Kristin Malone is on the show today and we chat about her creative journey from hobby, to brick and mortar, and to expanding locations. Her shop Home Malone is located in New Orleans and features local and southern artists. We also chat about the importance of customer communication and why finding your unique perspective as an artist is important.
Home Malone began in 2011 as a need to get back to creativity. It grew from refinishing furniture at night and during the weekends in a carport and slowly graduated to selling rustic wood signs with hand painted creole tomatoes. oysters and other New Orleans influenced items. As demand and passion grew for the small business, Kristin quit her near decade long industrial sales career in Jan 2014 to pursue Home Malone full time. Her wholesale and customer base grew as she participated in countless outdoor art markets and painted custom house caricatures for locals. In 2015, she added paint parties to her portfolio as she worked together with local businesses to help bring customers in after hours. In July 2016, she hosted a paint party at a charming clothing store that was in a New Orleans home on the streetcar line. Many customer requested for another event, and upon following up, it was then she found out the current store was relocating to another part of town. The idea of owning a retail store came to life and the lease was signed in September. While working side by side with artist for years, she has a passion for handmade products and the space was curated with goods that weren't just designed in the Deep South, but were also being produced. Home Malone retail opened its doors November 19th, 2016 with the idea of a studio/workshop space that was supplemented with some retail. But the response from locals was resounding and retail became the main focus.
6 weeks after opening, Kristin was exhausted! But only to find out she was pregnant with her first child. 2017 was a year of learning and growth on both family and business levels as she welcomed her son while learning to step back from work and allow others to take the lead on her "first baby" Home Malone. As she hit her stride with utilizing social media, launching the retail online store, and hiring more, 2018 opened many more doors for opportunity. The staff grew from 2 to 8, nearly 60 additional artists were added to the curation, the Mid City store expanded to it's upstairs space, her consignment space on the Northshore expanded to carry more items to ease the demand nearly 60 miles away, she launched over 20 new items to her wholesale catalog and and signed a lease for a second location on New Orleans' prime shopping area on Magazine Street.
As Home Malone grows, so does the support for locals. There's been a shift of attention to quality over quantity and consumers wanting to know where and how their merchandise is being made. While running a small business with steady growth may seem daunting, working with the best customers and makers in the world makes it's less of work and more of a dream. A dream Kristin hopes to not wake up from for some time.
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About The Positively Creative Podcast:
The Positively Creative Podcast was created by Dorothy Collier, artist of Dorothy Art, for creative entrepreneurs. When Dorothy started having a positive outlook on every aspect of her life, including her art career, the creativity and opportunities started overflowing! Join her as she chats with other small business owners, discussing the ins and outs of how to run a creative business and how they make it in their respective fields.