Lady Boss :: Kim Hall of Nottene

We couldn't have been more excited that Kim Hall volunteered to host our first Lady Boss event in Philadelphia! Shhh — SZ's had some of her illustrations bookmarked for years!

Kim has one of those homes where every detail has been considered, and what's even more impressive is that she's only lived there for three years. You walk in, and you know an artist lives there. It is fearlessly whimsical — embracing every nook with character. To top it off, her daughter has her own most-endearing mini studio setup modeled after Kim's. It was prepped and ready for critique when we arrived.

Here's a glimpse into what we talked about at Kim's home:

  • How do you shift from one creative discipline to another?
  • How do you transition from working for someone else to working of yourself?
  • Should you start out as a sole proprietor or an LLC?
  • Which trade shows and conferences do you recommend?

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Let's take a minute to get to know behind-the-scenes Kim better:

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Espresso!

Q: What's your guilty pleasure?
A: Historical novels …I usually end up reading the night away.

Q: What's your go-to quick weeknight meal?
A: We call it "Silly Buffet" for our daughters, but it really means leftovers!

Q: What are you listening to lately?
A: The birds twittering like mad every morning!

Q: Who are you crushing on?
A: So sappy, but my husband and partner Justin works so hard to make our studio & family self-sustaining and successful. He’s my hero, especially on those days when I just can’t take one more thing!!

And now a little about what makes Kim a Lady Boss:

Q: What do you do?
A: I run an illlustration and design studio called Nottene, which is pronounced [nuh-TEH-nuh], and is a Norwegian word that means nuts.

Q: Tell us about a project you recently wrapped.
A: I just finished perhaps our biggest project so far, but it doesn’t launch until next spring…so I can’t share it yet. I’m discovering it’s one of the hardest things about my work is to wait through the whole production cycle before revealing it!!…

Q:What makes you go to work each day?
A: I really love to draw and share stories, and finding clients who want me to do that for them is pretty magical. Even though sometimes it can turn into one of those days I can’t take one more thing (cue husband swooping in)!!

Q: Current mantra?
A: One of my favorites is a Voltaire quote I illustrated for Design Milk {above}, but I’ve also recently discovered some great ones from Harriet Beecher Stowe as I was researching for a client. I think my favorite right now is: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn.” 

Q: What made you decide to host a Lady Boss?
A: I love meeting new people who do something different from what I do but are still rowing their own boats so to speak…Also any excuse to hang out with your two is A-OK in my book :)

Twitter: @nottene
Instagram: @nottene
Etsy Shop: Nottene


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