Trashy Crafter was born in July 2011 when Kim and her Mom Helen were at a local thrift store. They loved to go to thrift shops, and one day while at the thrift store they noticed hundreds of damaged and outdated books being thrown away. Some books were missing covers, some had ripped pages, and many were scribbled in with pens or crayons. No one was buying this books, so they were to be thrown out, and that broke their hearts…. So they grabbed as many books as they could and took them home.
They had to do something useful with all of the books. Kim remembered that she had learned how to make paper beads by her 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Byant. So she began to experiment on how best to roll the beads, and turn them into beads. She made some bracelets and started wearing them around, they would always get compliments, so she thought, why not make some for other folks to wear and enjoy, at that moment Trashy Crafter was born!
This is where most of the magic happens. A lot of work goes into completing one jewelry piece. We gather damaged and outdated books from thrift stores, libraries, garage sales, dumpsters and also get many worn out books donated from teachers and librarians. The spacer beads we get from the swap meet, garage sales or as donations as well. One we decide on a book to turn into beads we cut it up into strips and hand-rolling each one, we coat it three times for protection and to make it sturdy.
One the recycled paper beads are done we create the bracelets, necklaces, earrings and lanyards. That is my favorite part of the entire process, I love to match colors and patterns together and create unique one of a kind jewelry that is both beautiful to look at and very meaningful to folks.
When it’s order on line we package it on our vintage singer sewing table. We take our 100% handmade and recycled map envelopes and package each item into one, wrap it and tie it with a bow and place our business card on it. Shipping is a magical time for us, knowing that our work is going to travel all over the world and be worn and enjoyed by so many people puts a smile on both of our faces!
My family has always been so supportive of my love for Crafts, and I am so blessed and thankful for that. My Grandma taught my sister and I how to craft, while in elementary school were were encouraged to create things after homework was done, and I must say that was my favorite time of the entire day! My Mom and Dad supported me and always gave feedback on my work, and my wonderful boyfriend Dave is a wonderful cheerleader and helper! I love working with my Mom, it’s a wonderful way to spend time together and it’s awesome to look back and see all that we did together! Knowing that in a small way we are making the world a more beautiful place and helping the environment as well!
Mom (Helen) enjoys gardening, cooking, hanging out with family, going to the movies and going on motorcycle rides with Dad, I also must say I get my good looks and love for Rod Stewart from my Mom.
When I’m (Kim) not working I like to hang with my dogs Ish and Roy and go to the dog beach, hang with friend and family, work on my garden, and read business books or listen to podcasts. Trashy Crafter is not yet my full time job, I am also marketing director at a local law firm, and am using funds from Trashy Crafter to pay off my $50,000 student loan so I can be debt free.