Date: October 1, 2018 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek |
Meet Mary Kim: Wearing multiple hats and working alongside her family at C by M Creative, this Siloam Springs resident helps to provide opportunities for impoverished people around the globe while offering unique products to her customers
Q. Tell us how you got the name C by M Creative.
A. C by M stands for Captured by Mary, the original business I started for my photography. I then created C by M Creative to act as the umbrella company that features photography, artisanal woodworking (which we sell in our shop), and other creative collaborations, such as workshops and classes.
Q. You still operate the photography business, but we understand you spend much of your time at the C by M Creative store, which offers a number of wood pieces. Who creates these?
A. Yes, you can find me at the store most days. My dad, Dr. Young Kim, is the director of the Institute for Biblical Community Development (IBCD). The main goal of this organization is to train missionaries to go overseas to impoverished areas and help facilitate community development, as well as to share the gospel. He started IBCD Woodwork as a way to help raise money to support this ministry, and this is where we get the pieces we sell in the store. In addition to my dad, there are several IBCD staff members who do the majority of the woodworking. Also, my brother Andrew works directly with me at the shop in Siloam Springs, selling the pieces they make.
Q. Why did your dad feel woodworking in particular was a good path to bring this ministry to life?
A. They first got interested in woodworking when they noticed how many unique trees we had on our property. Also, some friends of ours had donated a sawmill as well as woodworking machinery to us while other people we knew had donated fallen trees and logs that they did not want, so we decided to look into woodworking seriously to see if we could start a business from it.
Q. What types of wood-based pieces do you make?
A. We make all types of products from home décor and kitchen items to furniture, such as coffee and dining tables and countertops. We often have customers asking for custom products such as porch swings, cutting boards, or monograms. Some of our current projects include custom dining tables, barn doors, butcher-block countertops, and fireplace mantels. Pretty much anything you can think of that’s made out of wood!
Q. Where does the team create the pieces that are sold at C by M Creative? Tell us a bit about the process.
A. My parents’ farm is currently the main headquarters for IBCD and is where our woodwork comes from. One of the things that makes our woodworking products so unique is that from tree to finished product, all of the work is done by us. The wood is either harvested on our own property or has been donated to us. The majority of the wood we harvest from our property is from trees that have already fallen. We then mill the logs by hand and process the wood using eco-friendly techniques, such as using our own solar-powered kiln, to dry the wood. We also don’t leave anything to waste; any leftover wood is recycled as firewood, and the ashes and sawdust are used as fertilizer in our organic garden or as beds for our goats and chickens.
Q. What’s on the horizon for C by M Creative?
A. One of the things we are looking forward to this year in the store is acquiring some new home décor and apparel products in addition to our handcrafted woodworking products. As for the overall business, we are hoping to move into doing more large custom items for homes and businesses that are looking for clean, modern woodworking.
Connect with Mary and learn more about C by M Creative (including where to find the shop and how to purchase their wares) at cbymcreative.com or on Instagram (@cbymcreative). You can learn more about IBCD at ibcd.net.