Authenticity in Life and Business with Kirsten Cherry | Episode 8

Authenticity in Life and Business with Kirsten Cherry | Episode 8

In this episode Kimber and Kirsten  (Macrame Artist/Business Woman) talk about showing up in life, in business, and on social media as your most authentic self.

Follow Kirsten on instagram @knottingthrulife

Follow Kimber on instagram @justbeyourbadself 

For guest bios, episode transcripts or to leave a review, please visit:





Authenticity in Business and Life with Kirsten Cherry

[00:00:00] Intro

Kimber: Welcome back to the Just Be Your Bad Self Podcast, where you get to show up imperfectly, make space for your authentic self, remember your inner child and sink into the magic of the present moment. I'm your host Kimber Dutton. And today I'll be talking to macramé master and business woman, Kirsten Cherry.

Kirsten is a macramé artist who learned the craft from a book she checked out at her local library. She specializes in hand dyed cords, colorful creations, and encouraging other female makers to kick ass and take names. Today we'll be talking about showing up authentically in motherhood, on social media and in business.

[00:00:46] Welcome

Kimber: Welcome to the podcast, my friend.

Kirsten: thanks.

Kimber: Tell us a little bit about you. Tell us a little bit about your business and we'll jump in.

Kirsten: Okay. It just heads up. If you hear like weird sounds, my child is on my lap and.

that is her. But anyway, my name is Kirsten. I started a macramé business a few years ago. Yes. Macramé from like the seventies. I do a handmade decor. I do accessories just about anything you can think of, like, yeah.

And I've just started doing like craft kits so other people can learn how to do. Some of the things that I make, I dye my own cord. So other makers can have bright, beautiful colors to create with. And it's been really fun. So just a little background, how I started is that what you want to know?

Kimber: Yeah, I want to

Kirsten: Okay, cool.

[00:01:42] Finding a Hobby as a SAHM

Kirsten: So I was a new mom. We had just moved from. Meridian Idaho to twin falls, Idaho for my husband's job, my baby was like nine, 10 months at the time, maybe a little bit older. We would go to the library at least once a week for story time, because it was amazing and it was so much fun. And this was in 2018 and I would always go look at, I would only have like a few minutes to look at books for myself because she just wanted to go play or she was wandering around tearing all the books off the shelves.

So I had to be really quick. So I saw this one, like rotating Stand area where they had all the new releases and there was a book called macrame and the picture on the front. I'm like, that is so cute. And I've always been a crafter. I've always been someone that likes to be busy with my hands and create things.

So I saw it I'm like, that would be fun. Let me check this book out. And I took it home. I found some cord at like hobby lobby. It was the only place in town I could find chord. And it wasn't the best quality or anything, but I made my first hanging and I was hooked. I'm like, this is so much fun. And so I quickly, I made another one.

I showed my friends and they were like, this is fun. I taught them how to do it. And basically I learned how to do it from this book. I found at the library one day. , trying to be trying to find something for myself to do as a new mom. Cause I'm, , as a new mother, you're just completely involved in your baby's life and trying to raise them and make them happy and keep them entertained.

And I needed something for myself. And that was that thing that I found. And it's been really, really fun.

[00:03:29] Building a Following

Kimber: So, how did you take the step from like, this is for me, this is a hobby too. You have like over 10,000 followers on Instagram, right?

Kirsten: So I know. So in 2018 I started creating pieces just for myself. I would gift them, of course. And then I started getting creative. I would. As I was trying to fall asleep, I would like have these moments in my head where I pictured pieces and I'm like, I need to write that down. So in my phone, on my notes app, it was the only place I could think of was to like do the drawing in the notes app.

And so like, I would draw it with my finger just really bad. And then like, I would try to create it. I thought of these cute earrings, earing design, and I started making earrings. I would bend my own wire. I would die my own cord. In the beginning, I dyed all my own cord because I was really cheap.

I didn't want to buy all the cute colors. Cause they were really like the good colors were expensive. You couldn't get those on Amazon. And so I dyed all my own cord. I made these cute earrings. They were like rose colored. And my friends saw them and they're like, oh my gosh, I need a pair. And so I sold like five or six pair to them and.

