Thursday 3 September 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros: Beth Kingston

Today is the turn to jump over the Atlantic ocean once again and ask the questions to Beth Kingston.
Beth is a crafter extraordinaire and a craft expert on the Home Shopping Network where you can watch her often with her gorgeous smile and attitude.

When and how did you start in the craft industry? 
Was it full time? Part time? 
I am a social worker by education/experience, but I have a minor in Public Relations. We had just moved (my husband is in the Army) and I hadn’t found a new job and a friend of a friend was starting a new scrapbooking company.  She asked me if I would trade my PR expertise for product – and I said yes! The company grew and she hired me on – first part time, then full time. 
Xyron bought the company and kept me on as an employee – and then one day they said they needed someone to go on air at HSN and asked me if I was interested.  The rest is history! 

What type of job did you have at first? Did you started as a creative straight away? 
I was more on the marketing side than the creative side, but I have always been crafty and am thrilled that I get to use my creativity more often these days! 

How do you describe your job nowadays? 
I am an on-air personality/craft expert on the Home Shopping Network. 

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite? 
I actually have TWO favorite things. Getting to travel internationally and meet other crafters is SUCH a gift – I cannot believe how fortunate I am. I also REALLY enjoy teaching brand new crafters – those people who say “I wish I was creative”. Watching the light go on when they create something with their own two hands just thrills me to no end. 

Your proudest moment and achievement in this industry? 
This may sound weird – but I don’t really “track” my achievements.  It is more of a sense of “how incredibly lucky am I?” 
When someone I admire in the industry asks me for advice or invites me to teach at an event, or a company I love is interested in working with me – that is what makes me proud. So I guess building a good, solid reputation in this industry is my greatest accomplishment – and I still have to pinch myself that is has all really happened.  I am SO LUCKY!  

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face working in this industry? 
I don’t want to bore everyone with the same answer for every question!  Ha! I am SO LUCKY to have this job – so even when an individual project might be difficult or I’m having a rough day – I always come at it with a sense of gratitude because I KNOW how fortunate I am.   
The biggest challenge for me has been getting a thicker skin. Unfortunately when you are in the public eye sometimes people feel like they can take potshots at you – the way you look, the quality of your projects and ideas, how you act – and while 99% of people are just so amazing and supportive there are a few who have been really, really hateful.  It took me a while to be able to brush those people off – but now that I have I see even that as a gift. It is pretty freeing to not take things personally when people try to put you down! 

What do you think is more important to succeed in this industry: creative talent, hard work or luck? 
Hard work. I have been INCREDIBLY lucky in my career – but once you get those opportunities you have to be willing to work VERY hard or those opportunities will stop coming. 

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently career wise? 
Generally I wouldn’t change anything – because if I hadn’t been through those events I wouldn’t be where I am today, but I do wish I would have been more fluent/active in social media earlier in my career. 

Also, what would you like to do differently style, technique, project wise? 
I wish I was more of a “messy” crafter.  I tend to make very clean, functional projects, and I WANT to expand my horizons but I really struggle with stepping outside of my comfort zone.  A girlfriend and I went to a mixed media retreat and I almost had a nervous breakdown just working on the first project! Clearly I have issues.  
For the full tutorial click on the photo.

What is your favourite project type to make? 
I LOVE home décor. We just moved in to a new home and I have been making wall art, serving pieces for our patio, stuff for our kitchen, etc. 

What is your favourite colour in general? And to make projects with? (Not always the same!) 
In my clothes and my home décor I tend to go for neutrals – grey, gold, white, etc.  In my projects I am CRAZY for color! I used a lot of teal and coral in my projects this summer, and now that I have started thinking about the holidays I’ve found myself working with deep reds. 

Where you go for inspiration? 
I may be one of the few people who still gets print magazines.  Fashion, food, craft – I love them all! I have an actual notebook that I have been keeping for probably ten years that has images or color schemes or project ideas I’ve pulled from those magazines and I turn to that notebook any time I have a creative block. It is like old school Pinterest! 

What is next for you? Any art or craft dreams? 
I am trying to get brave enough to undertake a HUGE art/DIY project on our porch. It would be the biggest home décor project I’ve ever done! 
At Chocolate Quente 14, with Teresa Collins, Patricia Villas-Boas and Jeff  Filimoehala.

And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions? 
Of course!  It was at the Chocolate Quente event in Portugal in the Spring of 2014.  Paula and I were both teachers and we got to spend some time together sightseeing and eating – we BOTH love eating!! It was one of the first events where I had some “down time” to relax and enjoy the company of my fellow teachers and Paula and I just hit it off right away. We’ve got so many things in common and have similar personalities - I’ve told my husband several times that the next time we go to Europe we need to make sure we see her! 

Paula's version:
Beth is one of those rare persons that literally illuminates the room when she walks in. When you meet her, you immediately feel happy! I remember meeting her in Portugal and I wasn't feeling too good, but after spending a few minutes with her, everything in the world was fine again. That is the power of the Beth Kingston!
You can find Beth online here:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Dawn Bibby | Pete Hughes | Kath Stewart | Karen Burniston | Jane Gill | Alberto Juarez | Beth Kingston


Kath Stewart said...

what a beautiful story....thanks for sharing xxx

Jean said...

Love reading this!

Unknown said...

Beth, you are such an amazing person the fact that you started in social work explains why you have such inner beauty and have such a special touch with people. Im a bit older than you and I've come to realize that social media seems to give some people the idea that they can say or do anything. Things they would never do face to face. So don't sweat the haters. cuz 99.9% of us adore you and everything you do!

Unknown said...

Thanks for interviewing Beth. I hadn't heard her whole story so this is great. We were lucky enough to have Beth & Don living in our area and she was so gracious to put on a retreat for 30 or so of her groupies here in the Midwest. It was a great weekend. You are so right when you say she just lights up a room, she really is a ray of sunshine & so down to earth.

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