My Creative Process

Taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary. 

I was asked recently about my creative process…how I go about creating my pieces. Whenever I’ve been asked that in the past, I always respond by saying, “the same way that I cook my meals…I just throw whatever makes me happy into the pot and make it pretty.” And quite frankly, that’s the simple honest truth to my creative madness.

What I find special about my art is that I like to take something random, possibly broken, though most likely new and pair it with something else to give it meaning. I was never great at drawing, wasn’t really able to stay inside the lines when I colored, hated cutting or sewing straight lines.  Thus, whenever I am crafting I like to just let my heart take over and tell my hands what to do.  It’s not about creating something perfect. It was about creating something that tickled my heart and puts a smile on someone’s face. It was about restoring memorable moments, a childhood activity, a hint of hope…Most importantly, it is about love – loving what I do, loving my mom, loving life, loving the world – and how I use that passion and love to create beautiful things that inspires, touches and changes others in a positive way.

I don’t always get the project right the first time. Sometimes I scrap the entire project because it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to, but luckily most of the time the finished product is better than I had imagined it to be. So while I do not mold my own clay, but probably can if I wanted to spend my time doing that, I am able to conceptualize what type of clay piece I’m looking for and how I want the piece to look when I’m done making what I’m making to satisfy my late night creative cravings. The pieces that I make have to connect to me in a special way even if I’m creating a custom order for someone. 

Love Kimmie is not just my boutique’s signature brand or a way to mass produce and sell tons of expensive things to the general public. It represents the loving bond that I share with my mom and the love and passion that I put into creating pretty things that touches another person’s heart in a deep and meaningful way, even if it only speaks to one person’s heart.

I hope this made sense and gives everyone a better insight into my creative world.


Happy 1 Year Anniversary

Today marks the boutique’s one year anniversary and what an amazing year it has been since the official launching of KBB! What started off as silly card ideas grew to jewelry designing, cute whimsical/vintage decor and so much more!  I’m already looking forward to new projects as we venture into the second year of business.  This year, I’m looking forward to starting “Love Kimmie” and making it the signature brand for my boutique.

It’s been a very blessed year for me and so I’d like to take a moment and share some of my favorite memories from this year’s events.

Through the Etsy Boutique, tea parties, and other events KBB has been able to support local organizations that provide services to communities in Southern California. One of my biggest charities is the Los Angeles Mission and through my holiday gift giving project, my family, friends and I have been able to share some of the love and joy with others through gift giving. What started out as a family get together for my 28th birthday turned into an annual event where family and friends gather at my house to wrap Christmas gifts for children at the shelter. I love sitting back to watch my little nieces and nephews hand select and wrap the presents for other children who are not as fortunate and to see how much joy and satisfaction they get out of helping someone else.  I’m beyond thrilled to say that we’re able to donate more and more gifts each year. In 2008, we donated over 60 presents to young boys and girls and in 2010, over 100 gifts were delivered!

My mom loved the holidays and while we loved opening our presents Christmas morning, the magic of the holiday was not what was inside the box but rather the time that we spent with each other.  Holidays for my family is more than magic, it’s a car full of love and joy that puts a smile in people’s heart no matter how difficult the times may seem.

I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to use my creativity in a meaningful way and look forward to the endless possibilities in 2011.

Happy Anniversary KBB! And, thank you Mommy for loving me and for always reminding me that superheroes don’t need a cape to be “super.”


30 Years, One Month, One Week and A Day Old

Life has its ups and downs but I’m not one to complain.  I turned 30 a little over a month ago…one month, a week and one day ago to be exact and I’m enjoying every bit of being 30.  I don’t feel 30 nor do I feel like I need to act 30 (and I for sure do NOT look 30), but there’s something comfortable about being my 30-year-old self.  Perhaps there’s so much to look forward to in the next decade before I turn 40?  Or perhaps, I had the most amazing time celebrating this new decade of my life?  What’s not to celebrate though? I mean, I am so blessed from head to to with tons of family and friends, a fiance who loves me even on my not-so-good days, a pretty cool job or two or five of them actually…

I picked up this new trend of celebrating my birthday all month long shortly after I graduated from college because quite frankly, I was sick and tired of spending the first part of December studying for finals, the middle of December moving home for the holidays and shopping for Christmas gifts, then getting ready to go back to school towards the end of the month.  So, I put my foot down and made it a point to celebrate me all month long when I turned 27.  Ok, maybe not put my foot down but I really did want to spend the whole month celebrating my birthday.   My birthday celebrations are never really about me though…it’s more about sharing the blessings I’ve been given in life with others.  And, what’s been nice about December is that it has become a month that represents “giving back to the community” in my family.

Those who knows me personally knows that I love finding ways to give back to the community.  So when December rolls around, my family and friends get quite excited about what’s on the Kimmie charity project list.  December 2010 is one month long celebration that I don’t think I will ever forget.

Through my non-profit work, my birthday month jump started with holiday home decorations (home exterior) for five families who are currently caring for children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.  With the help of 30 amazing teens and adult community members, we decorated five homes in two days (Dec. 4th-5th).  Then, Ken and I were invited to join these five families and our youth leadership team for an intimate holiday dinner (Dec. 6th) where Santa made a surprise visit with tons of goodies for each child patient and his/her sibling!  On the 9th, TLIBF opened its “LIB Wrapped” location at The Shoppes in Chino Hills.  Later that week my family members volunteered  at our foundation’s gift wrapping fundraiser event.  The 3-week long event raised funds to help us fund our 2-day outdoor decorating event.

