Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #9

Hey folks! How’s your day going so far? I must apologise for my lack of posts over these few days- but holy moly I’ve had a busy week!

Let’s start with yesterday. My cousin Ricky got married!!! What a beautiful wedding it was, it was so lovely to see wpid-img_20150907_084814.jpgthe family and get all dressed up. Congrats to my cuz, you dah man!! Wishing you all the best for the future Mr & Mrs Robinson! They even had a photo-booth at the wedding, so here’s my family in the booth with some of the props they had on the right, and a photo of my cousin Ricky with his beautiful wife Lindsay! Feeling all the love and wishing them all the happiness in the world!

Amongst all the celebrations, I’ve been working and seeing my girlfriends, as well as having a business meeting. It’s been quite the week- but so so humbled and just feeling all the goodness ❤ I received a lovely email from the Golddigger Trust in Sheffield, who work with issues in self esteem and sexual exploitation in young people. What a wonderful charity! Their current projects include ‘I’m The Girl I Want To Be’ and ‘Made of More’, which are courses that support young people challenging issues concerning self esteem, social media, sex and relationships, and their aspirations. So I’m sending off a little Keep wpid-img_20150906_221436.jpgReal Package for their reward boxes. I hope they like them!

Speaking of Keep Real, the business meeting was long overdue- but at the moment I’m creating a business plan and trying to get all the nitty gritty done. My lack of design posts on Instagram is because of that! Ya gotta do all the important stuff first!

Anyway, I must dash, business-y things await!

Sending all the goodness to you, and as always- keep real! x

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How I Turned My Hobby Into A Business

Good Afternoon you wonderful souls! How’s the week been treating you so far? I thought I’d share with you a bit of a Keep Real back story on what got me into thinking of KR as a business more than a hobby. I was a little bit inspired when I went to Louth, which is a quaint market town in Lincolnshire, UK. There was a wonderful fabric shop ‘The Little Fabric Store’ down a cobbled wpid-20150525_151409.jpgstreet (where my Nan actually sources her fabric) ran by a lovely woman. I asked her about her shop, and she told me she was made redundant some years ago- and used the money to start her own business. She had turned her hobby into a shop- which got me thinking about what inspired me to try and do the same!

So, back in college I distracted myself from my studies by doing a lot of artwork- and experimenting with different media. This turned out to be fabric pens and iron on transfers. I started buying plain t-shirts and drawing straight onto them. Picture hand drawn white tees with Dracula, ‘Doc’ from Back to the Future, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and Tardis themed shirts. It was all about recreating classics I loved, but doing the work myself.

It turned out that what I was doing created quite a bit of interest. People were starting to actually pay me to design shirts and bags for them, which landed me on the front of the local newspaper! How cool!

I still went on to focus on my education more than anything at the end, but by the time I got to university it has always been in the back of my head that Keep Real was something I really wanted to do. So I went ahead and thought ‘why not?’.

My second year at University, I got my artwork into one of the local galleries, had my work displayed in a music store where I work part-time, did an art & craft fair with my mum, participated in a Huddersfield Exhibition and started commissions for bands and businesses. My biggest commission IMG_20150120_174533was for a small menswear business down in London. I absolutely loved it. I was gaining wonderful feedback with all my exhibition work and fairs- so I thought to take Keep Real seriously. Who knows eh!

Now I’m designing it’s first collection, I started this lovely little blog and taking KR mega seriously. I’ve been looking at sales forecasts, budgets, suppliers, finishing the designs, cash flow summarising and all sorts of jargon filled business-y stuff.

I think the scariest bit about wanting to have a small business is the actual money part of it and believing in yourself. If I didn’t believe Keep Real would be a successful small business, I would not be putting in all my extra time to make it happen. I am determined, and I think that mindset is the best to have!

If you have a hobby and you’re thinking of making it into a business, I suggest reading ‘How To Start A Creative Business’ which is a lovely book to get you going.

If you have any question about Keep Real or my work, please do not hesitate to contact me!