Then, like I decided I'm gonna make, I'm gonna put them on my Instagram account because I had made an Instagram account just to share what I was making. And people were like, yes, I want those earrings. And so I w I would sell them. And then I found that out about a market. Well, I, by that point I had just started an Etsy shop just so I could keep track of everything and possibly, hopefully get some traction from Etsy.

And I heard about a local market. It's called the vintage Vixens, which is really big in the twin falls area. It's one of the biggest markets they use the fairgrounds and it was so much fun. It was very successful. My very first market. And I was like, I'm, I'm going to keep doing this. This is amazing.

So it basically just started with my friends, seeing the cute earrings I made and deciding. Okay. I guess I'm going to start selling them. And then just going from there.

[00:05:31] Showing up Authentically Imperfect

Kimber: So obviously your macramé is amazing and your claim to fame is your rainbow tail key chains. Right.

Kirsten: Yeah. The mermaid.

Kimber: Which are fabulous. But I have hunch because I know you that people are attracted to your personality on Instagram, would you agree with me?

Kirsten: Oh, thank you. Okay. Yeah. I mean, I have to agree with you, right? This is your podcast. I can't say no to you. Just kidding.

Kimber: You have like, and this is part of the reason I wanted to talk to you because this podcast is called just be your bad self. And it's about well, it's about just being your bad self it's about being authentic and not hiding who you are. Yeah. Unfiltered.

And this is like what I think of when I think about you, right.

You've just got this like bright open fun personality where you always been this way. Is this, like, you just came out of the womb

Kirsten: oh, I mean, I've always, okay. So like, I was very, very shy as a kid. But like, it came to a point where I realized, like, I really just don't care. So like, if I'm being obnoxious, it's fine. I mean, it's just, I just don't care. So like, when I was in high school, I was like, very like, oh, like I want people to like me, but I guess when I met you, I came to college and I'm just like, there's so many weird people in this world.

Why can't I just be what I want to be? , I'm not going to try and fit the mold and follow what people like. So.

Kimber: Was there like an event that made this happen or was it like a decision when you went to college? Like what? Cause I'm trying to like learn to be this way. So spill the beans.

Kirsten: I guess it's just like in my places where I felt most comfortable, this is how I've always been. And , I'd warm up enough to become like this. And then you get to a point in adulthood where you're not in these like awkward middle school slash high school classes where you feel like you are being judged all the time. And I mean, maybe you feel like you're being judged by the other moms, but at this point, like why care? Found that I'm just happier when I just do what I want to do and I act how I want to act. And I've always been the person to like, be really kind and open to other people.

And I want other people to feel comfortable in front of me too. So I'm not going to be. Judgey slash try, try to fit in just, I want people to feel welcome and be who they want to be as well in front of me.

Kimber: And I think that's such a good point that when we can stop worrying about. In fact, I was just talking to a friend about this yesterday that we get in this head space of we're always asking, like, do they like me? Do they like me? Do they like me? Am I good enough? Am I good enough? And at the same time we're judging other people often that same way.

Like, are they worthy of my time and attention? And do I love them? And if we can get in this head space of just like, love, like be be you, you be you. And we can be this way towards other people. It's easier to be that way toward ourselves, because it's not about this judgment all the time.

Kirsten: right. Yeah, exactly. You just. You be yourself, you create a space that's loving And open for other people to be themselves, and you'll just really find your place. And it's so hard in our stage of life, like as adult women who are mothers trying to find friends and those real friendships. And I think just the best way to do that is just to.

B you and don't put these weird boundaries on yourself to try and be like, oh, I need to like be perfect every day. Like I need to get myself so perfect. This is just like physical. So like, it's like personality wise too, but like appearance wise, I need to get myself perfect.

So I can take my kids to the park and look really cute so I can make new friends. But in reality, Do we really care? Like we really don't care. Like we shouldn't put that pressure on ourselves to try to look perfect all the time to,

Kimber: one wants the friend. Maybe I'm just speaking for myself. I don't want the friend that looks perfect all the time that has the clean house and it has her life put together. Cause then I feel like shit,

Kirsten: I, I K I'm not turning my camera, but you get it. Like, I can't keep up with that. It's just a mess all the time, but I feel like that's just me. I mean, if I have new friends over,

but like, yeah, there's no way I'm going to have my house perfectly clean every time. So you love me for who I am. Cause this is it, man.

