Tell us a bit about yourself.
Nick and Kimber Christensen
Currently: Boise, ID.
Previously: Humboldt County, CA; traveling around the States for a year; Buffalo, NY; Colorado Springs, CO where we met while in the Army.
Two kids, LDS, vegetarian, map lovers, no television and we’ll talk your ear off about the places we’ve lived together.â€¨We believe that it’s our responsibility to take care of our bodies, families and earth.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Sell those things, teach the kids, games, road trips, bike rides, community events, family, eat, talk, watch BBC miniseries, get together with friends and Nick browses catalogs.
What first made you want to become an artist?
Nick considers himself an artisan and is inspired by the beauty and versatility of the materials he works with. â€¨I’ve crafted junk for years; it is incredibly rewarding to be designing toys that turn out so beautifully.
Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
All our toys are wood, raw or rubbed with a local beeswax and organic jojoba oil finish. We design and make them morning, noon and night- any time we can after the kids are cared for.
We get ideas all the time from watching children play, clever customers, and our own genius. We write them down. 1-5 months later we find a moment to make some stovetop popcorn and talk toys. I’ll sketch while Nick gets distracted shopping on Craigslist. 2-7 weeks later Nick will whip up a prototype. The kids end up with those. Right now Daphne is chewing on a teether that looks like a buffalo. We discuss our options and remake. Once I take pictures, I edit them with Picnik and list the toy.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Nick: A box that Rex and I painted for him with Rex’s little hand and footprints.â€¨Kimber: A biography of my grandma Beryl, written by my mom’s cousin.
Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.
The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia and Lee McAlester
The Very Efficient Carpenter by Larry Haun
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Star Wars original trilogy
Bleak House (2005)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
and the rotating favorite song: Merry Happy by Kate Nash
You Just Don’t Understand by Deborah Tannen
The Better World Handbook
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Natural Family Living by Peggy O’Mara
Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Little Women (1994)
Harry Connick, Jr.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Boise Public Library
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Once you have a full shop, keep working. Redo titles, descriptions, tags, and photos, and improve what you offer. When you get something right, you will start to see it around Etsy and blogosphere. There is a fine line between finding help, enjoying yourself and wasting time in forums, blogs, and various third party Etsy tools.
What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
Favorite: new checkout process, Storque, shop sections, gift guides. â€¨Need: bulk receipt printing, shipping calculator and folders for the convos PLEASE.
How do you promote your work?
Etsy promotion threads, Facebook, business cards, and making new toys.
In ten years I’d like to be…
healthy homeowners with a successful business and brilliant children.