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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Handmade Artists' Forum and Shop

By on Sunday, April 18, 2010 Comments

Most of us with significant others can safely say our partners are supportive to varying degrees. Rarer are the couples who fully share the jewelry making passion. Andrew and Kimberley Kitchen are such a pair.

You couldn't find a more hardworking pair.   Two websites, blogs, Facebook, a forum and more recently an online handmade site of their own.  Throw in 2 young children and you'd agree their lives are very busy indeed.
Kimberley started off doing painted stem glassware. She then moved on to chain maille jewelry. Andrew also became addicted and joined her. He is the one who saw cuts all the rings. They began selling their wares online in places with Etsy and Artfire.


Then they set up their own websites - Makin' The Best of It (painted stem glassware and beach glass jewelry)  and Chain Maille by MBOI.  Kimberley said, "We hosted our own sites on our own servers and began learning how to sell online without using the major venues.

As their expertise developed, they started The Handmade Artists Forum and a companion blog so artisans could "gather and share information, techniques, and support for each other" no matter where they live.

A very recent venture is the The Handmade Artists Shop which grew from the Forum. The goal is to stay dedicated to handmade and not get cluttered with supplies, resale, and vintage products. They told me, "
The HAF shop as it is known is set up so the members of the forum have another option to sell their wares, most of our members sell on other venues as well but many are warming up to the shop as it is small and relatively manageable."


Let me tell you, that is quite an undertaking. The Kitchens work hard on the social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote it. Kimberley devotes all her time to the business while Andrew works as an estimator in the construction industry. What an amazing couple.

Andrew told me he reads my blog posts. He added, "I read them all, waiting for the chance to be featured!" Well, Andrew, you finally got your wish!

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108 comments:

  1. Wow, awesome people, great jewelry! HAF sounds like a great place.

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  2. I can't keep up with all your posts! Wonderful to read about this couple's ventures and their developments. Interesting how they have split the work.

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  3. The Handmade Artist Forum is awesome indeed!

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  4. Andrew and Kimberly are great people! They are very dedicated to helping promote the artists on the Handmade Artists Forum, Blog, and Shop. Not only are people selling their creations, but developing a network of friendship, shared ideas, and sincerely promoting all the artists who have joined; even the ones who don't sell their creations like me. Check them out. You won't regret it. It is free to join and the marketing that Andrew does all over the Internet is outstanding.

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  5. Great group of artists and proud to be apart of the group :)

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  6. I am recently part of this fantastic forum ,it's full of creativity and I am proud to be part of it!great work guys!

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  7. Thanks for your great feature about HAF! This couple really is awesome and I'm very much enjoying being a part of this community.

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  8. It's great to learn more about the founders of the HAF group. I'm new to the forum and love the support and talent. The HAFTeam is awesome too!

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  9. HAF Rules! and so does this feature! Beautiful job and great looking blog! :)

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  10. I love HAF! I don't participate a lot but always read what's going on -- great feature on the folks 'behind the scenes'. Thanks!

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  11. Great article about some great people. Andrew and Kimberly are awesome and generous with their ideas and time. They are always willing to answer questions and the forum that they created is inspiring and positive.

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  12. Been with Hafteam since they were twenty … now up to 1000. I have enjoyed being part of it …Thanks guys for all you do. Love those pieces that are shown above..

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  13. HAF is one of the best creative forums I have ever come across- long may it continue!

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  14. Thanks so much for the wonderful write up! Andrew and I love handmade so much and are thrilled that others love the forum and shop as much as we do. Our goal is to remind the world that handmade is special and should be appreciated! Thanks again!

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  15. Great article about some great, dedicated people! As a member of the HAFteam on Etsy, one of my next projects will be joining the shop as well. Andrew and Kimberly have really set the energy for much success. My hat is off to you!
    Elizabeth/Foret

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  16. I'm a recent member of the Handmade Artists Forum team. And, you're quite right! Andrew and Kimberley are doing quite a job in developing this network in support of handmade art and artists. I certainly appreciate their work. If you're an artist or interested in handmade art, the site is worth checking out.

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  17. Awesome post about some amazing, hardworking, caring people! The HAF team is fantastic, and so are Andrew and Kimberly

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  18. This is wonderful! I love HAF and am very proud to be a part of the group. Thank you Kimberly and Andrew for all you do to make HAF so fantastic!

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  19. Congrats to Andrew and Kimberly for the great feature. It think they're doing a stellar job in uniting parts of the handmade community and giving them a fresh venue to promote and sell their work.

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  20. Wonderful website and great article about the Handmade Artists Forum. There are no two greater supporters of the handmade movement than Andrew and Kimberly, and I'm so glad to see them getting recognition for their efforts. I'm also proud to say I'm a member of their HAFteam. Much success to you Andrew and Kim ... I was thrilled to help you celebrate HAF's first anniversary, and I hope to be there with you when you celebrate your silver anniversary. Thanks for everything, and long live HAF!