Kimber: And isn't that freeing because when you're acting in a way that isn't you anyways, to impress other people, then if they like you for that person, for the perfect person, the perfect mask that you're putting on, you can't feel any of that love anyways, because. In your head, you're thinking where they don't see the real me, , if they knew who I really was, they wouldn't love me.

And so it doesn't even matter that you're putting on this mask to get people's affection. Cause you won't be able to feel any of it.

Kirsten: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Just, it's not just being inauthentic, just isn't worth anyone's time, I think.

[00:10:48] Setting High Expectations as a Tool for Good Work

Kimber: So have you had times in your life where perfectionism has. Stunted you or gotten in your way or been an issue for you?

Kirsten: I think I have a perfectionism in my work and not necessarily in my personality. So. Like when it comes to my work and the things that I create, I set a standard for myself, but I need that standard. Cause I don't want to put out things that I wouldn't be proud of. So I have like a perfectionism in my work and, , I'll take things out and redo them in that sense, but in my actual life, no, I think I'm like opposite of perfectionism and I'm more of like a procrastinator to like the last second to get things done.

And that's been hard. Opposite opposite spectrum where I don't give myself enough time or I don't give myself, I don't even give myself enough grace to be like, okay, this is okay. You can, you can take your time with this. You can put this off, , like, like we were talking about earlier with your house, don't sometimes I get overwhelmed with everything I have to do.

But then I have to make a list And look at what's most important, what I need to get done right now. And just taking it a little step at a time because it does get

[00:12:12] Not letting ideals determine your worth

Kimber: And I definitely, and I think there needs to be an awareness of it's okay to want to have a clean house. Right. I love it. When my house is clean, I would love to have a spotless house. I would love to look totally put together just every day and like I'm living this awesome, perfect lifestyle.

And I also think it's good to take pride in your work and want to put things out that you're proud of, but you've got to make sure that you're not judging your own worth based on how put together your life looks. And sometimes your life is going to look put together and your house is going to be clean and your work's going to be perfect.

And sometimes everything's going to be falling apart and you're still worthy of love and a good human in both of those stages.

Kirsten: Yeah.

totally. Exactly. And there's fluctuations in mental health throughout lives and you can't let your worth be based off of a clean house during a low point. , so, , being authentic and to yourself and not just to like the world and to other people around you. Giving yourself the, , the breaks that you need to be like, it's fine.

This is my life right now. Let me just focus on what I can do and feel good about a tiny, , doing one load of laundry instead of like the six that need to be done. Give yourself a little break and be proud of yourself for those little accomplishments. When you feel overwhelmed that you can't be perfect.

Kimber: Yeah. And do you feel like you have to, because mom life, wife life sometimes I judge myself based on what I think other people are thinking of me. So like, I don't want my husband to come home and look around and be like, what has she been doing all day? I think not that he has ever even one time said that to me, but like that's, that's sometimes the story I play in my mind.

Elliot's going to come home and think that I've just been like, well, and let's be honest. Some days I have been laying in bed doing nothing all day. Right.

Kirsten: need those days. Yeah,

Kimber: And so it's not even that. I think he's going to think that it's like, I have been laying in bed all day and he's going to come home and think like, who is this slob?

Like sometimes I just feel like Jabba the Hutt, like who is this blob of a human that I married?

This is the story running through my head. Right. So even though he's never said that to me, he has never, once I would, he would probably not be married to me if he had actually compared to Jabba the Hutt, but how do we fight these stories in our minds that we think other people are judging us?

How do you, how do you combat that and, and feel your own worth through that and give yourself the grace to have a lazy day in bed and still feel like you're a good human.

Kirsten: You just, can't give people that power over you. Obviously the people that you love that are really close to you, it means a lot what they say to you. Maybe you need to have someone needs to have a talk if they're listening to this and they're saying, oh, my husband does come home and tell me that you have that talk

Kimber: Well, yeah.

Kirsten: it needs to happen.

You need to understand each other that, Hey, yeah, it may look like I didn't do anything all day, but I kept these humans alive. And it was a really hard day. And so, , yes, if you are a stay at home mom or, , a stay at home dad and your partner works, you, they may feel like, okay, they're out there earning money.

They're working all day. I'm coming home to. House in disarray. I, I prefer to have a nice clean house and yes, everyone does, but , we need to realize that, , my partner is human and my partner needs breaks too. And maybe they did just have a really hard day. Maybe the kids were acting up.

