Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Meet the Maker - X37 Adventures

Today I interviewed X37 Adventures, which includes members of Handmade in Kansas City, Amy and Alexis.

X37 Adventures is first and foremost focused on creating unique goods that are upcycled and therefore eco-friendly.  We also work with you to create custom goods, and images (video or still) that reflect who you are.  We also are in the business of having fun and exploring this big beautiful world.

What made you decide to start your business?

Amy: Lex was starting it and asked me to join her, and true to my personality I did!  The root cause however was we had hit our limit of art/craft shows that we could do with out a tax number and we didn’t fancy being tax criminals. I don't think either of us would have started a business on our own.
Alexis: Amy is right, as much as we are "partners in crime," the only crime we pursue is the crime of having too much fun!  August 29th will be the 1 year anniversary of X37Adventures!

What is your favorite part about creating?

Amy: For me it’s the process, and as part of a team. I definitely love projects where we work together. Our projects that we collaborate in never seem as daunting and when one of us has a creative slump or is just stuck the other helps to get then out. by the time I am almost done with one thing I ahve started thinking up the next thing.
Alexis: I love the act of creating things with my hands, especially when I am creating new things out of old things. Working as a team is definitely on the top of my favorites list! With Amy living in London, we have had to find a new way to create projects as a team, but it can & has now been done! I doubt I would get half as few things made if I didn't have such a great business partner!

Where do you find inspiration for your products?

Amy: Oh jeez, everywhere! For me, following other creators is very inspiring and seeing what they do and how they do it is encouraging. It gets me excited to add to the work that is out there. But also seeing what they are doing and trying to find a way to create something in that trend, yet is eco or upcycled is a fun creative challenge. Being eco-conscious we get inspired by the outdoors and being adventurous. We get inspired by travel and other places.

What do you do to get out of a creative rut?

Amy: I become a giant baby and whine at Alexis. She tells me to knock it off. She tells me I’m awesome and then I show her my work so far. Then she makes suggestions that either make the piece work or that I know I don’t like. Sometimes if you figure out which way you don’t want to go with a piece, you stumble on upon the direction you do want to go. Also having a sympathetic ear is a nice vent. I also tend to flip between projects so that when I hit a wall but am still in a mood work flow I don't lose productivity. And sometimes I just get outside and walk around. Coffee also helps.
Alexis: I usually am not in a creative rut, but quite the opposite. I feel like I let ideas pile up. Once I'm on top of this idea pile, I feel like I don't know where to even begin to get back on solid ground! Amy is such a great help in making that decision for me or helping me talk out the pros & cons to a decision. Like she said, sometimes it is just great to have a sympathetic ear to hear your whiny moments. Then, when all else fails, I take my dogs on a walk or a road trip.

How do you organize the business side vs. creative side of business?

Amy: With fear and trembling. I’m only partially kidding - taxes this year involved a lot of long video chats and extensive Googling. Also having someone who is super organized and business save you to ask questions to was a huge relief (we loved getting an email back telling us we were doing the correct forms). This year has been a slow build up and learning process. We still feel like newbies at this, but we are getting better. Once again having a partner helps with the organizational, we each have organizational strengths that balance out each other’s weaknesses.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve ever created or order you are most proud of?

Amy: We recently worked on a custom set piece for a YouTube show. While Alexis did the majority of the physical work, the idea behind it and the creative process was done together via Google hangouts. It felt great to do that together even though we are thousands of miles apart. Also, any piece that we make out of something that was going to be trashed and is now loved by someone new makes our day. We love finding a new uses for something that functionally is still good but has lost its perceived value.
Alexis: Absolutely! Every time we come up with a new project that we can both participate on, it makes me so very proud of us!

Is this a full time job for you? Do you have another full time or part time job?

Amy: It is not, I am currently working on my masters degree in art and design history at Kingston University in London, UK. We both would like X37 to become something that is at least part time if not full time.

Alexis: X37Adventures is my main job, but I also work several as-needed jobs on a part time basis.

Upcoming Shows:

KC Comiccon, Aug 12th-14
Mulberry Market, Sept 2-3
The Swift Mile, Sept 10
X37 Adventures can be found at and x37adventures on all social media!! Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Thank you Tania from Ivory Isis for writing this week's post!

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