I have always been interested in how things work and how they were made. For example, I love to binge watch shows that explain how people go from concept to reality. I was curious about all mediums. Anything that took someone’s imagination and turned it into something you could see. Who knew that today I would have worked through my biggest endeavor yet – taking the concept of KRFTR from an idea rattling around my brain into what it is today!
Several years ago, I was working full time and head strong in my career. At work I found myself surrounded by talented creators that did their artwork on the side or as a hobby for fun. “You could make a lot of money if you did this full time!” I’d say, but they’d sigh and reply, “People tell me that all the time, but it doesn’t pay the bills.” I know not every artist wants to do their work professionally, but it was discouraging to see support missing for those who did.
In 2017 we had our first son. I always saw myself being a career mom, but once I saw my baby that idea went out the window. With sacrifices we were able to adjust from a two-income family to a one-income family with a new baby. I began to look for different ways to work from home. I discovered very quickly that finding any type of schedule that works for a new parent is next to impossible. This was all before coronavirus of course, so virtual jobs weren’t as available as they are now. In a sea of scams, MLMs, pyramid schemes, and jobs that were really work from home “sometimes” it became clear I would not be finding the job we needed.
As a result, I turned to selling artwork online for family members, playing violin for events, as well as other odd jobs. The sites we used to sell art had so many fees and so many members that we had spotty success. Searches online for help only populated site-specific coaches that wanted to teach you how to market and get ahead of the next guy. Nothing against those coaches, but it was a lot to digest. It was at that point I knew I had a new goal: To connect buyers that have a long wish list and no time with creators looking for commissions.
After we had our daughter, we really went all in with developing KRFTR. We began to research everything because we wanted to really understand the company inside and out. Is this viable? Is there a need? Who are we helping specifically? I joined different entrepreneurship groups in the hopes of learning more from people who had more experience than I did.
To anyone looking at starting their own business, never be afraid to put yourself out there! Not every person will be able to help you the way that you need, but when you do find your network of mentors it is SO valuable! Keep reaching out and asking questions. Business mentors can save you valuable time and resources that may have taken them years to figure out on their own. I love the quote, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” – Confucius. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to learn. Remember: businesses are flexible, not fixed. Nothing is set in stone! The best advice I ever received was just to START.
My entrepreneurial adventures lead me to many business professionals both in and outside of the United States. This was the best unintentional move we could have made. Once we began to market on social media this continued to expand to places all over the world. I never imagined we would be getting this level of interest! It was exciting and overwhelming.
Homework showed that every area has their own rules, regulations, fees, and paperwork. We decided to make the tough call to BETA launch in the United States only, with the goal to expand into other areas as we grow. Keep an eye out for our emails. We will be asking everyone where we should expand first! We continue to highlight all the creators who follow our social media, regardless of where they live. Our goal is always to connect people together to create a more beautiful world.
August 31st, 2017, was our BETA launch! Talk about a surreal experience to see a visual representation of your thoughts and hard work. It has been an amazing process. We BETA launched in two phases which are active now. Firstly, we had phase one which allows creators to set up their profiles. This includes their profile picture, banner, and gallery. In addition, we have a Showcase which shows off creator profiles and an Inspiration page which gives examples of creators work to buyers. Many buyers know they want to shop for something, but don’t always know what they can choose from.
Secondly, we launched phase two which allows buyers to start posting their commission requests. Buyers can post jobs at no cost until they decide to work with a creator on the site. The briefs can be sent directly to a creator they like on the site or posted in a general forum where any artist can reach out. The buyer and creator then have a conversation about the specifics of the brief. What makes KRFTR unique is that creators get paid in stages throughout the project. This protects both the creator and the buyer. You can find out more on how it all works on our page in the FAQ section.
We are really excited about the future of KRFTR. We are looking to expand outside of the United States once we are done with the BETA stage. It’s going to be amazing to hire a creator to get authentic work anywhere in the world! KRFTR will be looking into art mentorships and education for our members.
Currently we do creator and mentor interviews which are posted on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Creators can share more about themselves, their story, and their work with the world. Similarly, we can’t wait to talk to mentors in the industry that can share their wealth of knowledge to the community on how to sell, improve, and grow.
Thank you for being a part of this adventure with us. Above all we are humbled by all of your wonderful feedback and encouraging words. I cannot wait to see what you all create together! Never hesitate to reach out. We welcome and encourage constructive criticism and we appreciate all of you!