Maybe they had a hard day mentally, emotionally maybe they were doing things that you can't see. That were done, , maybe some things behind the scenes. I know I've spent, hours on hold on the phone, doing things so you can't physically visibly see that, but it needed to be done.

And it's just something that, , you prefer that your partner could understand. I mean, and they do like, I've, I've communicated like, Hey, I was on the phone for this many hours and he'll be like, thank you. Like, cause it's not something that he would do. It's something that I need to take care of. So it's just all about having that communication.

And this is just like with your partner and your loved ones, but if there's people friendships that you may have that do judge you on that, that needs to be re-evaluated. I, I don't let people like that into my, into my house. So it's just, if you're feeling like people are judging you, I think that's something inwardly to, you need to focus on that.

Maybe it's just you putting these thoughts inside of your mind that aren't realistic and put yourself in someone else's shoes. If you were going into someone else's house, would you really care? No, no. And we need to stop apologizing for it. When people come into our house, we need to stop apologizing.

It's life. , I'm not apologizing for my house anymore. This is how it is and you are welcome. We love each other here.

Kimber: Yes. And this, this idea of worthiness, right? This idea of am I enough, can feel so heavy because sometimes you think I'll only be enough when I am perfect. Right. Then I can accept myself the way I am. Like when people say love yourself, the way you are, sometimes this is horrible, but sometimes I think.

Well, I can't yet because I have this, this, and this and this that I need to do before. I can love myself the way I am. And I'm finally coming into this place where I'm, it's not like I haven't heard this a million times, but I think sometimes you have to experience this place where you can look around yourself.

You can experience the, the negative emotions that you're going to go through. You can have the messy house.

Let people see you for the things you're not proud of. And still give yourself that grace and that love of like, yeah, like this is where I am.

And I love myself. Because worthiness isn't about becoming perfect or just showing off the things that you're proud of. It's embracing the things that you're not so proud of about yourself as part of yourself.

[00:18:58] Surround Yourself with Authenticity

Kirsten: Showing up all sides of you. And that like what you were saying, I don't remember exactly what brought this thought into my mind, but if you are feeling like beat down and not loving yourself enough, you should also reevaluate what types of things you look at, like, if your Instagram feed is something that's making you feel like crap, you need to stop following accounts that are making you feel that way.

I love Following accounts and seeing just super authentic, like if I look through my feed, I, and this, no, no hate to anyone who does this, but I do not follow any of like the mommy bloggers or like the Instagram models or anyone who shows their life as perfect. Even though they may have some posts that are more authentic and less perfect, but I just love the people who are weird and crazy.

And spazzy and , don't really don't care. Like I'm trying to think of certain accounts off the top of my head. I follow this one. She's called black forager. I don't know if you've seen her, but she makes me smile every time she's on Tik TOK too, but she's on Instagram as well. She makes me smile every time she's in.

I want to say like the Northeast of the United States. She's a forager. She's a black forager and every time her videos are so full of energy and like jokes, and she's so silly and she's so strange, but it just makes me so happy seeing that. Cause I just love all the humans and all of our weirdness. And that's something that uplifts me and my confidence in myself. If you're following someone who makes you feel silly and makes you feel authentic, you're more likely to be authentic. If you're following someone that makes you feel less than like my body doesn't look like that.

My house doesn't look like that. It's it'll make you feel like crap. So,

Kimber: Amen.

And it's interesting that you and I kind of reconnected over Instagram

Kirsten: Yes, we did.

[00:21:02] Inauthenticity vs. Authenticity in business

Kimber: yeah, I was starting this yoga mat business and I'm still kind of doing that, but I've had to leave that Instagram account alone because I got caught up into this like eco, like they're these eco-friendly yoga mats for kids.

And you, you start looking at these different lifestyle pages of people who you think would want this product. And it's these perfect Montessori, Waldorf, wooden toy, clean home. Eco-friendly like this, Paragon. Homesteader. Yes. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that, but like you said, it was making me feel like so less than,

and I'm like,

I can't post any picture on my, on my Instagram, unless my kids are dressed in those really rustic, boho colors. And I've got like my white whatever in my fantasy. That's who I am, but that's not who I am. And so Instagram started feeling so heavy to me because authenticity is my highest value. And I was going so against everything that like I care about to try. Make an income from this product and it just got heavier and heavier and heavier. I just couldn't do it anymore. And I'm having to try and figure out how to rebrand in a way that feels true to who I am.

