We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Royster and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I have taken a lot of risks in order to get where I am today, and I have learned a lot from it. I took some really large risks, like starting my business full-time, signing contracts with stores to sell my work, and buying large amounts of supplies for new projects I wasn’t sure were going to be popular. Some of these risks took my business to the next level and some of them wasted a lot of my time and money. Overall, I have learned that it is best to take small risks frequently, rather than the occasional big leap. If I hadn’t started taking numerous, smaller, risks , my products wouldn’t have become as unique as they are. You don’t need to start off with a lot of products in large quantities in order to grow. It’s better to take small risks, see how successful they are, and then take the next risk. Creativity and businesses evolve over time, whether they are big or small, so start small with big ideas.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently a beach resin artist but we recently invested in a laser cutter and are very excited to start taking my art to the next level! I have always loved painting, but I am more interested in making functional art, which is why I am excited to create more unique pieces with this laser. Not only will I be able to engrave shapes and phrases on my wood and resin pieces, but I can now engrave on leather to make purses and wallets with my own designs, and cut and engrave acrylic to make more intricate jewelry. Growing the business has taken a lot of hard work and resilience. For every successful product line I have developed, there are several failed attempts sitting on a shelf in my home studio. Building the confidence in myself and my ideas to continue to explore new markets and new products is a learned skill that requires constant practice and humility. The market for resin crafts online is extremely saturated so I have to keep evolving my work, and growing my business through social media to create traffic on my Etsy and the traditional shops I sell at.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely the first place I would take anyone visiting San Diego to is the Taco Stand in North Park (I’m partial to this location, but one of their other locations would also do)! They have amazingly delicious tacos for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans, and their churros are pretty darn good too. Watching a sunset in La Jolla is a close second though; it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You also can’t go wrong with a visit to San Diego Zoo and/or Safari Park, my personal favorite is the Mayalan Tapir exhibit.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband is the biggest reason I was able to start doing my art full-time. Not only do I bounce ideas off him, but he has helped me create all my displays for my art in local stores, farmer’s markets, and craft shows. Creating beautiful pieces is all for nothing if they aren’t displayed nicely. I really appreciate that in addition to working a full-time job while I grow my business, he also spends countless hours packaging and shipping orders, cutting paper, stamping earring cards, setting up/taking down displays and and working craft show booths with me. I would also like to shoutout to the two first stores in San Diego that sold my work and really helped my business get off the ground: Simply Local and The Bungalow at North Park Nursery. Unfortunately, Simply Local recently closed due to pandemic economic impacts ; this was tough for me because they have been such a big part of my story.
All photos are taken by me and my husband, Sam Royster.