Shop Spotlight The French Kiosk
Bonjour bloggy friends,Today’s’ spotlight is shining brightly on Catherine from the French Kisosk. She is a skillful and artful photographer who sells her Fine Art Photography and Vintage French Treasures in her etsy shop aptly named The French Kiosk. Catherine named her shop to represent her love of the classic green kiosks on the Paris riverbanks and she strives to convey that sense of timelessness, simplicity and cultural authenticity.
I felt it was time to start the business I’d always thought about. Also, opening up an online shop is an ideal way for me to further contribute to my family both financially and creatively. It illustrates to my boys what I’ve always believed (but lacked the courage to do) – and that is to have faith in yourself and pursue the thing that stirs within you, the thing you feel compelled to do. You are a very skilled photographer, how long have you been creating art through photography? I have loved photography ever since my teens, when I first entered a darkroom and realized photographs were much more than images. Each tells a story and invites us to look more deeply at all the beautiful details that surround us. I’ve been shooting ever since (though I’ve traded film and chemicals for a DSLR). My husband and I put together a studio in our loft space where one side is used for my shop and the other for his and my older son’s music studio…sometimes I get to work with live music playing in the
Because I also love papeterie, I’ve been designing my own cards and gift tags (for holidays, birthdays, etc) for over 15 years now, mainly because I couldn’t find simple photo cards and I loved the idea of creating my own.
I wanted to make and share products that I created for my family and friends. I concentrate on what I know, what brings me joy and I can do well. This is why I focus on France and French culture to drive most of what I create for the shop. I’ve had a long time affection for France, and its history and culture have always been a great source of inspiration for me. Now being married to a Frenchman allows me to experience the culture intimately and travel to France often.
Catherine says, “what I love to do can delight (and perhaps inspire) someone else.”
What is your creative style/process? I pull a lot of inspiration from the visual and emotional world around me. That includes magazines and photo books, but I also draw from the emotions that flood a particular moment or scene. Born with incurable nostalgia, I’ve learned to finally embrace it and allow it to inspire me and wash over all my work.
Catherine shared that she learned to perfect her craft through a combination of photography courses, design classes, workshops and DIY. But we all know it is the artful eye of the photographer that truly brings the photo to life. She has mastered the ability to capture the art all around us beautifully.
Catherine I find I am most creative in the mornings. When do you feel most creative? Mornings are when I’m most alert and creative… and every now and then, an idea sparks in the middle of the night when I can’t fall back asleep. But as a busy mom, I have been learning to put myself in a creative place whenever I can because my alone time is so limited. I think this is part of the maturity/learning process needed when going from creating as a hobby and creating as a shop owner… Taking pictures will always remain on the top of my list, but I also love an evening with a good book, picnics with my family, roaming through local and faraway markets, and movie nights with my husband.
You seem to have found a nice balance between home and work.
The business and marketing side of the shop is challenging and clearly less intuitive than making the products. I’m constantly trying to balance working on the shop and taking care of my clan of three big and little men…I just opened a few months ago, so everything is still pretty new to me… But what I quickly learned is to stay positive and focused and remember why I opened the shop. I also learned to do things one step at the time and be iterative rather than trying to do everything all at once and get everything right the first time – that can get very frustrating…. We live in a great era when we can make and share anything with the world in a single click. The challenge, however, is to find the right tools, processes and channels to find a voice and share our vision of the world in what became a tsunami of information. Etsy is giving creative people a way to do that, it’s a platform to give a human voice & face to the global market. In a time when faceless commercial giants are seamlessly taking over, it is almost our duty to give people a choice; an alternative that will preserve our commercial freedom while keeping our interaction with our expanding world meaningful, human and beautiful. I feel fortunate to be part of this revolution and call on each one of you to join this exhilarating experience Thank you for reading and to those who supported my efforts – including dearest Katherine for this post! I just came back from France and am adding new photographs to the shop, hope to see you there
Merci beaucoup ami, It has been a pleasure shining the light on your shop today.
I hope you all are enjoying this series of featured Independent Artists and Crafters. I encourage you to connect with Catherine.
See you at the Thursday Favorite Things hop!
Enter to win a little Christmas cash to spend at one of the wonderful shops I have spotlighted