

  • ingapeterson

    Inga Peterson from ingailze says:

    Absolutely adorable critters :) And I love how you giggle as you work! It's wonderful, thanks for sharing your story!

    3 years ago

  • LauraBoyea

    Laura Boyea from LauraBoyea says:

    Congratulations! Your mice are so endearing:)

    3 years ago

  • purpleliz23

    purpleliz23 says:

    I love the wee creatures and the way they've created a little world around themselves. They're also incredibly well made and I've seen some of Kirsten's commission pieces which are incredibly life-like. Her advice about giving something back is so true and something she really follows through on. I bought a cookie monster keyring from yesterday for a present and have already decided i can't bear to give it away.

    3 years ago

  • PetitsBijouxGems

    Emma from PetitsBijouxGems says:

    I am very proud to be able to say I know Kirsten personally. She is such an inspiration to me as I try to establish my own handmade jewellery business. She made me my very own little mouse with my logo, and he accompanies me to all my craft fairs, he's a real talking point!

    3 years ago

  • teedle

    Tasha Kaye from teedle says:

    Seriously the cutest little creatures I've ever seen! I love these series and look forward to reading them every week! I wish there was a new one everyday!

    3 years ago

  • LadyOfLabrador

    Allison Flowers from LadyOfLabrador says:

    This is a fantastic article - so informative and insightful. It is wonderful to see someone take on a creative and different direction in life, and be so successful. Very well deserved. Kirsten, you are an inspiration! Best wishes to you! Allison x

    3 years ago

  • hoosiermamma1

    Vera Hall from hoosiermamma1 says:

    I love your little mice. They seriously make me smile. I know what you mean when you say you giggle when you work. I ooo and ahhh when I crochet a new baby item. That's when I know it's a keeper. Good luck with your critters! LOL!

    3 years ago

  • MexicArt

    Sofia Sanchez from MexicArt says:

    I'm really glad to have found this shop, i LOVE the tiny mice!!! will definitely buy something... Your story is really inspiring to me, thank you so much for sharing... congratulations!!!

    3 years ago

  • glusk

    Tara Galuska from GluskDesigns says:

    Your wee creatures have really brightened up my day. Thanks for sharing your story.

    3 years ago

  • elinakrasteva

    Elina Krasteva says:

    Owww! It's impossible to resist! I can't believe how cute they are! Your hands are magical!

    3 years ago

  • wychbury

    Paula Perrins and Lesley Rhodes from wychbury says:

    Wonderful interview Kirsten! Huge congrats on continuing to spread the cute, lots of love and thank you for the tiffin :-) pxxxxx

    3 years ago

  • FreshStitches

    Stacey Trock Hunter from FreshStitches says:

    Thanks so much for this... I LOVE Quernus! She does such fantastic work!

    3 years ago

  • Evajune

    Eva from EvaJune says:

    Your shop is so lovely. I am going to purchase the sewing mouse. Congrats on your story. Gives me hope to someday get there.

    3 years ago

  • kimberleyryan

    Kimberley Ryan from VintageRoseChic says:

    Hi love your shop! being a newbie its really inspirational reading your story. It all seems so daunting at the beginning hope someday to be successful! X

    3 years ago


    Diana Parkhouse from DianaParkhouse says:

    So many lovely photos. I have a envy!

    3 years ago

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDConnection from TheIDconnection says:

    I cannot wait until I can quit my day job! Love your little mice!

    3 years ago

  • QuernusCrafts

    Kirsten from QuernusCrafts says:

    Wow, I'm blown away by all your lovely comments! Thank you so much - that pesky lump is back in my throat again :)

    3 years ago

  • AliceAndFlorence

    Wendy Melling from AliceAndFlorence says:

    Congratulations ! A wonderful, encouraging interview, with lots of helpful suggestions.

    3 years ago

  • AbleAprons

    Erika Kelly from PortlandApronCompany says:

    I love your positive outlook! It is so inspiring!

    3 years ago

  • goatandkettle

    Justin and Lauren Marsh from GoatandKettle says:

    I like your customized boxes! We do something similar on our packaging for our hand-hammered rings made from antique keys, but on the outside of the mailing box instead. Good article and tips for new shops!

    3 years ago

  • digtheearth

    digtheearth from digtheearth says:

    Yay! Way to go Kirsten!! I'm so, so pleased that you've been featured. You and your work are amazing – keep it up missus! x

    3 years ago

  • LauraTanata

    LauraTanata says:

    Love your work, love your attitude, love your intelligence =) -Laura-

    3 years ago

  • prettystardesigns

    Pretty Star Designs from prettystardesigns says:

    Such a cute shop!!!

