We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen C. Tiessen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen C., what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
It’s easier to fix things than it is to get started! I can be a bit of a perfectionist. I want to make sure I have a solid plan with all the questions answered before I get started, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes (most of the time), it’s better just to take action. Things are never as scary as I expect they will be, and everything is “figureoutable.” Planning is essential, of course, but at some point, you just have to get started already. The hardest move is the first move, but once you have a little momentum, it’s easy to keep things going, and you can perfect over time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I do so much, creativity is in my blood! But what I’m most excited about right now is my brand Honey Fiber Co. I launched in early March (just about a week before the shutdown due to Covid-19 went into effect in my state), and it’s been an amazing ride so far. I create and sell handmade wearables and home decor with a mission to bring hope and help my neighbors in need, by giving proceeds and volunteer time to local charitable organizations supporting the causes that matter most to me. The business started off as an idea for a non-profit, but when I started chasing after that I realized it was more than I was ready to take on. I made a pivot and decided to put my giftings and passion for fiber art (mostly crochet and embroidery) to work on behalf of the organizations already in existence that are doing work in my community that I want to do myself. There have been a lot of challenges, but I continue to do what I can and things keep getting better. I focus on fulfilling my role and tap others who can do what I can’t for help and guidance. Asking lots of questions has been a huge help, and it’s been nice to see that most people are happy to lend a hand, an ear, or an idea when you need it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Central Coast of California is an incredible place to live. If I were to plan a week-long visit for a friend, I’d be sure to include to following hot spots and experiences on the itinerary: Wine tasting in Los Olivos. It’s the cutest little town with a ton of great tasting rooms and shops. Park your car and stroll from one open door to the next, enjoying the best the valley has to offer. Next, we do some antiquing and explore another small town with a big heart: Los Alamos. I’d be sure to recommend breakfast or lunch at Bob’s Well Bread and a swim in the pool at Skyview Los Alamos. After that, a hike and some sunbathing in beautiful Avila Beach. We could stay there all day enjoying the views from “The Ridge” and making new friends on the beach at Pirate’s Cove below (clothing optional). We’d spend some time in downtown San Luis Obispo. It’s an awesome college town with more than a couple of cool coffee shops (my favorite is Scout’s), great shopping (Blackwater is where it’s at), a young and energetic nighttime scene, and plenty of fantastic places to eat and drink (I love Eureka!). Finally, we’d end the trip with…more wine! Paso Robles is home to more than 400 wineries, and Breakaway Tours & Event Planning provides incredible private wine tours that allow you to add additional stops to places like Hearst Castle and adventures like ziplining.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out my husband! He’s supportive but never an enabler when it comes to my work. Anytime I’m too scared to make a move and feel tempted to make excuses for why I can’t accomplish something, he’s there with actionable advice to try this or that, make a list, Google it! Sometimes I wish he’d placate me a little more, but in the end, I accomplish what I do because he never lets me wallow in “I can’t” long enough for me to actually believe it. Also, Jasmine Star! She’s such an inspiration and another person I can count on (even though I don’t know her personally) to remind me to just keep going, and that it’s just as easy to believe I can achieve whatever I want as it is to believe I can’t. Listening to her podcast, participating as a member of her Social Curator community, and watching her take action, encourages me to keep showing up and giving it my best every day.