Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Born and Raised Etsian In Virginia

Our featured artist for this week is Kristi from Barn Owl Primitives located in Leesburg, Virginia. Find out how a locally grown Virginia SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) became a SEW (Super Etsy Woman). Kristi shares her passion, priorities, and her creative beginnings.

Please tell us a little something about yourself...
I am a true Virginia girl. Born, raised and never left! Though I've had several addresses, they’ve always had one thing in common - Virginia! I grew up in Burke, went to Virginia Tech, and I currently live in Leesburg with my one husband and two kids. I say one husband, because, well, quite frankly, one is enough! ;)

Please tell us about your art, like how you got started...I had to have a primitive wooden snowman to hang on my door. So I made one! Then, I thought “all my friends need one, too.” So, I made wooden snowmen as gifts. Then, their friends all needed one, and then that "snowballed" into Barn Owl Primitives. Since snowmen eventually melt, I had to make bunnies.

I was asked by a dear friend to make a birthday hat for her front door. It was so cute that I just had to make more! And, because I thought other people should have one too! Patriotic angels were next on the list followed by primitive pumpkins in the fall. I do not like a naked front door, so I am always looking for unique ways to dress it up!

I love letters. Maybe that's because I used to teach elementary school. Or, maybe it's because I haven't seen my refrigerator door in four + years because of all the little, colorful magnets. Or, maybe it's because I have a lot to say (but my family gets tired of listening to me all the time). For whatever the reason, I LOVE letters. So, I started my typography signs as a way of getting all those letters out of my system. I enjoy laying out the letters, creating a picture, and telling a story.

Please tell us what item(s) you love the most from your shop...

I love my “family rules” sign. I love that it hangs in my kitchen
and I see it all day long. It makes me SMILE. I only wish that my family loved to follow our family rules all the time. OK, I would settle for MOST of the time.

Tell us something interesting about you - which not a lot of people know about - and is unrelated to your craft.
I have a freckle in my eye. My eyes are green, and my left eye is 3/4 green and 1/4 brown!

Let’s change the tone for something a little more serious. Why do you think buying handmade, local, or from home grown shops is good for society or your town?
Buying local and handmade is VERY important. I love to support small indie artists. If we don't support them, we will not be blessed with their creativity and talent. It also helps stimulate our local economy.

So, as they ask in the Etsy community,
do you have a real “day job”... do you love it
dream of quitting your day job?
My day job is taking care of my two young kids and my husband. I LOVE my day job and I don't dream of ever quitting! I LOVE crafting and working in my Etsy shop too.

In my spare time (which means when my kids are sleeping),
I'm able to paint, craft and create (with things that aren't necessarily 'washable'!)

You are lovely. Thanks for letting us in on your mind stream!
To see Kristi's Etsy Shop, click here Barn Owl Primitives

Editor’s Note:

Kristi is currently involved in a charity for an orphanage in Uganda.
“I am currently donating $5.00 from the sale of my “we can do hard things” sign. Those adorable little kids really need our help, love and support!” To help with her efforts, check this listing below.


  1. Thank you so much Yvette! It's such a blessing to be a part of the Virginia is for Etsyers Team!
    xoxo ~ kristi

  2. I love the typography signs in your shop! Now I just have to find somewhere to hang one!

  3. What a wonderful article! It's fun to learn about a fellow Etsian who is practically my neighbor! I'm crazy about your Family Rules sign! Also thinking about it for my day-job office decor (I manage a veterinary clinic -- it would give the staff nice things to think about each time they enter my office!) Keep making such unique and wonderful items! - Cindy (Valley Green Naturals)

  4. Thanks Kiki and Cindy!

    Cindy, we could customize a sign to have rules for the animals too.

    Bark Softly
    No Biting
    Wag Your Tail

    It would be so cute!!

    ~ kristi

  5. this is a lovely blog. LOVE the family rules sign. how wonderful! letters *are* pretty awesome. xox


  6. great interview!! i love your signs! go VA etsy sellers!

    -Soraia - 23hearts

  7. great interview!! it's so nice to learn more about fellow Virginians and Etsy'ers!!

  8. Loved this interview and learning more about such an amazing local artist.