Right Brain: Kristie Nicholls Hoffman
December 19, 2005
Kristie Nicholls Hoffman was born in Fairplay and raised in Breckenridge. She went to Fort Lewis College in Durango, living there a few extra years before returning to Breckenridge. In Durango, she learned to make quilts. Many won awards and one hung in a show at the state capital. After returning to Breckenridge, she opened the Breckenridge Bead Gallery, which will be celebrating 10 years in business in February. She sells beads and supplies for people to make jewelry, as well as sells fine art supplies. As if running a store isn’t enough, she’s in the process of starting a new business doing decorative painting, faux painted furniture and decorative stained concrete.DreamsMy dream is to be able to support myself by selling custom furniture, quilts and jewelry, and by also being a crafty personal assistant. I can embroider names on Christmas stockings or put wedding photos in an album and tastefully scrapbook them for people. I also dream of helping people create amazing interior finishes for their walls, ceilings ,and floors.
Why do art?I don’t think I have a choice. Ever since I can remember I have enjoyed some form of art or craft. Very often I have several projects going at once, and many more ideas waiting in the wings. What do you convey through art? I want it to be beautiful, make people say wow. I really enjoy bright, rich color and love all the patterns and textures that fabrics and beads come in. I like to take patterns and change them to fit my vision, take ideas as many steps further as I can.
Challenge My biggest challenge has been having too many interests and too many projects going on at once. I tend to jump ahead to a new idea before completing other projects. Another challenge is that when you make your hobby your living, it then becomes work instead of play. I thought I would be making jewelry all day at the shop, but it’s mostly bookkeeping, cleaning, merchandising and helping customers. AccomplishmentI was very proud when one of my quilts was juried into a show that hung in the state capital. One of my greatest accomplishments is that my store is still going strong and that I have survived almost 10 years in retail.
Staying fresh I enjoy taking classes at Colorado Mountain College every so often and recently took several courses in Denver to learn more faux and decorative painting techniques. I subscribe to several trade publications to see what others are doing, to see what materials and tools are out there, and for inspiration. Also, I get some of my best ideas when I’m out hiking or walking the dog. I’m not sure whether it’s the exercise or the beauty of where we live, but it seems to work. When you’re not making art? I enjoy hiking, gardening, any type of snow sport, fly-fishing and just being outside on a beautiful day in this beautiful place that has always been my home.