Hi there! I’m Katie Oskin, from Kater’s Acres. It’s so exciting for me to be with you all today and be featured this week. WOW! I have been a part of the PromoFrenzy team since before Etsy created teams…over 2 years now, yet it seems like yesterday. So it’s a joy & honor to tell you a little bit more about me!
I am married to the most wonderful man in the world, Luke, my husband of almost 3 years. We have a beautiful dog (seen in the background of this photo) Daisy who we rescued shortly before we were married. We also have a mischievous kitten, Smokie, who is now 1 year old.
Both my husband and I work together. Our “real world” jobs are as Ordained Ministers in the American Baptist Churches. We presently serve a church, hand in hand in ministry, near Youngstown, Ohio. We love working together and we get along great. It’s a joy for me to say that, as many people can not work with their spouse. For this, I am blessed!
CREATIVE WHEN I WAS YOUNG:
My creative process began when I was 5 and had just learned to write my name. I took a giant blue crayon and wrote my name on the concrete in big letters at my childhood home. When my parents brought both my brother and I downstairs and asked who did the “artwork” on the floor, I immediately said, “Josh did it!” (Please note he was 3 at the time). And so it began….not the sibling rivalry as my brother and I get along great…but the creative streak that lay deep inside.
MY MOTHER'S INFLUENCE:
I learned this creative streak from my Mom. My Mom, to this day, is my best friend and one of my greatest sources of inspiration and strength. This picture was taken on our first ever Mother/Daughter vacation…and boy did we have fun. When I was little my Mom had a booming chocolatier business that would see her make and sell over 500 pounds of chocolate in one Christmas season. As time went on, she dove into other things, primarily stained glass. She did stained glass for 20 years. I am privileged now to have many pieces of her and my Dad’s beautiful work and collaborative designs. As time would go on, my Mom developed arthritis in her hands and no longer could take the pressure on her hands that stained glass required. So today, she’s back into her original love: sewing.
I always grew up around my Mom’s craftiness and unique eye for design, color, pattern, and texture. As I journeyed through high school and college I dove into scrapbooking and made several beautiful scrapbooks; at the same time I began tinkering with jewelry. This was long before you could get supplies from craft stores. I had to order supplies from companies and have them mailed to me. I did jewelry for 5 years until one of the bead stores in my area had a sign out for “make your own beads from polymer clay.” I thought, hmmmm…..I’ve always wanted to try this…..so off to the craft store I went to purchase some polymer clay and the rest is history.
FOR THE LOVE OF CLAY!
From the first time to clay hit my hands, I was in love. When it comes to clay, I love the way it feels in my hands, from the way it starts off rock hard, stiff, and cold, to the way it softens and warms with my touch. It always reminds me of my relationship with my Lord, that I am but clay in His hands, being molded into His purpose for me. In the same way I can make & mold polymer clay into anything I want. When my best friend came over to “play” with me in my studio last year, I gave her a hunk of clay and asked her to condition it. She did and then looked at me and said, “now what.” I laughed at her and told her to make it into something. She made it into a ball and looked at me and said “I have no idea.” I thought she was going to cry right then! I felt so bad…for me, the dreamer in me allows to create easily but for her this was a huge roadblock.
I am blessed with not only a husband who loves me, but is patient with me. As my “studio” initially claimed 1 table in the living room when we were first married, it now covers a table, coffee table, corner hutch, and cedar chest. This Christmas my hubby handed me blueprints, for a new studio. My new studio begins construction on August 22, you can watch Parker build his new studio here. Soon, not only will Parker have a more permanent home, but my husband and I can reclaim our living room for guests, company, entertainment, and general merriment.
While I love doing many things with clay, from making beads, canes, mokume gane, buttons, and so much more, this year I found myself facing a difficult decision: A new direction for my Etsy store and business. Parker was going to go into a real brick and mortar store, but I found a huge roadblock. Thus, the restructuring and rebranding of Kater’s Acres began in May of 2012. And now in August that transition has been completed with the launch of our own website, new product lines, and renewed store focus.
It is the love & joy that I find in Parker and his magical world of make believe that brings me the most joy. With Parker I get to write stories, take him into imaginary places of Kater’s Acres, and bring him to life the way that Disney brought Mickey Mouse to life. I can allow him to explore his new world as a child would explore this world. Parker can easily become anything that I want him to be. My Mom & my husband have said for years that I see the world through “rose colored glasses” and that in everything I am able to find joy & happiness, in part because of my own daily struggles. Parker is an extension of this joy and happiness in the world around me.
Since Parker was first born on Sept. 3rd, 2010 to the day this article was written over 70 individual orders for Parker and over 150 total figurines have been adopted from around the world. Parker is bringing a smile to people’s face, one figurine at a time and this is just one of the reasons why Parker continues to be Kater’s Acres CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer). When I created Parker, he made me smile; and with every figurine I create, its intent is to make its new owner smile. There’s a lot of pain and hurt out there in the world … Parker was created to remind everyone that there is joy and happiness in the world and that good can still come from a broken world. My ultimate goal is that when someone adopts Parker, when he makes it to their home and they open their package that their first and immediate reaction is to smile. And that’s why at Kater’s Acres, smiles begin.
WHERE TO FIND KATER'S ACRES:
Shop Online: http://katersacres.etsy.com
SPECIAL OFFER FOR READERS:
As a special offer, use coupon “FrenzySpecial” to save 10% on any Parker adoption from KatersAcres