FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Kim Livingstone and her handmade jewelry are well known and adored throughout Fort St. John and other parts of the world and it is about to be on display in Hollywood.
Kim’s jewelry has caught the eye of those with the Oscars, one of the biggest award shows of the year.
Kim has received and accepted an invitation to showcase her jewelry at the pre-party luxury gifting suite honouring The Academy Awards® on Saturday, February 25th, 2017 at the Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles.
Only 50 companies from around the world are selected to showcase their items and Sand and Stone from Fort St. John is one of them. Around two and a half years ago, Kim received a similar invitation but from the Emmy’s to showcase her jewelry.
“When I got offered to go to the Emmy’s, I thought for sure it was a scam. How could someone find someone in Fort St. John. I’m just this stay at home mom who works out of her basement. It is a little bit of Big Brother but they can actually see on the back end of the internet so they can track pages and Instagram. I don’t know exactly what made mine stand out, I have over 5,000 followers on Facebook but there are some pages that have 100,000 so I’m not to sure but they told me they have someone who can track it and that is how they found me.”
Livingstone says she hopes to pick someones brain when she arrives in Los Angeles as to how she was chosen.
“There are 50 (vendors) from around the world. Do you go to each country and maybe type in ‘Canada’ and see what pages are trending in Canada?”
She says that she has been asked to bring between 160 and 200 items to the show to gift to Oscar nominated celebrities. If you can’t bring that many items for various reasons, you can also bring gift certificates but Kim says she plans to bring the required amount of items of her jewelry.
With Fort St. John being a small community, she says she was surprised that they were able to find her and that she was chosen to attend such a big awards show.
“That is why the first time I thought it was a scam. My husband and I had gotten an email and we had just moved into this house and that was why we couldn’t go (the first time) and it is expensive to go because you have to pay your way and you have to pay to get in so I had actually said no this time again. I wrote her after a few days of contemplating, we haven’t been on a family vacation for six to seven years with our kids or anything and I was like ‘we can’t give up this kind of money’ so I had thanked her again but I told her I can’t do it and she asked me why and what they could do better and I said I’m a stay at home mom, I can’t afford and it is also American, I can’t afford to pay you this.”
Kim says the woman she was in contact with talked to her producer. She explained that some companies have massive advertising budgets so for those companies, it isn’t as big of a deal but she said once you explain your situation and they want you at the awards show badly, they will work with you.
“I called a girl in New York who has done the AMA’s, The Golden Globes and her work was featured on Desperate Housewives and others after going to these shows and she said that when they say they want to build a relationship with you and your product works well, they truly will ask you to come back.”
In the end, they ended up making the trip more affordable and Kim decided that she would attend.
As for celebrities, she isn’t quite sure who she’ll run into while she is showcasing her work but nonetheless is excited.
“I honestly have no idea who will show up and I might not know any of them. I know that they introduce them as they come in. They basically set up this big ball room, almost like a trade show and they introduce each one as they come in and each one gets a little personal shopper to carry their bags.”
Kim says that while the opportunity is amazing for her, she is doing this to prove to her kids and others that hard work does pay off in the end.
“I’m honestly going to show my kids and I have a lot of little girls who love my stuff and I just want to show them that, you can go and work hard and work late nights and miss coffee dates with your friends and things you want to be at because your working and get invited to something so cool that you would have never thought possible.
I always thought maybe I could get to Vancouver for a show and that was a big goal of mine to get to Vancouver and I was never going to go to L.A. in my entire life.”
She says she will also be prepared with some of her bracelets in her purse to share her experience with people.
“I want to spread the love as I go. We have to fly Fort St. John to Calgary, Calgary to Vancouver, Vancouver to L.A. and I want to kind of gift them as I go. So maybe it is going to be the WestJet flight attendant, I want to spread it as I go and tell people ‘this is something that I’ve made and wear it or not but I just felt you needed to have it’.”
Kim hasn’t left the country since 2011, which led her to having to order a Passport for her adventure, something she said was stressful but it did eventually arrive the other day and she can now focus and enjoy the upcoming trip.
“Canada Post here actually went above and beyond for me. I had messed up on something and they had really just taken 10 minutes out of their day. I could have always driven to Edmonton and I thought for sure this week, I would be driving to Edmonton but I can’t really afford losing the two work days to go but Canada Post, they really made my Passport happen.”
Kim has a special place in her heart for Fort St. John and the community, without them, she says her success wouldn’t be where it is today.
“When I started five years ago, I thought I was going to be making stuff for my friends and maybe 20 people would like my page. I was a stay at home mom, I was pregnant. Fort St. John women and men have been so supportive of my business. I really feel like these local handmade gifts in any other town, I may not have done as well as I have done here because the support system in this town is huge. The support that Fort St. John has as a whole and families supporting families is pretty different from anywhere else you can find.”
Kim is set to leave Fort St. John on February 21st with her husband to experience a once in a lifetime experience.