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  21. It is so nice to see a great write up on Handmade Artists Forum. As a member, I can attest to the truth of all these wonderful things said about the Kitchen's, the forum and our HAFShop.

    HAF is a great place to join in with other's of like minds who appreciate handmade. We are a nice bunch, if I do say so myself!

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  22. Wonderful post! I joined the Handmade Artists Forum early this year ... all I can do is rave about it. Kimberly and Andrew are just amazingly friendly and supportive, and it must be catching, because a fantastic group of friendly talent has assembled around them.

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  23. Thank you so much for featuring HAF! It is an awesome site and the Kitchens are wonderful people!

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  24. Such a great article! Wonderful to read about the work Andrew and Kimberly are doing in support of handmade artisans. Happy to be a member of the HAF community!

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  25. Beading Gem thank you so much for your feature here. Andrew and Kimberly bring so much to the world of handmade and as a member and participating artist I am awed by the efforts they put forward for all our benefits.

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  26. A wonderful article about wonderful artists. I an honored to be a member of the HAF and to support handmade artisans.

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  27. This is one of the greatest sites for Handmade Artist. All the Artist do very fine work and list their items at very reasonable prices. Please stop in and checkout all the awesome Artist Shops. Thank You for this wonderful write up . Aiv
    ALL IN VEIN

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  28. Beading Gem...thank you for the great post. HAF is a very informative and creative forum and I am proud to be part of this amazing community.

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  29. Thanks so much for featuring Andrew and Kimberly and the Handmade Artist forum and shops. It is a pleasure to be a member of this forum and the promotion they do for all handmade artists is amazing! Also, I have been a subscriber of beadinggem for quite a while and it IS a daily must read for me. Rosiewildwoman

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  30. Handmade Artists Forum is a fab place to hang out. Thank you Andrew and Kimberly x

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  31. Great article... as a member of this forum for almost a year I find it invaluable for the feedback from those who have become like family. Also for a couple more days the Handmade shop is running a special of three months of membership for only a dollar.. so if you take advantage of this offer tell Andrew and Kim, I sent you... lol

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  32. Thanks for the HAF feature - it's a great place to meet amazing people!

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  33. Desireable Intentions By Karen BrightApril 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    The Handmade artists is a great place to be everyone needs to check it out! The place is nice and so is the the people and they are always willing to help in any way they can. Come and join all of us! Thanks to Andrew and Kimberly!!

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  34. Great work! That definitely conviced me to join HAF!

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  35. I am very happy and proud to say that I am a member of the HAF group! Kim and Andrew have truly created a place where we can gather and discuss our creative endeavors! We can get all the support and feedback we want or need-it just doesn't get any better! Every artist should join this group! Awesome article too!

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  36. I am either currently or have been on at least 9 different selling sites. I can honestly say that HAFShop is the only one where I feel like family. The Kitchen's, Andrew and Kimberly, have great respect for the artists who sell there as well as for the Handmade community in general. They are helpful and happy to be so. All the selling venues should take a lesson!!

    Viva La HAFShop!!!

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  37. Thanks so much to Andrew and Kimberly for all they do to make Handmade Artists form and shop a great place for artists to come together. They are awesome!!! And keep everyone up to date on what's happening. They have made it simple and cost effective for all.

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  38. Thanks for doing this feature. It is a cool team!

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  39. Kim and Andrew have given the hand-made community a place to meet and greet as well as a site to sell. Congrats on an excellent article and for pointing out these unique people to the world.

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  40. A very kind article and a lovely selection of jewelry.

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  41. Great feature. Congrats Kim and Andrew. Thanks for always being there for the folks at HAF and for your true devotion to handmade. From one of your older members. Ahem! LDG
    http://tutreasures.etsy.com

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  42. Congratulation to Andrew and Kimberly. These two wonderful people, who given over 150% of their lives to helping and promoting others in the world of handmade. There isn't a better place for artists to meet, make friends, get support and feel a great sense of community then on HAF.
    Mass produced can't touch the quality and uniqueness of handmade has to offer. Come join: http://HandmadeArtistFourm.com

    Great article on a well deserving couple.

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  43. Great feature post Pearl! I can so relate to Kimberly and Andrew's story. My husband Doug and I work together on our Polymer Clay Tutor business and I even once taught classes on Painted Wineglasses! I understand the passion and dedication it takes to make a Handmade business successful and admire what they have accomplished together. Thanks for sharing their story with us!

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  44. Fantastic write-up about a super couple -- hooray HAF!

