Mostly inspired by nature, Everhard Designs LLC produces fine art prints, handmade journals, screen prints, and more. We interviewed owner Kim Everhard to learn more about her local business in Wadsworth, OH.
Tell us about your business.
My name is Kimberlee Everhard, I am an artist working out of my home studio in Wadsworth, Ohio. I studied art in college and then went on to work a corporate job full time for a while. I slowly started to grow my hobby of selling my art and other handmade products at weekend markets into a business. In 2018 I officially began Everhard Designs LLC and I moved into a part time job so that I could spend more time on this creative endeavor. I am so glad that I took that big scary step to make Everhard Designs official and to focus on it as more than just a hobby.
I have loved art ever since I was a kid, I used to fill up these huge sketchbooks with my random drawings of people and trees - those were my favorite subjects. I also have a big passion for nature which has grown over the past few years since I’ve picked up hiking and backpacking. These two big passions of mine come together to create Everhard Designs. With my art I seek to inspire others to get out there and enjoy the awesome and beautiful land that we have available to us in this country. Nature is so enriching to our lives: it's exciting, it's fun, it's breathtaking and it's peaceful. Through my watercolor paintings of trees and mountains I show people the little parts of the world that I've been able to see, to bring beauty and joy to their homes and to encourage a spirit of adventure in their souls. I also enjoy making fun little things like stickers that people can put on their car or phone to show their love for nature, and hand-bound sketchbooks and notebooks to fill with creative thoughts or sketches.
What drew you to your craft?
I’ve been in love with art ever since I can remember, I just love to create things with my hands and create images of the world through the filter of my imagination and creative style.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
So far my favorite piece is one titled “Cascade Meadow” It’s a mixed media piece, made through a process of silkscreen printing and watercolor painting. It means a lot to me because it was the piece that started a new direction for my artwork. It was an experiment that turned out really well and my current style has grown out of that piece.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I think that I wanted to be an artist but thought that it wasn’t a legitimate career. I went to art school because I didn't’ think I was good at anything else. I certainly never thought I would be an entrepreneur as I would consider myself now.
What is your creative process?
I have a lot of different processes because I do different things like artwork, t-shirt design and sticker design. But my basic process is the same most of the time. I get my inspiration from hiking, backpacking or just noticing things around me in my day to day life. When I go backpacking I take little sketches and I take pictures to draw inspiration from when I get home. Getting down to the technical side: I start out with a pencil or pen sketch. Oftentimes I’ll take it to my light table and trace it onto a nicer paper before I go on to use ink pen or watercolor paint. I’ll scan the artwork and edit to make sure the light and color match the original. I print and cut my own art prints and t-shirts so once I have the digital image of my art I’ll either print it onto high quality paper or onto transparency to transfer to a silkscreen-which is a whole other process in itself.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
RELAX. Don’t freak out about mistakes, you’ll learn from them each time. Life is about growing and learning as you go, so don't be afraid to try new and scary things.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Small businesses are great for the local economy because they can bring in economic growth and sometimes employment opportunities to small communities where big corporations would not be present. Small businesses care about their products a whole lot, because they make them or because they are heavily invested in the product or the service. Small businesses are run by families, and when you buy from a small business, you are supporting a family. I think that small businesses are what make communities unique.
Why do you love doing what you do?
At the heart of it, I love to create. I love to make art that brings joy to someone’s home or sparks a seed of adventure in their soul. I also really enjoy interacting with my customers and my supporters online and at markets. I love the challenge of it all and I like that I have different things to do each day, I don't have to do exactly the same thing for 8 hours a day.
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
It’s not easy. It’s a lot of work and it’s oftentimes frustrating. But, if you are passionate about what you are doing it is highly rewarding, it’s exciting and it’s fun! Enjoy the ride! Do your research but also don’t be afraid to just jump in and get started. Surround yourself with other, more experienced entrepreneurs and ask lots of questions.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
My favorite thing is all of the great hiking trails and parks that we have so close at hand! I live in Wadsworth and I am 15 minutes from at least 5 parks with trails and lakes and within an hours drive of several big metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park! I love hiking and it is so great to have such awesome public hiking trails so close. I also love the landscape, the plants and animals where I live. We have rolling hills and pine trees, as well as gorgeous fields and wildflowers. Overall, it's a great place to live and I'm so happy to call Ohio home!