We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathy Hamlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathy, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson we have learned is that you can’t please everyone. When we first started our business, we relied a lot on feedback from family and friends. The more we grew, the more opinionated some of them became and it got to a point where we were trying to design to their expectations and not ours. We also would receive comments about the prices of our art and jewelry which was a hardship to explain the time it takes to actually make something from start to finish and that we don’t work for free. We took a step back, re-evaluated and asked ourselves “Who is our customer? Who are our people?” Now we are more confident and proud of what we produce and don’t take as much criticism to heart. We have a better understanding of what is truly constructive criticism and leave the others comments with a nod and a smile.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We are a part of the flow-art craze. I’m sure you’ve seen it on You-Tube or Facebook and perhaps you have seen it at local art shows. What sets us apart from the rest is that we assess each piece of art we create and only a small percentage that we feel are aesthetically pleasing to the eye actually makes it to the public. I am trained as a Commercial Interior Designer so there is an education of color theory, spatial design, negative space and movement that become the foundation of each canvas. From that we draw upon what we feel makes a statement or what will compliment a space in someone’s home or office.
Another aspect that sets us apart is we actually figured out how to make jewelry from the leftover paint. The jewelry has become our best seller so we have taken it a step further and learned how to do controlled pours with acrylic paint so we can sometimes skip the canvas art making process and jump straight to making paint skins which is this most important part of our jewelry. It wasn’t easy and we learned a lot by trial and error but now we have a method that works for us. Making jewelry involves at least 6 steps from start to finish so it is truly a labor of love.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Our favorite places to visit are all the local botanical gardens. We love nature so we frequent the Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, TX and the Japanese Gardens in Fort Worth, TX. We also love Mexican food so we have to hit up Chuy’s and eat our weight in jalapeño ranch dip every chance we get.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Clara Mae Art would not be where is today without the support of our immediate family. When we started this business, Clara was barely 10 years old so her mother, Kendall, graciously let Clara spend her free-time on the weekends either making art & jewelry or attending local craft shows. She is our biggest fan and cheerleader. My husband, Mark, is also a big supporter because he is literally surrounded by our business. We operate out of our home so that means every room in the house is staged with product. He enjoys watching us create. My mom. Ann, is a retired CPA so she does her best to keep my flighty, creative, dis-organized brain as organized as possible when it comes the business side. It’s not my favorite component to running a business but it’s very important and I’m grateful for her support.