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  45. I have been a member of the Handmade Artists Forum for almost a year now, and have come to think of it as my second home. Andrew and Kim are fantastic people, and I don't personally know of two others who are as hard working and supportive of the Forum and Handmade Artists Shop. They love what they do, and it shows in what they are willing to do for others in order to make it grow. They deserve this recognition, and I am thrilled to see them receive it! A warm and hearty thanks to Kim and Andrew, love you like a sister and brother! GO HAF!

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  46. Great Posting! I love the Handmade Artist Forum. Thanks for featuring them!

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  47. WOW! This is terrific. Soooo proud to be an HAF member!
    Tracy Carothers
    http://jewels2liveby.com
    http://jewels2liveby.etsy.com

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  48. whoa - way cool article.

    www.thejoyfulgem.1000markets.com
    www.thejoyfulgem.artfire.com
    www.joycebecker@etsy.com

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  49. Andrew and Kimberly Kitchen are not only hard working and extremely talented, but also very personable and friendly. All of these are key ingredients in a recipe for handmade success.

    The Handmade Artists Forum and Handmade Artists Shop are a spill over of these same wonderful qualities which have been developed upon and carried forward by the members within.

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  50. What an awesome post about a team that we couldn't do without. They do so much for us at HAF. They do all of the above plus we also have a blog ring and facebook ring too. I just don't know how they have time for it all, but I know that even though we don't always show it, they are greatly appreciated!

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  51. I am so very proud to be a part of the HAFteam! I am so glad I'm a part of the celebration and happy for the Kitchen's fantastic endevors. May they continue to get the recognition they so deserve! Congrats to Andrew and Kimberly for all of there hard working efforts. They are truely family to us all! The Handmade Artist Forum and Handmade Artist shop are the best place to be. Becoming a member of the HAF team was the best thing that ever happended for me.
    Laurie at http://kottagekreations.etsy.com

    Come on and join our family at http://HandmadeArtistFourm.com

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  52. Yes, truly amazing couple!
    thank for your hard work and support!!
    Congrats on feature!!

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  53. HAF Rocks! Andrew and Kimberly are fantastic and talented people. I'm so happy to be a part of the forum and HAF Shop. The people I've met and support I've received as an artisan are invaluable! Nice feature on a fantastic duo.

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  54. great review. Awesome that they work together on there projects.

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  55. Andrew and Kimberly are both fabulous people who I am honoured to know. Their support of the handmade community is awe inspiring, and the HAF shop, forum and blog are a testament to that.
    Thank you for writing such a great article.

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  56. I'm delighted and honored to be a new member HAF! It's an awesome group of talented artists, committed to beautiful, handmade pieces!

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  57. Thanks so much for the feature and all the kind comments! We work really hard to support our members and handmade.
    The least we could do for your kindness Pearl is feature you back.
    So please take a minute and show Pearl some love Featured Artist Pearl of the Beading Gem!

    Thanks again and keep the comments coming, the Handmade Artists' Forum has the best members on the net! Family members that is, at least that is what it feels like :D
    HAF

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  58. I love HAF - lotz of great ideas and helpful folks....The chainmaille is awesome...
    Chris
    http://www.cascreates.etsy.com

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  59. Love the feature article! The HAF is truly a wonderful group because of Andrew and Kimberly and all their hard work....and the 'family' that has grown out of the members roster is absolutely phenomenal!!! Great forum, great people, great art!

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  60. I love being a part of HAF. Thank you for such a lovely feature.

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  61. Beading Gem, thanks for your work featuring Kimberley and Andrew! They have set up such a great networking site for the handmade community (http://www.handmadeartistsforum.com). Their dedication, honesty, and sense of humor really make it a stand out place for those who love handmade!

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  62. I have just joined the HAF and very proud to be a member of such a creative team. Thanks for the feature.

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  63. Andrew and Kimberky are truely amazing. I've only been a member since January and opened a shop in Febuary. They work so hard on promoting all of us. It seems like every ten minutes they post another HAF shop on Facebook. I don't think they ever sleep. I can honestly say being apart of the HAF team is like having a second family and Andrew and Kimberly are like the parents...always honest,loving and supporting.

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  64. The handmade artist forum and shop are indeed great places to be. So I am absolutely delighted to be part of this exceptional group of artists.

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  65. I'm still fairly new to HAF but love the contacts I've had with people there and everyone is super nice. Great feature!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  66. Wonderful feature about a truly magical place...inspired by the vision of two very special people!

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  67. Great feature! I'm proud to be a HAFteam member.

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  68. I'm very new to HAF, but I'm so inspired by Andrew & Kimberly and everything they do for the handmade community. I've been absolutely stunned by the kindness & creativity I've seen at HAF, and I'm so happy to see your feature on such an incredible couple & group! Thank you for giving them some much-deserved exposure!

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  69. Great feature to spread the word about HAF. It is inspiring what two people can create! Beautiful art, and group of artists!