All the ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #8

Hello my lovelies! Man, this week has been rad so far! I’ve been having such a wonderful time and there’s so much to be getting on with. Here’s what I’m excited about lately and some updates on my adventures.

I got a beautiful little email this afternoon from Rethink Mental Illnesscropped-wpid-img_20150525_132636.jpg, saying that they are going to publish my post sometime next week! I’ll keep you informed when it is up on their page so you can check it out! It’s all about my experiences with anxiety and how it is possible to come out of the other side. It is possible to break through those barriers you feel you have ❤ I thought to share my experience so it could hopefully help some folk. Plus, I’m training for my fundraising with Rethink- so I’ll be posting up a JustGiving page real soon!

Plus some exciting news concerning my garment and goods brand Keep Real (follow on Twitter and Facebook). Designs are being finalised and selected for the brand new collection. I am so excited about these dotwork illustrations!! I able to tell you that the new collection will be called ‘Brotherhood/Sisterhood’.cropped-wpid-img_20150608_1012111.jpg It’s all about feeling real good, doing good and celebrating the bond we all have with each other. We all stand together. We shouldn’t be tearing our friends down or making other people feel bad because they are on different paths- we should be supporting each other and pushing ourselves and everyone around us to be the best they can be. We are part of a brother/sisterhood and collectively, we all have the ability to stay true to ourselves and be humble in our walks of life. We gotta keep real. 

I will keep you all up to date with my ‘Keepin’ Up With Kimberley’ posts- so have those lovely eyes peeled in your inboxes or wordpress readers!

P.s it would be awesome if you could fill this quick poll in for my blog ❤ Sending you all the love and posi vibes!

 

Keep Real- The Brand

Hello my wonderful followers! Hope this finds you well ❤ I did a post ages ago about Keep Real (see it here about the mission), however I haven’t done anything recently apart from my design updates. Also, there are some tabs at the top of my website/blog about KRwpid-img_20150525_132636.jpg. It’s very much a part of my life with establishing a garment and goods movement. I don’t see it as a separate entity, but part of who I am! It is a mission of being authentic in design and promoting mental wellness. Keep an eye out for more posts on Keep Real anyway here on kimmykeepreal.com!

So, Keep Real. Now as some of you may or may not know, it is my clothing and goods brand. All the designs I work on, all have related messages of positivity, symbols of the universe and feeling real good about yourself. I see a lot of positive clothing companies/businesses that really drive powerful messages to wonderful people. Most do this through t-shirts with rad quotes on, and messages of their own. Keep Real isn’t like that so much. I hand craft each design, pulling inspiration from my surroundings, botanical, tattoo orientated and natural. It’s got that down to earth feel, each piece authentic and limited. It also carries the message that being kind to yourself and each other is a movement of happiness; ultimately a life of love and content. ❤

I gotta say, I have worked my butt off to get this far. While at University, I’ve worked two jobs so I could save up that lil’ bit of dolla to maybe pay for designs being made and figuring out how to screen print garments. It’s so so worth it, because the message is so important. You gotta KEEP REAL. Be yourself. Be proud of who you are. Kindness to yourself and those around you will make you go far ❤

It’s got that down to earth feel, each piece authentic and limited. It also carries the message that being kind to yourself and each other is a movement of happiness; ultimately a life of love and content

If there’s any feedback at all about Keep Real, don’t be afraid of commenting on this post!

I also have a survery (click HERE) about the clothing brand, if you’d like to quickly fill it in. It would help so so much ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #7

Helloooo lovely people! Sorry for the lack of posts- but it was my 21st birthday yesterday (woo!). So I’ve been out celebrating the last few days and spending time with the family. Very blessed to say the least ❤ wpid-img_20150711_092915.jpg

So apart from that what have I been up to!? I submitted a piece for Time To Change as a ‘StoryShort’ which is a little post about my experiences with mental health. My little post may be up at the tail end of Summer, so I’ll keep you posted on that! I think it’s important to share such things, as even an experience like mine could help someone feel not so alone. Anxiety used to be quite a big part of my life in college, but now I feel more confident than ever. Mindfulness has helped a lot, if you’re feeling a bit stressed or find it hard to calm down your day- check out Frantic World.comIt’s a simple form of meditation that can make you feel wonderful inside and out.

