This month we asked our friend & professional artist Kimberly Shrack to share her story of community, support, and success for the blog!
Empowered women empower women. It may be totally cliche as an Instagram caption, but it's also completely accurate. In fact, I would never have created a career as an artist if it wasn't for the encouragement and support from the women around me… specifically the women of Main Street Manayunk!
I was living in Manayunk in 2012 when I began doing calligraphy for weddings as a little side hustle in addition to my full-time PR job. The cool thing about Manayunk is that it's populated almost entirely by locally-owned businesses, and many of those are owned by women. I truly believe had I lived anywhere else, I never would have had the guts to start my own business -- and it's because of the women of Main Street. Julie from The Wall gave me tons of business advice and helped me advertise my services to students at her spin studio. Molly and Brandy from The Little Apple stocked my greeting cards and art prints. Liz from Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes ordered a custom calligraphy illustration of the Manayunk bridge… the very first word-based illustration I ever did, and what became the bread and butter of my business. Point is, because these women believed in me, I started to believe in myself. And that’s when things really changed.
Nine years later (like, how?!), that little side hustle is my full-time gig. It's given me some pretty incredible opportunities (though my older daughter isn't impressed when she sees my designs in stores), and allowed me to live my actual childhood dream of being an artist (literally went to kindergarten career day in a smock and beret). And none of it would have been possible without the support of some pretty kick ass women.
That's why I was so excited to create this limited edition Kick Ass Ladies doll collection exclusively for The Little Apple! Each doll is hand painted with care, supervised by baby Opal (don't worry, I removed any drool). Dolls in this collection include icons RBG, Kamala Harris, Malala Yousefzai, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, and Rosie the Riveter. I hope you love them as much as my girls and I do!
For artsy-craftsy classes and tutorials, be sure to follow along on the 'gram @hooplaletters.