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  70. What a team! They are great ambassadors for the whole Handmade movement, making such lovely work.

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  71. I really love HAF and have been a member for a while. Great group, super artists. Time spent there is really worthwhile.
    Lois
    http://www.abeadedaffair.com

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  72. Yay HAFteam! I haven't been very active lately, but I do plan to open a shop soon. Thanks for the excellent write-up.

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  73. HAF is a great group of artists!
    Great feature & article.

    Lindsey
    www.sugarsugarscrub.com

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  74. It's wonderful to see Andrew and Kimberley's hardwork paying off. Thanks for featuring them and showcasing their beautiful creations.

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  75. I love the Handmade Forum, it is a great place for Artists. Andrew and Kimberley your work is fantastic!

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  76. I've been blessed to be part of the HAF for some time now, and while haven't been as active recently as I should or want to be... I know that I can go there anytime to be supported,show off my most recent creations, and lend my support and encouragement to other artists on the forum! Andrew & Kimberly have created a venue that supports all artists, no matter what the medium is... and we all benefit! It's home...

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  77. I am relatively new to the HAF shop and forums and I have to say, what an AMAZING venue to be a member of! Andrew and Kimberly have created a fantastic place for artisans and the members are extremely supportive of each other. It's a refreshing change from most other venues.

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  78. fantastic....keep up the good work...
    jan Navales

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  79. That's so fantastic. I just ADORE the work featured!

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  80. Really nice post about this wonderful couple - they have done so much for the 'handmade' community and are so supportive of artists!

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  81. HAF are two of the best people you could ever know in the online world of jewelry and sales!! They have done more than "Make The Best Of It"... they have taken it to new heights, and kept it simple for those of us that are "newbies"!! GO HAF!!

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  82. They are such good people (and talented too!) and I'm proud and glad to be part of HAF.

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  83. Andrew and Kimberly are supportive, helpful and so passionate about their work whether it be the Handmade Artists Forum or their own artistic creations. I'm blessed to be a member of the forum from the beginning as well as selling my work through the Handmade Artists Shop and taking part in the blog ring. Anyone considering becoming a member shouldn't even think twice! It's an awesome group!

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  84. You are all doing a fabulous job!!!!!

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  85. Great post and we so appreciate the efforts of all the members of the HAF Team.

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  86. Andrew and Kimberly are an inspiration to all of us, both as artists and entrepreneurs. A well-deserved feature!

    Speranza Jewelry on Etsy

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  87. Very talented artist! So glad to be a part of this team. :)

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  88. I absolutely LOVE what Andrew and Kimberly have done. The HAFteam is so very valuable and supportive to me as I work to get started with my own business. I don't know that I would have made it past the first month without their encouragement. Great post about a wonderful couple!!

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  89. HAF is awesome because Andrew and Kimberly really give it their all. I joined up when it first began and I can't tell you how much they have done to help me and all the other artists who are there. Wonderful feature on wonderful people!!

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  90. What a nice write up. Thanks Andrew and Kimberly for all you do.

    Audrey of
    http://AudreyGardenLady.etsy.com

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  91. I love being a part of HAF. The forum is full of help and support. I appreciate the hard work and talent of Andrew and Kimberly. Thanks for this great article

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  92. Absolutely beautiful work and great article. The Handmade Artists Team has such a great variety of skilled crafters!

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  93. I'm a member of the HAFteam on Etsy and have a shop on the HAF site. No other group that I've been affiliated with like this has been as quick to respond, help out with technical issues, or just offer support. Major kudos.

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  94. Quiet but proud member of the HAFteam.

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  95. I'm new to both the HAF Forum and the HAF Shop. I am impressed by the growth and support as well as the dedication of Andrew and Kimberly. I look forward to being a part of this group for a long time.

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  96. Fabulous work and effort by you both, Andrew and Kimberley!!! I agree w/a previous poster who said they don't know how you keep up. You two are AMAZING! Wrap happy!! =)

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  97. Beautiful work and what a great team to belong to!

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  98. Super read! Keep up the great work you do for all of us Andrew & Kimberely! Best Wishes to the both of you & yours. You are an inspiration. Love your unique work! Thanks for sharing yourselves with us.
    Jennifer

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  99. Im glad i belong! Great article!

    www.rlmstudios@etsy.com

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  100. Absolutely gorgeous work! So glad I'm part of the HAF team and found you ;o) Thanks for sharing your amazning art work with us. Nina Newton

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  101. HAF rocks!!! I am also a member and I love it there.

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  102. I found this very inspirational. Andrew and Kimberly seem down to earth yet professional with a great mission.

    It's nice to see the handwritten card start-up I created is on the same track as the HAF shop was in it's earlier years.

    I wish HAF many more years of bountiful success.

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