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Shop Spotlight: Chez Sucre Chez

It’s a Sunday and I’m happy to announce that today, we are featuring Chez-Sucre-Chez. I first saw one of her pouches at Made By Girl’s blog and love it. She has been featured in many magazines, online mags, handmade shops online, blogs and I guess most of you are familiar with her or her shop. She creates fine little things like pillows, tea towels, aprons, pouches and little animal dolls I really like the Piggy Goes to Market tote, the cross-stitched hoops, and the animal dolls (see photos at the bottom) from her store. I also fell in love with her L-O-V-E cross-stitched wall decor (remember this? 10 ways to say Love).

The talented girl/lady behind Chez-Sucre-Chez is Kimberly Scola. She runs a Bigcartel online store and an Etsy shop as well. Despite her very busy sched, I’m so glad that she has obliged to do this interview.
Ever wondered what chez sucre chez means? Let’s go and find out;)

Kim Sola owner-designer Chez Sucre Chez
Kim Scola owner-designer Chez Sucre Chez

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

chez-sucre-chez is a poor translation of home-sweet-home into french. a few years ago, my french friends simon and estelle were visiting and staying with me in nyc. when we would arrive home after hours of walking around site-seeing and shopping and eating, estelle, whose english was pretty good, would say, “home sweet home.”

months later, i visited them in paris. as we approached their door one of the first nights that we were out, i put together, in my elementary french, the words chez-sucre-chez in an attempt to convey the same sentiment as home-sweet-home. estelle, simon and i got a big laugh of this and the phrase stuck in my head.

months after that as i was creating the seed of my little business, chez-sucre-chez came to mind. i like the way that, in an obscure, round-about way, it references the old cross-stitch samplers that i love so much. it also speaks to what i seek to help create with my products – a happy, comfortable home. and, although it may be a little more difficult for people to pronounce and remember, i don’t have to worry about anyone confusing me with another chez-sucre-chez!

Chez Sucre Chez handmade
` home sweet home ~

How old is your shop?

Although i’ve had an etsy shop account since 2007, i only really started taking it seriously around march of 2008. i then opened my bigcartel shop in december of 2008.

What inspired you to start your own home business?

I have been practicing this since i was in seventh grade, making and selling friendship bracelets at lunchtime for 25 cents each. much later, under the name petit-a-petit, i sold ceramics through a catalog that i made and sent to my circle of family friends, coworkers and other contacts.

My decision to start chez-sucre-chezwasnt so much a conscious one. it started as a hobby and when i found that my work was receiving positive attention and feedback, i saw that i might have a chance to go after my dream of making a living off of what i love to do most; making things with my hands and with all of my heart.

Chez Sucre Chez handmade 3
“making things with my hands and with all of my heart”
— Kimberly Sola

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

Honestly, almost every day is a challenge. the challenge is that, being a small one-woman company, there is always SO much work to be done. keeping afloat takes much more than making pretty stitches and dreaming up new designs; that’s the fun, easy part. but then for everything that i make, i need to photograph it, and list it in my shops, and put it on my blog send out emails and facebook posts and twitters and anything else i can think of to get the word out.

Chez Sucre Chez studio
a peek at her studio

I definitely work much much MUCH more than the usual 40 hour work week, and for FAR less of a paycheck. it sometimes gets frustrating and tiring to feel that i am working and struggling so much to have only enough money to just pay my bills. i’m often ready to give up and start looking for a job with normal hours and a steady paycheck, but then i remember how rewarding it is to be doing what i am doing and to be my own boss!

I know that just as i am meeting, facing and hopefully conquering every struggle and challenge on my own, i am also the one responsible for every success, whether it be big or small, and that gives me the strength and desire to keep on keeping on.

Chez Sucre Chez at renegade craft fair brooklyn ny
chez-sucre-chez booth at the 2009 Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, NY

Please Name. . .

1. the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop:

I usually am working! one good thing about my work, though, is that it is so portable. i can put my materials for almost any given project into a tote and take it wherever i go. this allows me to visit with friends and family while i stitch.

When i do take a break from the stitching, though, it is usually to cook or bake for friends, or to go for a bike ride through the back streets of my town, or to take a few days in philadelphia or new york, where i can get my fill of dancing and people watching and socializing.

Chez Sucre Chez goodies
she bakes too!

2. stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without:

I am definitely a simple girl. all i need is my id, some cash, my phone and my keys and i’m good to go. but if i am going anywhere for a bit longer than a quick run out to the store, i need my sunglasses and my ipod and my bag of projects and my laptop.

3. your favorite shops:

It’s been a while since i could actually afford to shop at these places, but i do love anthropologie, and the shoe department at macy’s, and williams sonoma (or any good independently-run kitchen goodies shop). i also love browsing bookstores, and fabric and paper and yarn and craft supply shops, and cheese shops, and bakeries and vintage places and antique markets.

4. your top 3 favorite picks from your shop:

i love my piggy goes to market totes; i’ve got three of them that i’ve been using and abusing for months.

Chez Sucre Chez piggy shopping bag
“piggy goes to market”

i also use one of my crown-print zippy pouches; it’s the bag that holds all four of those items that i cant leave home without.

Chez Sucre Chez crown pouch
crown zippy pouch

then, to name one other favourite — hmm, that’s tough; i guess i would say any of my hand-embroidered tea towels. i truly love the towels that i use for these and feel that with the care i put into the embroidery, they’re just a great product and make for a fantastic gift.

Chez Sucre Chez tea towels
embroidered tea towels

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?

Try to set work hours for yourself, so that you arent eating, sleeping and always breathing just work. i haven’t figured out how to let go and obey myself on this advice, but i think i would be more productive and well balanced if i did. have confidence and believe in what you are doing.
and lastly, work hard and know that it’s worth it.

~*~*~*~
Kim is a real hard worker! A real inspiration for anyone who has a dream of starting a home business. This was really a fun interview and I enjoyed putting this post together. The story behind her shop’s name is amusing! And based upon her favorite hang outs, I think we would make good buddies. Thanks Kim! oh, and don’t forget to check out her personal blog for daily happenings:)

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