Q+A: Kristin Austin

In a new series of Q+As we can’t wait to share, we’re sitting down with some of our favorite makers, shakers, and creatives to get the low down on how they juggle it all, who they look up to, and where they spend their time. We figured we’d be the guinea pigs to kick it off right… so we’re turning it over first to Kristin Austin, founder of the market, freelance designer, and maker of things.

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What’s your job title?

Well, that depends on the day — or the time of day even. Ha! The easiest answer: freelance designer. But it’s more than that. I’m growing my business, kaus creative, offering graphic design, styling, and photography services, so each day is different. Some afternoons I’m designing logos and the next morning I’m styling a master bedroom. And I’m still making for my jewelry biz, bird + beau, though it’s really become more of a passion project. And I have a few things in the works for the market too. I guess you could say I’m multi-passionate.

What did you do before starting your creative business(es)?

What didn’t I do?! I’ve slung pizzas, screenprinted t-shirts, blown glass, made wedding invitations, taught art, and helped build houses.

What did you learn a little too late?

To own my title. I don’t have a design degree and I let that and the opinions of others limit my thinking of who I was/am.

What advice would you give to someone starting out as a maker/creative?

Don’t let others tell you who you aren’t. Believe in yourself (that sounds so cliche, but it’s for good reason — just see the answer to my last question). And have fun!

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What is your biggest pet peeve?

Oooh… lack of communication has been a hard hitting one for me lately.

Dead or alive, name three people you want to have over for dinner.

Dan Levy because his faces crack me up and I think we could be best friends. John Lennon because John Lennon. And Amy Poehler because she’s not only hilarious, but is a champion of women and encourages folks to be themselves. Solid back ups: Jim Morrison and Jude Law.

Favorite coffee shop in Raleigh?

I have so many. But I have to give Sola my love because John + Jeanne are the sweetest, it’s a mile from home, and it’s where I got my start participating in markets! I was so surprised + honored when Jeanne messaged me on Instagram to join one of their first pop ups.


Find Kristin on Instagram at @kauscreative + @birdandbeau.