Meet Kim Pace, the curator of Covet Atelier, an online shop featuring makers from North and South Carolina. This Q&A-style interview reveals the passions and business savvy behind her blossoming business.
Taking a break from the regularly scheduled recipes and travel stories to bring back my interview series, Dream Jobs. This is where I interview ladies who are doing awesome, creative things. I love these interviews — I find them so inspiring!
Today I’m re-introducing you to Kim Pace, the curator of Covet Atelier, an online shop featuring makers from North and South Carolina. Her site has a ton of beautiful handmade goods for both him and her, ranging from jewelry to housewares to stocking stuffers. (Just saying.)
Covet also just launched a new subscription box called Covet Curate, which highlights Carolina-made products each month. Each one is a work of beauty and I hope there’s one under my tree this year!
Kim is a good friend of mine, and it has been so exciting to witness her business unfolding. I love seeing my friends succeed at the things they love to do. Her love for the handmade is really strong and contagious. Hope you enjoy reading about what goes on behind the scenes! // susannah
1. How would you describe Covet Atelier?
Simply put, Covet Atelier is a curated online shop focusing on makers & artisans within the Carolinas.
My desire is to highlight & focus on the New South, artisanal heritage in the Carolinian maker community.
2. What were you doing before Covet Atelier? What inspired you to change paths?
I am still working full time at my “other” life. I am a college-level English instructor, and I’ve been in the classroom for 10 years.
Maybe one day soon I will be solely focused on Covet, but for now, I am allowing that growth & progress to be organic. I do find that both areas influence each other quite a bit. My first love as a child was story telling and language, and I still find myself seeking out and wanting to tell the narrative of a handmade life in the curation of Covet’s shop/makers.
3. When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?
Space. I find that when I am lacking inspiration it is often because I haven’t given myself enough time to dream or escape. Taking the time to step away from it all is important to me and my process. I never get satisfying work done when I just throw myself into the work and go, go, go non-stop. I need time to step back, breathe, look again, and not force the muse. As I said before, my first love was always the magical, deeply transformative world of story telling, so reading is a nice reprieve. I also love taking long walks and always feel re-charged after a weekend away of not working.
Read the rest of my Q+A with Kim Pace of Covet Atelier!
4. Describe your workspace.
I am incredibly lucky to have a home studio. The room sits in the front of my house, so it has the most windows and gets lots of natural light. It serves as an office/work room and an inventory room for the shop. I painted the walls all white because I like the openness and clean aesthetic of an all-white room, and it’s decorated with art from local artists and dear friends that inspire me, as well as a framed poem written by my boyfriend.
The state of cleanliness of my studio is forever in flux. I go through seasons where I straighten it up at the end of every day and then seasons where the chaos is real, and only I know where things are piled under other things. In general though, I need a neat workspace to work my best, so when it is messy, I’m constantly talking about how I “need to clean up the studio.”
5. What have been your biggest successes and challenges for Covet Atelier?
In terms of my successes, I am most proud of myself for taking the leap of faith to start the shop, being resilient in the face of set backs or challenges ( I attribute that to my problem-solving skills from 10 years in the classroom), & learning to trust myself and my talents in this arena. I spent many, many years fearful that others would think I wasn’t talented or gifted or business-savy enough to be a creative entrepreneur.
When it comes to lessons learned, the list is LONG, but I now know that I often need more space and more time than other people to work out a creative idea, and that’s okay. My imprint in the universe is unique, so my process is as well. It doesn’t serve me well to worry about other people’s timeline or abilities. Also, I can be a workaholic if I’m not careful, but nothing good comes out of that for me. I need sleep, breaks, time to cook & eat dinner with my boyfriend, and balance to feel whole.
6. What are your dreams for Covet Atelier?
Ideally, I’d love to open a store front in the next 2-3 years. So much of what I want Covet to represent for makers in the Carolinas is hard to execute through just an online shop. I desire a physical space where the aesthetic and purpose of Covet can be nurtured and expanded.
And if Covet naturally became my primary source of income, I would love that, too.
7. Who do you look up to?
I have a lot of admiration for the makers/artisans I work with for Covet. So many of them are incredibly talented and driven individuals that are living intentional, truly “handmade” lives. I find that I am constantly learning from them.
Also, my dad is a self-made entrepreneur himself, and I have seen the hard work and sacrifice running a business takes. I find myself reflecting on & learning from him what “to do” and what “not to do.”
8. Where and how do you love to spend your time off?
I love, love, love decompressing at home with a hot bath – usually while watching Netflix. 🙂
Yet, I also love any excuse to roam and travel and find myself constantly planning weekend getaways or longer “recharge” trips when I’ve worked too much.
My favorite destination is the NC coast and more recently Montreal, Quebec.
9. What resources do you recommend to someone whose dream job is your job?
I really love listening to podcasts and find that I can never get enough of “Magic Lessons” by Elizabeth Gilbert or the “Emerging Women” podcast series.
I also found BIG Magic by Gilbert and THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield to be great reads this year.
10. If you weren’t running Covet Atelier, what would be your dream job?
I truly believe that right now Covet Atelier IS my dream job, and maybe some day it will be my full-time dream job.