Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Miller.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
When I was little and growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I vividly remember going to a neighborhood shop and seeing rows of beautiful cards on the wall. I went home and took out my pad of construction paper and started tearing up little pieces and gluing shapes to plain white folded cards. I really think that’s where my love for love letters started and it has only grown since then.
In high school, I was a nanny for a woman who owned her own invitation and gift shop. I would occasionally work in the shop on Saturdays and fell in love with helping the customers and merchandising and everything that came with being in the store. So, when I got to college at The University of Oklahoma, it only felt right to get a part-time job at a similar shop. Days I didn’t have class were spent at the shop and I would sit there and daydream about what my own store would look like if I had one. What would I name it? What products would I carry? Who would my customer be?
After graduation, I moved to Dallas and entered the corporate world. I had a few jobs – Personal Assistant, Events Coordinator for a well-known automotive company and, finally, Account Manager at a small branding firm. When I found myself unhappy at the third job, I reevaluated what I wanted to do. I was 25 and knew that there had to be more. More than waiting for the weekends to come. More than staring at the clock wishing for it to be 6:00pm. During the four years that I lived in Dallas, I noticed there was a lack of gift shops and anytime I needed that perfect gift for a friend or my mom or whoever it was, I struggled. I figured I wasn’t the only one and thought that maybe it was something that other people in Dallas were looking for as well. So, anytime I had a bad day at work, I had always come back to that one crazy idea – opening up my own shop. It seemed so unrealistic and to be honest, frightening. What if I failed?
But after talking with some close friends and family, I decided to take a leap of faith and just do it. I spent every night researching, pinning to my “SHOP” board on Pinterest and trying to figure out how to turn this big dream into a small business. I quit my job in March of 2017 and started working from home for a friend while I did my research and thought that I would potentially open something within a year or so. Well – things escalated once I found the perfect space in the Bishop Arts District about one month after I had quit my job. I had the lease signed, got the keys on June 1st and opened the doors to All Good Things on July 10, 2017.
The overall goal of the store has always been the same – to create a space in the community where people can come and find a perfect gift at a reasonable price. Where they can come to our workshops and learn a new skill and be creative. Where they can come and see a friendly face and feel good about supporting their neighborhood and a small business.
It has been a year (and one day) since I opened up the store and I am so honored by each and every person that comes into the store and supports it. I have met the most incredible people and am constantly inspired by their creativity, passion and drive.
I cannot wait to see what year two brings to the shop and I know it will be even greater than the first!
Please tell us about your art.
When buying for the store, I always ask myself if I would use the product myself and if it serves a purpose. That purpose might be a journal for your meetings every single day or maybe it’s something a little simpler like an art print that just makes me smile when I see it on my bookshelf. I never want anyone to regret buying a single thing from the shop and I think if I continue to carry products that have intention and value, no one ever will!
I also try to carry majority of Made in the USA products, specifically from small businesses. I understand that the more I sell of these products, the bigger the impact will be on their business as well so it’s a win-win for everyone. Dollars spent at stores like mine make a real difference in the community and help neighborhoods like the Bishop Arts District stay alive and unique.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
My advice is to find your passion and prepare. Make sure you have everything in order so that when the time comes, whether that’s a year sooner than you expected or a couple years after, you are ready. When people sense that passion and see that you’re doing what you love, they will come and they will support you! I was worried that people would look at me and think “who is this young girl who thinks she’s going to open up a retail store? In 2017? Has she heard of Amazon?” and people definitely did! And told me I was crazy. But turn that resistance into fuel and use it to your advantage!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
All Good Things is located in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, Texas on the corner of Bishop and Davis. We also sell everything on our website, www.allgoodthingspaper.com.
- Address: 336 West Davis Street
Dallas, Texas 75208
- Website: www.allgoodthingspaper.com
- Phone: 214-579-9961
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allgoodthingspaper/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allgoodthingspaper
Jill Broussard – store photos
Paige Martindell – image of Kristen Miller