    3 years ago

  • LeslieGallery

    Leslie Galluzzo from LeslieGallery says:

    those are so cute! great craftsmanship

    3 years ago

  • ruthgizmouse

    ruthgizmouse says:

    Every single thing Kirsten has said about herself and her wee creatures is true! I know her from the outset, right after seeing a picture of one of her Christmas shows....I live in the USAand went berserk to have something she made...I now own 14 pieces, includiing the Holy Family... you should see how cute Baby Cheeses is...))))))))))))))...Kirsten is one in a million.

    3 years ago

  • SavageClutch

    Cam from SavageClutch says:

    What a beautiful shop. The wee creatures are soooo adorable! My fave part: "I can’t imagine going back to working for someone else; we only get one chance at life, so why spend all your precious time and energy not following your own dream?" So true. Statements like that are why I'm here and why I LOVE this series. Best of luck to you!

    3 years ago

  • onelonelyapricot

    Kristen from onelonelyapricot says:

    Great story and I love your enthusiasm for creating!

    3 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    Jana from bhangtiez says:

    So inspirational! Your creations are magical!

    3 years ago

  • seule771

    Ainee Beland from seule771 says:

    I like the Teapot Mice and the mouse in tea cup with sign keep calm and drink tea signage.

    3 years ago

  • BonTons

    BonTons from BonTons says:

    Inspiring story, thank you for sharing it!

    3 years ago

  • KathyPanton

    Kathy Panton from KathyPanton says:

    "the thought of being a lawyer until I retired just filled me with horror." Priceless! Good on you for not accepting what society expects you to do :)

    3 years ago

  • lilsugarmuffin

    lilsugarmuffin from misstwenty4 says:

    I love your clay mouse creations, they are ever so cute and can't help but bring a smile to your face when you see them. I think it's excellent that you've gone from being a lawyer to being able to run your own handmade business. Gorgeous shop, motivating article that makes me want to hurry up and get my shop back on track!! Thank you xxxx

    3 years ago

  • nidhijain13

    Nidhi Jain from SunshineandDewdrops says:

    So Inspiring ! I've followed a similar path ...but have just begun on Etsy... its a lot of assurance that things will work...someday!

    3 years ago

  • CeeGeeJewellery

    Carolyn from CeeGeeJewellery says:

    Congratulations Kirsten, great article, well deserved! The 2 wee creatures that I've adopted seem happy in their new home (one lives on my kiln and one on Husband's computer) and will undoubtedly be joined by more :)

    3 years ago

  • niftyknits

    Nifty Leavers from niftyknits says:

    It's about time we saw you here Kirsten - well done.

    3 years ago

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka says:

    So so cute!

    3 years ago

  • scribbledfieldnotes

    scribbledfieldnotes from scribbledfieldnotes says:

    Congratulations on the feature. As you know I'm a big fan of your wee creatures and it's terrific that others will now discover you as well. I'm looking forward to expanding my Quernus collection soon.

    3 years ago

  • discerningchichi

    Valerie from chichigemmes says:

    Very inspirational! Well done Kirsten and my gosh those mice are adorable!!

    3 years ago

  • phammerel

    Pamela Hammerel from EnchantmentBagsEtc says:

    Your story inspires me, thank you! I love your shop. Keep making those little critters, they are darling.

    3 years ago

  • stitchwithme

    Victoria Moore from stitchwithme says:

    I just did what you did 6 weeks ago, and left the medical field for crocheting. I am so inspired but things are slow. I have bills and took out the 401K and I am scared everyday. I don't want to go back to that pace.

    3 years ago

  • dreamerawake

    Tania from DreamerAwake says:

    Inspiring story, and delightful items!

    3 years ago

  • gildedingypsy

    gilded in gypsy from gildedingypsy says:

    I've tried crafting with polymer clay before, and it wasn't easy, so it amazes me when I see people making such amazing items out of polymer clay! Your mice are adorable, and I love those teacup mice! Congratulations on your success!

    3 years ago

  • mjuiko

    Irina Steiger from mjuiko says:

    Inspiring... thank you for that! living from what you love to do - it can be better... Congrat!

    3 years ago

  • WoodsyWools

    ACR from WoodsyWools says:

    Great story! Congrats on your success! Love the cute little critters too !

    3 years ago

  • pookdesignz

    Amanda Gwynne-Farrish from pookdesignz says:

    Your work is so adorable - and this post was really helpful to me today - as I struggle with letting go of my cleaning to do what I love to do which is work with polymer clay and teaching it - thank you for sharing - you helped put some wind in my sails!