With Keep Real, the designs have kicked into overdrive lately, and it’s been such a wonderful experience seeing the collection come together in quite an unexpected way. My style has definitely come through, I am so pleased with the outcome. I have a lot of planning to do, but the designs are grounded and are 80% ready to go! After I’ve posted this, I will be taking down the online store so I can focus on building up a rad as hell site.

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Also with kimmykeepfit, I have been planning my runs and exercise to really go for it. It’s been quite hard lately with the weather, as well as my celebrations too! But it’s important to be patient and be kind to myself. Incorporating mountain bike riding will also help. I used to go mountain bike riding quite a lot in my early teens, so my Dad has offered to go with me as he’s so passionate about it himself. I love how my family push me to do whatever I set my mind to!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope this post finds you well.

Keep Real xxx

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #3

Hey lovelies, hope you are all well! I’ve managed to be quite the busy lady lately, as I’m moving out of my house and going back home to my family for a while. The University life has come to an end, so it’s time to pack up my bags and get back to the shire until I move out after Christmas! Plus, I’ve been working both my jobs and making the most of the West Yorkshire life (which means lots of wine, lots of friends…and lots more wine)!

With the giveaway of last year’s collection happening at the moment, I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of scrapbooking for the new collection. I’ve accumulated a huuuggeee amount of labels, wpid-img_20150604_184839.jpgsketches from KR, notes and cards from different independent brands and local stores. It’s a great source of inspiration for new ideas or ways to evolve the Keep Real brand. Research is key!

Also, I’ve become an Activist for Mental Health with ReThink Mental Illness!! I’m trying to find ways of raising money for charities at the moment- but blogging about mental health is so so important to me. Let’s see where the Activist journey takes me!

I’ve been doing a lot reading recently- especially ‘The Quantum Universe- Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen’ by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (you can purchase it here). Its so beautifully written, with the advantages of not making the reader think their IQ doesn’t qualify for such a read. It talks about quantum physics, coursing through topics of historical beginnings to understanding what surrounds us today. My mind has been blown this week, so thanks Brian & Jeff!

I haven’t had the chance to do mindfulness mediation recently, and in all honesty I’ve noticed the difference. I still feel good and take the time out to write, wpid-img_20150604_185243.jpgbut man is my sleeping game poor! I’m restless and unable to sleep the night through. It’s time to get back into meditation to heal my little hobbit soul.

Hope you are all well and having a wonderful time, wherever you are in the world ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #2

So it’s official, kimmykeepreal.com! ❤

I’ve been designing away and getting down and dotty (heh) with my artwork. Really focusing on key pieces to bring to the collection, from t-shirts and crop tops to notebooks and accessories. At this stage, its all about the grafting and wwpid-img_20150525_132636.jpgorking on finding the right materials and fit for all you guys and gals. Patience is a virtue at this point, so I wanna be 112% happy with the overall outcome of Keep Real’s first positive goods collection.

Last years collection when I first started Keep Real, was just a tester to figure out what products and designs I could ultimately create (you can have a peek at some existing products that are now on sale here!). In my mindset, I wanted to give back with some of the products, such as giving 10% of each art print sold to Mind, the mental health charity here in the UK. I am still working towards raising money and awareness for mental health. This is so important to the Keep Real brand! Promoting a healthy relationship with yourself and others is key to Keepin’ It Real ❤

As well as designing the new collection, I also got another design by the amazing Niall Shannon tattooed! Bit of a celebration of finishing my degreewpid-img_20150523_184438.jpg and working so hard. The moth is a wonderful symbol of the soul and its transforming course. It follows the light, and that is where my journey goes too. I just knew I had to get this! A wonderful end to three years and a new beginning.

I’ve had a crazy week of working, designing and seeing some beautiful people. I’m ready for another wonderful week and I hope you are too. Let’s do this!

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.- Arthur Ashe