Holiday Wrapping

I love the holidays, especially wrapping presents! It’s easy to throw everything into a box and wrap it up, but I just can’t help myself. Call it the crazy artist in me, call it therapy…I just can’t let a present (no matter what season it is) leave my wrapping station without “Kimmie-fying” it! I love adding bows, accent pieces (i.e., ornaments, flowers, pearls, beads, etc.) and anything that would make the gift stand out against the other gifts. What’s on the outside of the box should WOW the recipient as much as what’s on the inside. Thoughtfulness, in my book, begins from the inside and radiates outward. Here are some samples from this holiday season.

Gift Wrapping 2013Wishing everyone a holiday season that’s merry and bright. May your lives be wrapped with happiness and warmth all season long and carried through into the new year.


Happy Halloween!

We had a Halloween costume contest at work so I decided to get crafty! Originally, I’d wanted to go as “walking advertisement,” but wanted to reminisce my childhood days this Halloween instead.

Growing up, my family didn’t have much so when we played, we got creative! Like normal kids growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s we played outside, made mud pies (and sometimes made each other eat it!), made games out of rubber-bands, played hide-and-seek (but sometimes didn’t “seek”)…nothing like the good old days, know what I mean? One of my fondest memories is of when my girl cousins and I designed clothing for our paper dolls. We would draw, color and cut paper for hours and it was so fun! So for this Halloween, I revisited those childhood days…

My costume concept:  A modern day, life-size paper doll. The skirt was made of 400+ rosettes made from newspaper, the purse from embossed cardstock paper, and the bows from tissue paper.

If you’d like to know how this totally cute and “wearable” dress was made, email me at

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!


RAWards 2012

Love Kimmie was invited to participate as a vendor for the 2012 RAWards ceremony on January 12th. Nothing beats starting off the new year with late night crafting and an event at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater! There were only a handful of vendors invited to participate so it definitely felt great to be one of the few selected artists for this major event.

The night was jammed packed with entertainment, which included awesome music from different bands, beautiful models who posed as live statues, dance performances, and a handful of drunks. I laughed all night long and received some of the most honest and genuine feedback from the guests.

The highlight of the evening was definitely when this guy in a pink v-neck t-shirt stopped in front of my booth, jumped up and down, and screamed, “Ohhhh my god…this is so freaking cute!” I had no idea what he was referring to, but I loved his enthusiasm! He asked around to see who the designer was and then shook my hand when I greeted him. I thanked him for stopping by and gave him a business card. Two minutes later, he came back asking for another one saying, “you’re just too popular!”  It turns out that his friend snatched my card from his hand and ran off with it!

I also had wardrobe stylists stop by to talk to me; the emcee patiently waiting until the crowd died down so he could make his way over to compliment my accessories; and several people came by to ask me if I was the “teacup” girl (reference to my “Mother-Daugther Tea Party” ring set). Later in the night, another man commented to his partner, “I like her stuff, she should have won for the accessories category…”They talked to me for a bit , held my hand, and then thanked me for inspiring them with my story. Hearing that they were inspired made my night. It was nice to see that my craft made people smile, touched others in a special way, or simply just appealed to the average consumer.

Looking back at the various events that I’ve done over the past year, I know that I still have a lot to learn and that there are still improvements to be made. Packaging and displaying my inventory at an event is top priority on my “to-learn” list. However, the first step to branding is choosing the right name so I’m also happy to announce that my blog domain has been officially changed to, something that I’ve wanted to do since last year. The year just started and all I see are endless possibilities. Cheers to a new year and new opportunities.


Courtesy of Ms. Jasmine Lim, a photograph from the event…

Super Powers Aside…

The other day my little sis, also my Maid of Honor, sent out an evite for my bridal shower/bachelorette spa day.  Reading the little message made me laugh.  Towards the end she wrote, “get ready for a wonderful day with the bride-to-be before she goes on another mission to save the world!” It’s a phrase that I use a lot I suppose when I sign offline in the morning. “Off to save the world!” I’d say.

I  look at everyday as a new and exciting adventure and no mission was impossible for me; kind of like Kim Possible. Unless I’m feeling sick that morning, there is always a ton of things to do on my agenda for the day and oftentimes, what I do does feel like I’m leaving a positive mark on the world.  I’m no superhero by any means. I don’t have a cape, superpowers or any magic but what I do have is the desire to help people.

Life is too short to focus on the impossibles. I’d rather focus on things that I can change and just do it. I hope that my blog posts will inspire you to put on your imaginary capes and go out and change the world for the better!