    3 years ago

  • swilliams21

    Sue Williams from LinkedBySue says:

    I struggle with being in a well paying job that is not the least bit fulfilling while hearing my Etsy shop call my name. I so admire you for going out on a limb the way you did and making your dream come true. I am challenged to find a way to do the same thing. Oh, and by the way, your mice are adorable.

    3 years ago

  • deesigns4u2

    Dee Fitch from deesigns4u2 says:

    Truly you have given such great tips. Love your story and your blog. Your pieces make me smile, especially the moodlings. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing your story. Best of luck to you.

    3 years ago

  • SewSimplyFresh

    Kim Opoku-Ansah from StitchLightly says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips and story! Your little creatures are VERY cute! :)

    3 years ago

  • chocolatebandb

    Quiana Burwell from ChocolateBandB says:

    Omg! I love these little sweet! What an inspiring story...thank you! My husband calls me mouse, so I have to purchase one :-)

    3 years ago

  • donaldwyant

    donald wyant from Donsmetal says:

    Thanks again for your story. I am at that stage in life where I completely relate to your story. You have given me inspiration.

    3 years ago

  • lorirodgersart
  • irmaharoon

    Irma Haroon from IrmaDesign says:

    I was overwhelmed by how much effort is put in creating each "wee creature". I love the name you have used. Thank you for sharing your story, its very inspiring and I wish you many more years of success. I learnt a lot from reading this article, thank u once again Kristen.

    3 years ago

  • SBuss

    Sherri from BurninLoveJewelry says:

    Congratulations on quitting your job and never looking back! That is the story most of us dream about! Nice to leave the rat race behind and concentrate on making beautiful things that make people happy. You're very talented!

    3 years ago

  • BoredSoul

    Bored Soul from Crafthing says:

    Your story and your pretty clay friends really cheered me up. I'm in a situation where I struggle between paying my bills and pursuing dreams, so I really admire you for your courage. All the best for you!

    3 years ago

  • oolung

    oolung says:

    Thanks for this great interview. Very inspiring! I love stories like this: of late bloomers who have the courage to step out of their comfort zone to do something that makes them and other people happy. As a 28-year old that's still far from finding her own path, I'm always encouraged by stories of other people who have done it at an even later stage. It gives me hope and courage to keep looking and to not be afraid of a few tough years. Thank you and all the best for you!

    3 years ago

  • thebibliophile

    thebibliophile from thebibliophile says:

    Really good interview, thank you for sharing your story, the animals are thoroughly adorable! All the best for the future! :)

    3 years ago

  • Katrina090909

    Katrina Gordon from CarolsNiece says:

    "It was only once I completely left my job that I had the time, space and energy to explore what I would do next." This quote spoke to me. I am looking forward to the freedom to breathe, think and create! Thank you for sharing and continued success along the journey.

    3 years ago

  • PrayerNotes

    Prayer Notes by Cynthia from PrayerNotes says:

    What a wonderful article! Every time I read someone's story about entering the creative world, it adds more inspiration to my trek. Thank you, for inspiring all of us. Blessings!

    3 years ago

  • nonesuchgarden

    Megan Baehr from nonesuchgarden says:

    Reading your story made me smile (and cry)! Keep doing what you do. :-)

    3 years ago

  • LailapCreations

    Corynne Person from LailapCreations says:

    Great story and these mice are the cutest things ever! Congrats!

    3 years ago

  • yanhuazou

    yanhua zou from Santahua says:

    great story ,

    3 years ago

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami says:

    Sweet! Congrats.

    3 years ago

  • Hollysprints

    Holly from Hollysprints says:

    Fantastic story! Very brave to leave your job at 40. It would be great to do what you love everyday and not to have a boss! Such cute little creatures, thanks for sharing and good luck.

    3 years ago

  • lenkamuchnik

    Elena Muchnik from lenkamuchnik says:

    OOOOO! How cool!

    3 years ago

  • lupadesignemporium

    Madeleine Tokach from lupadesignemporium says:

    You are so very inspiring. Glad to hear you enjoy what you do and are successful at it. It gives me encouragement to continue working towards my dream of having my hobby turn into a full time job. Thanks again. Your work is lovely!!!

    3 years ago

  • SlinkyLynx

    Anya Linley from SlinkyLynx says:

    Love your shop and the story behind it. I recently quit my day job and you are an inspiration to me. I will have to get crafting again and see what comes of it. Those mice are so cute!

    3 years ago

  • Namaz

    Nazima Banka from nazimabanka says:

    They're adorable!!