And I haven't figured that out yet. I'm thinking about doing something. Yoga mat for your inner child and have it be so much more fun and play and messy because that's, that's more in alignment with who I am. And I think social media can be such a cool tool for connection and growth and inspiration, and it can also get so, so heavy and depressing and make you feel disconnected and unworthy.

And we've gotta be so careful the way we Use it, and I think you've done such a good job with it because you sell these awesome things. And like you've talked about your products are beautiful and your kind of perfectionistic when it comes to these products, but you're very much your authentic self in the way you show up with them,

Kirsten: In marketing. Yeah. yeah.

If I'm talking to someone who is trying to start a business and mark it on social media, I would tell them.

Get your, like three words that describe your business or that you're striving to describe your business with. So I would, I would probably say like , one of my top ones would be authenticity and another one would be, I guess not the word, but like supporting other female women workers or makers.

So I I've recently, if you like go through and like read my captions, I literally just. Just random things that come into my head. Like we get to a point where we care too much about what we put, like, we call it the copy under a photo too much about you care too much about the perfection.

And , you add so many weird cliches and it doesn't, it doesn't matter. Just literally just open your phone and just type things that are in your mind right now. And that's what people really want to hear. That's what they care about. Like, oh my gosh one of my recent things was I quoted that nature video from YouTube from like 2012 where the guy like walks around and he like finds an Aspen. He's like this, here's an Aspen tree. You can tell it's an Aspen because of the way it is. And I'm like this here's a macrame wall hanging. You can tell it's a wall hanging because of the way it cause like, sometimes you feel like when you are marketing, You're literally just posting a photo and saying, what is the photo when really you can be sharing so much more just about your day, about your life, about the behind the scenes that people really want to know.

And that's like, the fun part is just getting to know the people behind the brand and who they are and not even just. What their product is just, , how their life's going and what's in their mind and things like that. So I think that's like a really big part about my brand and what I'm trying to do.

Kimber: Yeah. Cause people aren't just wanting to buy products. Right. They want to buy stories. They want to feel like they're supporting someone they care about. Yeah, you do that so well, well, our time is almost up. You've had some great tips, but is there any like one message that you want to tell anybody that might be listening to this podcast?

Kirsten: Yeah.

[00:25:15] Takeaway

Kirsten: so , I guess one message that I really want to say would be You know, in order to find your true, like your authentic self and to try to break down those barriers that may be preventing you from being authentic, just, , realize you are so cool. And there are people out there who would love to spend so much time with you just being who you are and you do not need to curate this perfect life because that's not realistic and people just want to know you for you. So, I mean, You can find your people. Cause like we said earlier, if the people around you aren't are judging you like that, those might not be your people. So, , you can find your people and you can be your authentic self and it's not stressful if your life is stressful right now because of how you're acting it Shouldn't, you're not being as authentic as you need to be. Sorry, we can cut that. She's screaming. But like, yeah. So like, if you're living your life and you're feeling stressed based on how you think you should be acting, , reevaluate and just girl be you like, I don't know how else to say it. Just let loose my friend, you got this.

Kimber: Just Be Your Bad Self!

Kirsten: Yes. Cut take.

[00:26:37] Outro

Kimber: Thanks for joining me today. If you want to get more nurturing around living an authentic life, you can follow me on Instagram @justbeyourbadself or join me for the Just Be Your Bad Self Retreat in January, 2022. To get more info, go to

Your invitation this week: pay attention to the way you are interacting with social media. Stop following accounts that make you feel like you don't measure up. And instead, try to follow people that make you laugh or feel uplifted or inspired. Try posting something authentic and maybe even a bit vulnerable and watch what happens with the type of engagement you get.

If you enjoyed this podcast and want to leave a review, subscribe to the podcast or share it, you have my heart. That's it from me. Now, just be your bad self.

Kirsten CherryProfile Photo

Kirsten Cherry

Macramé Artist

Kirsten Cherry is a macramé artist who learned the craft from a book she checked out at her local library. She specializes in hand-dyed cords, colorful creations, and encouraging other female makers to kick ass and take names.