Photographs from “Junction”

It’s a little late, but better late than never right? Below is a slideshow of my boutique at the Raw Artists Showcase in Pomona, CA.

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Photography by K.C.
September 14, 2011


Happy Birthday Mommy

Birthdays were always a big deal to my mom, even when we were in our 20s. No matter how tired she was or how sick she felt, she would refuse to go to bed until each and every last dish was ready for the party. She tried to make as many of the dishes from scratch as possible because she said they were “healthier” and they were. Her recipes required very little sodium and the party typically included only one or two fried dishes.

Mom made sure to ask us what we wanted to feed our guests weeks in advance and then hit up all the local grocery stores the week of the party to buy the ingredients needed for her special recipes. My favorite was her homemade kimchi and her shrimp eggrolls, and it never failed that we’d have to roll 200+ eggrolls for each party!  Sadly, she was never able to eat much of the food she made because of her medical condition but she never let that ruin her day. You could always find her in the kitchen with a piece of fruit or a bowl of oatmeal in one hand and a big smile on her face as she mixed and mingled with the guests.

We continue to celebrate her life each year by gathering up at her grave site for a picnic. For her birthday today, we celebrated with a delicious seafood meal at The Boiling Crab because seafood was one of the many things she loved eating but had to give up after being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.  After lunch I went to buy her a flower bouquet sprinkled with white gladiolius, her favorite flower, and then drove up to Rose Hills.  It was a nice day for a picnic; we brought her corn on the cob (one of her favorite snacks) and mini fruit tarts.  Mom had a sweet tooth so I know she loved the mini tarts that we bought for her. We hung out with her for a bit while my niece, Kyra, ran around in the grass making funny faces.

Birthdays are not about counting the candles that you have on your cake, the additional year of wisdom you’ve gained, or the gray hair that you find on your head. It’s about celebrating life with the people who are still here with us as well as those who have passed on.  I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend my day today than with fruit tarts at the top of my mom’s little hill overlooking the 605 freeway…laughing, reminiscing, celebrating, sharing, embracing, and enjoying the peacefulness.

Make a wish and blow out the candles Momma.


Raw Artists Showcase

I was invited by Raw Artists to showcase Love Kimmie at their event this past Wednesday in Pomona, CA.  September is my mom’s birthday month so I was more than ecstatic to accept the invitation and seize the moment to celebrate my mom’s life with the world!  Junction was my first ever showcase so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the crowd.  When the door opened at 8pm, however, it all made sense. I belonged there. I am a Raw Artist.

I loved that people stopped by – other artists, their parents, the models – to check out my little boutique. For the first time ever, I framed and displayed pictures of my mom at an event. I wanted people to see how beautiful my mom was and for them to connect to her in a special way.  This was my way of inviting people into my “room” and to feel the love and happiness that I feel each day through my art.  The flickering candlelight against the lace and chiffon curtains, the beautifully accessorized dress form, the mini mother-daughter tea party ring set, the handmade banner personally sewn by Jasmine (owner of YourSweetTreat), and even the handmade flower hair clips neatly placed in a vase were all created especially for this event. To see how the guests’ eyes light up, and to know that I was able to touch their hearts in a meaningful way, made me so happy.

There were so many highlights from the evening that I can’t possibly write about every single one, but one that I will share is when my friend, Kiet, bought two of my handmade cards and said that I had inspired him to write to his mom more often, especially since she lives in another state.  That made me smile from the inside out.

Love Kimmie was very well loved by everyone. The positive feedback that I received was very reassuring and uplifting; I feel like I can tackle my next two events with more ease and confidence after seeing how much everyone enjoyed visiting my booth (some came back a second, third and even fourth time!!). Best of all, I loved that I had the chance to tell people about my mom and how she inspired and continues to inspire me to positively change the world around me.

I am very blessed and so thankful for the tremendous support that I received from my family and friends who drove in from different parts of Southern California to pre-celebrate my mom’s birthday with me. And, a special thank you to my fiance, Ken, of course. I couldn’t have done this show without him because he was the one who drove me to the event, helped me set-up, fed me healthy food, cheered me on, packed up everything at the end of the night, and gave me a big hug to tell me how proud he was of me.  I know, he’s pretty amazing. [Go ahead, you can say, “awwww.”].

All in all, this was a great platform for featuring my work alongside so many talented people. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would be asked to be a part of such an amazing network of artists!  Kaila Yu and her team were phenomenal in every way.  They truly embraced me as an artist and made it easy to connect with other artists from the very beginning.

Stay tuned for information about the upcoming Raw Artists’s RAWards 2011. National voting for the awards begin October 1st and ends October 15th.  Check out the link for additional voting guidelines because I will be reminding you to vote each and everyday!!