By mid-month, I was pretty exhausted but the show had to go on!  On the 11th, my cousin Vi hosted a Holiday Cocktail Party featuring Kimmie’s Bargain Boutique and Your Sweet Treat products. We entertained more than 30 guests and razzle dazzled them with our unique craft and stories.  Proceeds from my portion of the sales will go towards purchasing reading resources and craft supplies for cancer patient children and their families at a local hospital.  I’m super excited about this project!

The following day (Dec. 12th) I was in for a huge surprise.  Ken was so sweet.  He coordinated a surprise birthday dinner for me at the Cheesecake Factory.  I was so tired that day that I didn’t even realize that we were driving behind my cousin’s car in the parking lot, nor did I question why Ken was driving around in circles around the parking lot or find it weird he was stalling for time the whole afternoon when I already told him I was starving!  Hehe. It was such a lovely surprise though. Forty of our family members and friends showed up to celebrate my 30th with me.  I can’t even imagine how Ken was able to get everyone together on such short notice and working around my crazy schedule (I can’t even keep track of myself sometimes!).  As much as I love creating beautiful experiences for others to enjoy, it was nice to take a moment and enjoy precious moments with my family and friends…we’re like one big happy village family.  =)

On my actual birthday, the 13th, Ken came home early from work to pick me up for dinner.  Sushi, one of my fav!  From the 40 person surprise birthday dinner and a romantic dinner for two, we moved to the “Kimmie Holiday Sweatshop Birthday” party the following weekend.  Well, I called it “Kimmie’s Whimsical Winter Wonderland” but I put everyone to work! Keke.  Ken bought me a beautiful Christmas tree (we hadn’t had one since forever!) and I decorated it with lace and satin and pearl and glitter and everything cute and whimsical that I could afford!   The house was filled with just us kids.

The most precious moment of the party was when my nieces and nephews, ages 5-7, got down and dirty to create Christmas cards and wrapped Christmas gifts for children at the Los Angeles Mission.  We paired them with a few of my cousins for guidance, but you can tell that they LOVED every bit of it.  I remember my niece, Nicole, asking me after she was done with her 5th Christmas card, “What’s next auntie?”  To me, that was priceless.  This was my mini lesson on giving back to those who needs it more than we do.  Together, my nieces and nephews wrapped close to 60 gifts for homeless children.

My birthday month long celebration continued through the end of the month with fundraisers, shopping sprees, a family Christmas brunch, and Vegas…and there’s still so much more to look forward to in 2011!


Family Background:
December 13, 2010 would’ve also been my mom’s 32nd anniversary of living in the U.S.  My mom was sponsored by a nice family and arrived in the states on December 13, 1978.  Exactly two years later in Louisville, KY, my parents held me in their arms counting my tiny little fingers and toes.   They always wondered how on earth will they raise this premature 4lb 6 oz baby girl.  Thirty years, one month, one week and a day old…they are now looking forward to the day I walk down the aisle to marry the son-in-law they’ve always wanted.

Hello World!

Hello and welcome to my little blog! Here’s a little story behind the inspiration of my website, this blog and my boutique.

I’ve always wanted to start my own blog, but never had the time or content ideas until now. You see, my mom had the case of the clutter-bug. She held on to EVERTHING. Packrat, that’s the word I’m looking for. So, when she passed away a year ago today, we finally had realized how much STUFF we had just crammed into our little 1400 sq. ft home. I mean, I knew we had a lot of stuff, but we never realized how much stuff Mom stuffed into little corners and cabinets and closets everywhere throughout the house. It took me literally every weekend for six months to go through and shred all of the envelopes and piles of paper that she saved. We had a suitcase that weighed nearly 80 lbs filled with mostly black fabric that she never used, over 300 purses and wallets, and half a garage filled with pots, pans and random household items. But, I have to say that while going through all of Mom’s stuff was overwhelming and painful, I also found a lot of comfort in it. More importantly, she kept us well stocked and prepared for all types of natural disasters. We had enough toiletries, paper towels, and dried goods for an army!

I would have to say that I am just as guilty as she is when it comes to holding on to everything because I know that I have way too many things for my room, but much like my mom I have an appreciation for pretty things. To make it even harder, I love arts and crafts and diy home improvement projects so I knew that in order to support my hording habits and keep up with my passion for creating pretty things, I had to find a compromise. As a result, I present to you Kimmie’s Bargain Boutique.

Kimmie’s Bargain Boutique creates a virtual space where I can “store” my beautiful creations without having to physically have any of the projects in my house. Many of my art projects will be sold online at my Etsy boutique for your enjoyment. More importantly, in an effort to be more environmentally-friendly, my projects will be made from odds and ends that I already own, purchased from local thrift, or is repurposed. Doing this would give me the pleasure of creating beautiful art without the extra clutter. Mission accomplished! =)

As I continue to celebrate and remember my mom and the life that she led, 10% of each sale that I make will be given back to the community and to various charities (i.e. American Heart Association, orphanages in Vietnam, pulmonary hypertension research, educational programs, etc.) depending on the theme of the project with hopes that these funds will provide a better life for someone else in the world and a sense of hope and love, just as Mom had given to us.