    3 years ago

  • studioserafina

    Serafina from SerafinaMarina says:

    Your creations make me smile and your advice and story is inspiring! Thank you for sharing and I wish continued success to you.

    3 years ago

  • malkeldev

    malkeldev says:

    Fantastic. I feel a lot more confident about pursuing this as a job now. I love your wee creatures!

    3 years ago

  • Mystiquebijoux

    Annik-Michele from Mystiquebijoux says:

    So cute! great work! Congrats on this lovely feature!

    3 years ago

  • truidanorval
  • jbrownvzw

    Lady J says:

    Great story. My favorite part is where you explained your process " I feel that the clay tells me what it wants to be – I just follow the instructions. When working on a design, I don’t make sketches or plans — if I can picture the design in my mind, then I know it exists already – it’s just a question of bringing it into this world."

    2 years ago

  • CatLeafCreations

    Claudia S. from CatLeafCreations says:

    Hi there, Oh my gosh, I love your wee mice creations. They are precious. It's funny, when I work on designs, I don't sketch them out either. Whatever material I am working with "speaks" to me and let's me know what it want to be. Congratulations on quitting your day job:)

    2 years ago

  • ggriffiths

    gracie griffiths griffiths from GracieDesings says:

    i like your creation. beautiful.

    2 years ago

  • lynnlawrence123

    Lynn Finnegan from Finneganscotton says:

    I like your story your creations are beautiful

    2 years ago

  • lynnlawrence123

    Lynn Finnegan from Finneganscotton says:


    2 years ago

  • GemsbyGem

    Gem Fay from GemsbyGem says:

    Inspiring story and such adorable creations! Thanks for sharing, it made me smile :-)

    2 years ago

  • alanpennington1

    Alan Pennington from AlanPenningtonArt says:

    Lovely story and so inspiring. I love how passionate you are about your craft and your creations are really brilliant. Thanks for making me smile :)

    2 years ago

  • RenataandJonathan

    Renata and Jonathan from RenataandJonathan says:

    Charming work ! Thank you for sharing :)

    2 years ago

  • L2Country

    L2Country from L2Country says:

    How absolutely adorable and creative!...TXS so much for sharing your life w/ us all....Lina

    2 years ago

  • thevillagecrafter

    tammi from thevillagecrafter says:

    too darn cute! i love the "mistakes are oppurtunities in disguise" i am going to remember that... thank you

    2 years ago

  • Fabulize

    Fabulize from Fabulize says:

    love it.

    2 years ago

  • seule771

    Ainee Beland from seule771 says:

    They are all so cute. Might you try joining the folks at Wee Forest Folk producers of handcrafted miniatures including mouse figurines, bunnies, bears, holiday collectibles, and much more. These miniatures make for perfect ... Meant no harm/insult. Your work is lovely and talented.

    2 years ago

  • Snowdon

    Alexandra Snowdon from Snowdon says:

    What a great story! I remember you from the Folksy forums a couple of years ago Kirsten, it's great that things have turned out so well for you, congratulations, I love your little creatures!

    2 years ago

  • hgfineartstudio

    HLG FINE ART STUDIO GIFT SHOPPE from HLGfineArtStudio says:

    Very courageous of you! It takes a lot of courage to leap into the unkown even if you have a safety net. Happy it is working out for you! You are an inspiration to others! :)

    2 years ago

  • Lindsaywhimsy

    Lindsay from Lindsaywhimsyart says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I love your mice! :)

    2 years ago

  • AlongCameMary

    Mary Mailler from AlongCameMary says:

    Down with the rat race! Up with mice! Tis twice as nice!

    2 years ago

  • AbsolutelyDottie

    Nancy Sheehan from AbsolutelyDottie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story. I will be implementing many of your ideas. Thank you for the inspiration. ALSO..your mice are absolutely adorable. Much much continued success to you! Nancy

    2 years ago


    Beverly Borwick from GLORYSHINE says:

    Kirsten, I feel we are kindred spirits, even not knowing each other. I love your style, you creations and how your heart is infused into every piece! I'm equipped and supplied to begin in polymer clay, and your miniatures fascinate me. My favorite pc artist, so far, is Julie Picarello, and I just bought one of her books. I make fashion accessories, specializing in jewelry design. I'm excited to begin in wire-wrapping, polymer clay, and possibly glass bead making. I'm a child-at-heart, like you, 60 years young and so excited! I've been blessed to be a stay-home wife and mother of 2, recently college grads. Life is sweet and God is good. God bless you in and prosper the work of your hands. Beverly Borwick, Beverly Borwick Designs

    1 year ago