2011 RAWards Press Release


What Is Raw?

RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization that hand-selects and spotlights independent creatives in visual art, film, fashion, music, hair & makeup artistry, photography, models and performing art.

RAW’s mission is to provide up-and-coming artists of all creative realms with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity so that they might be seen, heard and loved. RAW educates, connects and exposes emerging artists in 22 artistic communities nationwide through monthly showcase events. Join us in celebrating the work of these artists.

Simple Pleasures

New job has kept me M.I.A., but I had a little down time today and wanted to share something uplifting (I think that’s the word) and worth reflecting with you.

Read a cool article on Yahoo! today and thought I’d reflect about 10 small, simple pleasures that I enjoy everyday (and they’re free!):

1.)  waking up each morning with a purpose for each day
2.)  having a routine that I can share with Cooks before I leave for work
3.)  shorter commutes to work, to shopping centers, to my bf’s house
4.)  cold bottle of water
5.)  being surrounded by beautiful memories of my mom everywhere
6.)  teaching at some capacity
7.)  sharing at least one good laugh with someone (Cooks included)
8.)  living with my family/close to my extended family
9.)  warm showers
10.) good food

To read the Yahoo! list of 101 small pleasures, click here.

Chains of Hope

To most people, a keychain is simply a metal object that people latch their keys and maybe even a mini flashlight onto.  To me, however, it is more than that.  It’s a destination.

I mean, think about it. When you leave your house, you grab your keys right (or at least you should so you can get back in later)? With those keys in your hands, you are most likely to be departing from one location to arrive at another destination. You need your keys to get in and out of your house, to drive your car, to open up your diary, to open up shop and shut down shop… You have to admit, keys are pretty important and so is that simple metal object that holds your keys together so that you have it all in one place, safe and accessible. It’s the thing that gives you access to your house, to your car, to your work…important things in your life, ya?

But, do you ever wonder how many people out there don’t own a key to a house? A key to a car? Or even a key to a diary? I know I do.  More importantly, as a teacher I also know that there are students who come to school every day like all the other boys and girls.  They play on the playground with the other boys and girls.  They eat in the cafeteria like all the other boys and girls.  Yet, at the beginning of the day they may not come with all the supplies on the teacher’s required classroom materials list and at the end of the day, they don’t go “home” like the other kids in their classrooms.  Kids have a strong spirit though.  They will not let the little details of not having the perfect pencil or the cool color pencils ruin their day at school.  They are there and they are ready to learn.  And, I want to make sure that they have access to education even with the state of the economy and continued cuts in education.  Access is key to their survival and a better life.

Chains of Hope will be an on-going project to help raise funds to purchase school supplies for homeless children in the Los Angeles area in preparation for the new school year.  They keychains are $4 each, plus $2 for shipping and handling and 10%  of each keychain that you purchase will go towards purchasing school supplies, which will be delivered to the Los Angeles Mission in the Fall of each year.

Your keys take you to your desired destination.  Help me help our children find hope in their future, to a better place and a better tomorrow.


Just like each child is different and unique in his/her own special way, so are my keychains.  I have made more than 30 so far and each one is unique and different in its own way and yet, it still shares the same thematic connection.  Please visit my Etsy boutique in March 2010 to view my collection or to make a purchase.


Love Kimmie

My friends call me Ms. Kimmie, but I’m just an ordinary girl from Southern California. I have no formal training or background in the arts, just a whole lot of heart, big dreams and an unquestionable desire to make a difference in other people’s lives. “Love Kimmie,” the signature brand for Kimmie’s Bargain Boutique, is a blend of hope and late night inspirations. Instead of craving for junk food late at night, I crave for a project that would positively impact the world around me.

 Launched on February 16, 2010, Kimmie’s Bargain Boutique is a project dedicated to and inspired by the memories of my mom, the preservation of hope, and restoration of fond childhood memories. Mom was always big on charities, on giving back to the community and on creating and maintaining positive relationships with the world around her; values she instilled in my siblings and me at a very young age. In remembering her and in keeping her legacy alive, I took her passion for creating positive change in the world, my degree in Business and my love for education and turned it into a small business that benefits the community (a percentage of each Love Kimmie product purchased will go to support a charity).

Inspired by the simple treasures of life, my art is a reflection of the beauty that comes from within. I never liked coloring inside the lines or following conventional rules when it came to creating art. I preferred following my heart and doing so has always led me to create beautiful things that continue to bring happiness and joy to others. I hope that my creative treasure chest of goodies will bring joy and nostalgia into your life too.