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Meet Kristy Hofmann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristy Hofmann.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My mom has always called me her favorite artist. I loved to draw and create when I was young. I loved everything that had to do with arts. Every open elective in school I filled with art classes! Sewing, drawing, graphic design, ceramics, jewelry making, photography… I’m happy when I am creating! Sewing quickly became my go-to after I got married in 2010. I took pride in the things I made from patterns and ventured out a lot in making my own things from scratch. I’m the kind of person who just figures out how to do everything and does it herself! I’ve tried my hand at embroidery, and watercolor, and you better believe if we had the tools for woodworking I’d do that too! I feel like I’ve lived an average life and don’t have some great story to tell about how I became an artist if you will. I just found what made me happy and what I was good at and didn’t stop in developing that talent. Becoming a mom has opened new doors to my creative possibilities though! Which has lead me to what I make and sell today, fabric dollies! I’m a wife and mom to four first, but I also recognize I have this talent that needs to be shared with others! And I’ve been taught not to hide my talents but to expand them! It can be challenging to raise a family and start a business, but it’s also been so rewarding!

Please tell us about your art.
After our first daughter, Nova turned one I had the idea to make her a fabric doll, that looked like her, and would hopefully be special to her since it was made by her mama. I drew up and tested out many patterns over a few months, and finally, pieces aligned and looked proportional that I kept the pattern I have today! Finding the right, happy, little face for the doll took another few weeks. My intention was to just make a doll for Nova but with much encouragement from my husband, family, and friends I turned it into a business in the spring of 2015 and named it after Nova, Nova’s Dollies. I offer customizable dolls, where you are the one who chooses the hair color and style, skin and eye color, and the outfit you want. I make all outfits and accessories removable so the child can dress up their doll however they want. I’ve made a handful of character dolls like Batman, Geko from PJ Masks, police dolls, Disney princesses, and Wicked characters. I let everyone know I’m open to anything they throw at me and I’m determined to come through with their requests! All my doll patterns and clothes are my own designs. Details and options for my dolls continue to expand!! Through my dolls, I’ve tried to emphasize what sets each of us apart and bring awareness to things like childhood cancer, congenital heart defects, and cleft lips/palates. I’d like to expand to other medical needs such as G-Tubes, tracheotomies, leg braces, and even amputations. Our first child was born with a cleft lip and palate, and I recognized through our cleft community how important it is for our children to not feel alone but to be accepted for who they are and how they look. So I first offered dolls with cleft scars. And if it’s that important to us cleft families, then I knew how meaningful it would be to other families with children who were born with different birth defects and conditions that require certain medical equipment to help them thrive. It’s so special for these kids to have a doll with matching scars and accessories. My goal is for my customers to choose every detail of their doll so it can match the uniqueness of their own child. Down to the very scars that tell their story! We are all one of a kind and different on the inside and out! Their doll should match who THEY are. Just like each of us, no two Nova’s Dollies are alike. And that’s pretty special!

What do you think about the conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
In ways, I think life has become easier for artists today. For example how much technology has grown in the last decade! Creating, displaying, sharing, and selling your art is easier with the internet and tablets and iPads, and phones! Having customers and followers can expand across the globe! But my personal experiences have shown me what a challenge it is to be an artist now also. It’s scary to start a business with your art and think it’ll support you financially. You put your heart into your work and to get more out of it you have to put so much time and money into it first, but we still have full-time jobs and families that need us also. It’s risky. To help artists thrive, I think would be to support the boutiques that are held all over the valley! Those are filled with small businesses and artists! And not to be afraid of the prices you see. I think that can be a big turn off for some but they need to understand the prices for our art is carefully chosen. Shop small, that’s how we can be supported!

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can follow Nova’s Dollies on Instagram @novas_dollies or on Facebook at facebook.com/novasdollies.

To order your own custom doll head over to Novasdolliesetc.etsy.com!

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Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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