We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberlee Morales and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberlee, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Deciding to work for myself wasn’t an easy decision. There was a lot of fear and doubt surrounding this huge life choice but I remember what someone told me during this time of turmoil and uncertainty of not knowing what the future would hold for me. They told me,
“Talented people are always in demand.”
After six years of being my own boss, this quote is the one that I repeat to myself daily. Not a day has gone by where I haven’t been blessed with work, submissions, inquiries or interest in my business. And for that, I am incredibly thankful. This quote is one of the first things I ever held onto as a business owner to instill confidence in myself as an entrepreneur. It is always the first thing I tell others as well who are considering starting a business but are afraid of the uncertainty that comes with being self-employed. If you have a talent, passion or gift, there will ALWAYS be someone out there who will love, appreciate, and pay for it. First, we must believe in ourselves and believe in our talent, and next we must have faith that we are always in demand somewhere, somehow and lastly put in the work to make it happen.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think one of the beautiful things about my journey as a business owner is that I never planned for my life to be this way. I never thought I would open a business and in all honesty, I had no plans for my life at all. Going into college, I chose a random major and thought to myself, “I’ll figure it out later.” Later came and slowly, being the artsy and creative person I naturally am, I started to take on random projects for people whether it was making keychains, painting shoes or decorating someone’s grad cap. I started to earn some side cash while I was in school and it felt so good knowing people were supportive of my talent and wanted to see more. The response and the support from my family, friends, peers and complete strangers all over the world was overwhelming. One thing led to another and I had to figure out along the way how to set up a website, ship orders, and run a legit online business. I didn’t know anyone who did anything of the sort, so I was left to just kinda figure it all out on my own. When the time came to consider pursuing my business full-time, the biggest doubt that repeated in my head was “who the heck quits their job to do arts and crafts full time?! There’s no way this could work…” Fast-forward six years later, here I am. I’ve shipped orders to all 50 states and 14 other countries, run three successful small businesses and started a podcast (Behind the Craft with Kim) where I gathered all my knowledge and advice in one place so that others just starting out can tune in and listen knowing they don’t have to do it alone.I hope that they may learn something from my past struggles and experiences and tailor it to their own life and aspirations. It wasn’t easy to get where I am today; it still isn’t. It’s a lot of work and long hours and tons of stress but I will say this….I LIVE for this. Running a small business fuels a fire under me that motivates me to push forward and achieve things I never thought would be possible for myself. I want to challenge the idea that society has created of “starving artists” and become living proof to others that you CAN make a living off pursuing your passions. I’m on track this year to make six figures for the first time, which seems absolutely INSANE and unreal for me to even say out loud. I think back to the days where I lost sleep over wondering if simple arts and crafts would be enough to keep me fed and my bills paid. After years and years of constant hard work and undying dedication to my business, it is opening up opportunities for my family and I that I truly thought would never be possible. There’s so much beauty in not having any plans…the possibilities are endless. I want to serve as an example to people that you can make your dreams come true and to not let fear of failure stop you from pursuing your passions. You never know where you could end up.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles, and California as a whole, is such a beautiful and diverse place to visit. Nothing in the world could ever make me leave this place. One minute you could be walking between tall buildings in downtown and 15 minutes later you could be watching the waves crash on the shore. Whenever my family visits from Mexico, we always make sure we show them the absolute beauty that we are spoiled with here in California. From the Hollywood Walk of Fame to show them the glitz and glam of the city, to taking a drive down PCH to stop by Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. And who doesn’t love a good In n’ Out burger? A Friday night at Dodger Stadium is also a must-see in my opinion. There is no better feeling that seeing the fireworks illuminate the stadium and seeing downtown lit up as you walk back to your car with a bobblehead in one hand. There are also so many hidden gems that are often missed as well like seeing a good stand-up show at The Comedy Store in Hollywood or eating some late-night tacos al pastor from a food truck at 2 am in LA. I know one thing’s for sure… you will never be bored visiting Los Angeles. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There is absolutely no way I could ever be where I am today if it wasn’t for the love and support of my parents. They have always gone the extra mile to set me up for success. From eating every cost of my college education so that I didn’t have to take out student loans or work so that I could focus on school, to being the ones who encouraged me to quit a job I hated and pursue my business full-time. They have always believed in me and been there to lend a helping hand when needed. They will come home from work and help me pack orders and answer emails so that I could have a bit more time to sleep every night. I couldn’t be more blessed. Everything I do, I do for them. The one thing that keeps me pushing forward is the thought of one day being blessed enough to hopefully retire them early and spoil them the way they deserve. I hope to make them proud one day and fulfill their American dream.
Instagram: @kimscustomcaps @kimscustomcrafts @behindthecraftwithkim
Other: Tiktok: @kimscustomcaps
Raw Honey Photography Rudy Hernandez Leslie Gonzalez