The lovely ladies behind Crafting Community are ingenious. They created a space where families could come together, spend time with each other and their littles, and have a whole lot of fun! Want to hear more? Read on for how these working moms rock.
Name: Stacy Bernstein & Karen Kimmel
Company: Crafting Community
Title: Founder, Partner & Creative Director
City: Los Angeles
Crafting Community is such a cool idea! Tell us a little bit about it and how it got started!
Crafting Community was created as an antidote for misplaced family time. As working moms, we wanted a refuge from The Schedule to spend real quality time with our families, and set out some time to indulge our creativity. The first Crafting Community weekend was just 20 families, sitting around the pool with crafts led by some of our friends in the design world. We handled all of the meals, first aid kits, and logistics, and provided families with a colorful, inspiring environment filled with crafting, recreation and big group activities like bingo and a desert disco. The concept was so simple, but the impact for those families was huge. And that’s how it started! We’ve grown every year since then, and this year will be our second time taking over the entire Palm Springs Ace Hotel.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
We get to the office, have our big team meeting and then we divide and conquer. Emailing artists, developing our sponsor partnerships, troubleshooting crafts that engage kids and parents equally, working on the product line, ideating brand initiatives, reviewing layouts, menus and contracts… it’s always some combination of these things! Lucky for us, we have the best team on earth, so we get to do all of this in an environment filled with laughter and non-stop creative innovation.
What is your favorite part of your job and why?
Stacy: On a daily basis I get to be a part of so many creative discussions and speak with so many inspiring people – something I find so energizing and motivating. And then of course when we host events and run programming, we get to bring our kids to work! It doesn’t get better than that!!
Karen: My background is in fine art, so I’m happy whenever I get to be in the studio, getting my hands dirty on the creative side of things.
You create so many awesome events, do you have a favorite?
Stacy: Well our event at the ACE will always have a special place in my heart, my daughter was 6 months old at our first one, it has literally become like family camp for her seeing friends every year. Now 2 more kids later, it’s a huge part of our family life.
Karen: I really love the work I do with Nike, being a creative director for one of their energy spaces. I can’t show the work we do together so you have to take my word for it that it is pretty amazing. Nike is a great brand with vision and a willingness to take creative risks – a dream client for a creative.
You’re both working moms, how do you balance running Crafting Community and being a mom?
Stacy: We both get asked this at least once a day and there is really no magic recipe. The one thing I have really learned is to not say no to help. I want to do it all but it’s just not possible, so relying on my support system is huge – for everyone!!
Karen: No sure, but I’ll tell you one thing – it is not effortless. It requires tons of juggling, a kick-ass team and supportive family. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself what could I be doing better.
Crafting Community is just one part of all you guys do in addition to being moms! Are there ever days where you don’t think you can do it all? What gets you through?
Stacy: Oh my – well realizing that I can’t do it all has probably been one of the most liberating realizations for me. I mean there are days I wish I could do some things better, but I really try hard to give myself a break. I do my best to stay connected to whatever is happening in the moment. If I am working I try to do it without distraction and if it is bedtime, and I am reading to my kids I make the most of every minute! I do have one ritual that keeps me grounded – every night before I go to bed I go into each of my kid’s rooms while they sleep and kiss them on the head, those moments keep me focused on what truly matters.
Karen: There’s hardly a day that goes by without wondering if I can do it all! I usually get through it by reminding myself that ‘it all’ doesn’t need to happen all at once. As the years have gone by, I’ve realized the virtue of saying “No” to some projects, trusting that cool opportunities will still be there when the time is right. We sure do laugh a lot and make fun of ourselves and our inadequacies, which helps tremendously. Somehow when you are more real about what is not working, it becomes less scary.
What’s one piece of encouragement you would give to other working moms out there?
Stacy: You’re not alone the struggle can be real!! Always have a sense of humor and be will to laugh even in the toughest moments.
Karen: Not everything on your list will ever get done, and that’s OK. Try not to get too caught up in self-criticism, and do your best to appreciate the things that are working. When you are looking for something new, start a foolish project… you’ll be amazed where it takes you.
What you wanted to be when you grew up:
Stacy: Secretly a “Fly Girl” from In Living Color, but don’t tell anyone, shhhhh!!
Karen: an Actuary (I liked how the word sounded, once I figured out what the job actually was I realized it was a terrible idea)
Karen: A Smile
Celebrity Style Crush:
Stacy: Michelle Williams
Karen: Martin Margelia
Stacy: A mean Roger Rabbit (duh, fly girl)
Karen: baton twirling
I can’t live without:
Stacy: The smiles from all my children at the end of a long long day, it is all I will ever need – that and a good soccer game
Karen: the hardcore honesty that family brings to your life, and on a superficial level…my sneaker collection