Clay Township resident Kristy Bottle has turned her passion for crafting into a successful business. Now, she wants to give back.
Bottle runs Kristy’s Craft Room, an online craft store that sells wood cutouts. Bottle also runs a subscription service that sends monthly craft kits to subscribers, hosts Facebook Live events on her page and posts videos of craft tutorials.
To view her shop, visit kristyscraftroom.com/. Craft kit subscriptions are available for $ 36 a month under the “shop” tab. Individual cutouts range from $ 17 to $ 32. To view her Facebook page, visit facebook.com/KristysCraftRoom.
Recently, Bottle passed on to the semifinal round of the Barnwood Living DIY Hero Contest, a competition that allows voters to vote for their favorite artisan from across the country. The top vote getter receives $ 25,000 and a feature in “Make Magazine.”
People can vote for free once a day or purchase votes to support the American Lung Association. The deadline to for the top four finalists is 7 pm Thursday. To vote, visit diyhero.org/2022/kristy-bottle.
Bottle said if she were to win the award, she will use the money to start a passion project of sending free craft kits to those who cannot afford craft supplies.
Bottle said crafting can be a therapeutic stress relief and gives people a sense of accomplishment.
“Creating just releases all that pent up stress and pent up energy and in the end you have something beautiful that you’re proud of,” Bottle said. “For some people, it gives them self worth and value, being like, look, I created this.”
Bottle said she hosts free giveaways and posts tutorials using dollar-store items or items laying around the house to cater to everyone’s budget.
If she does not win the contest, Bottle said she will still pursue her passion project of providing craft supplies to those in need, but it will take longer and be more difficult.
Turning a passion into a business
Bottle was a stay-at-home mother who re-entered the workforce with a typical nine-to-five job when she started searching for ways to return home. In late 2019, she launched the Facebook page to share craft tutorials with others.
The page quickly took off, attracting tens of thousands of followers. Bottle quit her job to pursue the business full-time. Last year, her husband, Tim Bottle, quit his full-time job to join her in running the business by helping to make the wood shapes and assisting with the business side.
The couple passed 100,000 followers on Facebook in January, and now have more than 123,000 followers. Kristy’s Craft Room also has more than 2,200 followers on Instagram and more than 10,500 followers on TikTok.
They also have three employees to help make and pack supplies, run the backend of the business and coordinate photos, video and graphics.
Bottle said it was scary at first to take the leap into the business and do things such as Facebook live events.
“It took me forever to click that go live button because it’s scary to be live on camera in front of people and you don’t know if people are going to show up. You don’t know what people are going to say, you don’t know what people are going to think of you, “Bottle said. “But each time I did, it got a little bit easier.”
Bottle said doing the live events, being present on social media and running the business has given her a new confidence and encouraged her to be herself.
Kristy Bottle said she has always enjoyed crafting, and occasionally took her crafts to craft shows prior to the business. She grew up in a family with eight children, so her mother crafted both for the love of it and when money was too tight for expensive gifts.
Kristy and Tim Bottle said the community of people they have met through their business has been amazing. Tim Bottle said Kristy’s followers have met up with each other to share ideas and craft supplies and send her extra craft supplies so she can send them to people in need.
They said they keep their page positive and fun. Kristy Bottle said people have messaged her to say they live alone or lack a social outlet and they like seeing her Facebook live videos as a way to experience something positive for a few hours.
“We’re going to craft; we’re going to create something pretty in the end, but we’re going to have a lot of fun getting there,” she said. “And that’s kind of our biggest goal … to just bring happiness and joy to people.”
Currently, they run the business out of their home. One wall in the room where she tapes her Facebook live videos is decorated with her projects. Studio lights, a ring light and phone stand crowd the table where she makes her crafts.
Crafting supplies overflow from bins in another room in their home. Three wood-cutting machines, wood supplies, a new metal-cutting machine, mailing supplies and a packing table sit in a pole barn in their backyard.
The couple said they are outgrowing the space at their home and hope to expand to a warehouse space in the future.
Bottle said she is also planning to expand into metal crafts after the arrival of their metal-cutting machine.
Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.