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My creative career (if I can be so bold as to call it that) has taken many a twist and turn over the years.  Long, long ago I first started making and painting magnets and whimsical jewelry out of salt dough when my boys were little. I called my little home business “By Renée” and I rented retail space in 7 craft stores in and around my home state of Illinois.  Happily this was a way for me to be a stay at home mom for them and also help our young family by earning a little bit of extra cash. Truth be told, the thing it did most for me was keep my creative spirit alive and gave me exciting goals to reach for. I didn’t know where I was headed (creatively) but I knew I was headed in the right direction and I was happy with where I was at the time.

Roughly 10 years later, it was the mid 90’s and my boys were close to grown.  That is when I decided I would like to branch out of my comfort zone a bit and try something new and creatively different, albeit still include paints, brushes and, strangely enough, still have me work from home 🙂  All at once, I had a “clear vision” (pun intended) of where I needed to point my paintbrush and follow along.  Painted glassware was calling my name and I was ready for the change!!!


At the time, I loved the process of creating these custom painted glasses, vases, bowls and other assorted pieces.  Unfortunately the thing that held me back from taking my painted glassware to the next level were my own fears and apprehensions.  I was unsure how to market, show and ultimately get my product out in the public eye.   I had done a few “home trunk shows” (so to speak), where I would literally would lug giant, heavy, plastic containers filled with piece after piece of carefully wrapped glassware. 

At that time (and in that way of showing my work) I had painted and accumulated so many various designs, with my thought process of needing to show the scope of my work. My thinking was that people would want to purchase what I had brought along to “show and sell”…but that wasn’t how it worked.  It never failed that I’d get orders, but they were always custom orders and never for the pieces I had brought to sell “on site”.  There had to be a better way but I didn’t know what that was…at least, not yet!

Ultimately I burned myself out even before I really got started.  Even though my glassware had been growing in popularity (locally), sadly I soon I packed up my glassware, paints and brushes and decided that maybe this direction wasn’t quite right for me either.  Little did I know I’d be back… but not before trying just one other thing. 

Enter the world of designer cookies. It had been a year or so after I packed up my paintbrushes when I went to work at a local bakery.  I’ve ALWAYS had a love of cooking and baking so it just seemed a natural step for me to enter the world of culinary arts. 

After the bakery decided to close it’s doors, I wasn’t yet prepared to give up on my new found passion for cookie artistry so I decided to, once again, attempt another home based business.  This time I’d be designing, baking and decorating custom cookies for events and celebrations.  Fortunately for me, I have some dear friends who own a local party store. They were kind enough to let me display my cookies there, amongst their paper party goods, as a way to advertise and get my new business up and running.   Happily, Kudos Kookies was born in the fall of 2006.

During my time running Kudos Kookies, I also started the fine art of blogging (which I totally fell in love with) along with the running and upkeep of a cookie website that would showcase my various designs and ideas.  All this in one spot and all with the click of one little mouse.  Who knew?  No more lugging product around from one place to another and you can reach millions and millions of people from around the world with just one little website? (Ha, maybe someday I’ll get that lucky)  I was quickly learning just how important this internet stuff was going to be to my own little world of home based businesses.  Count me in!!!

Now, I owe a great deal of gratitude to my time spent as a cookie designer/decorator. It helped me to developed a confidence in my work that I had never had before. It also gave me the courage to dip my toes into the world of social networking and media (twitter and face book) that I would have never had the nerve to do even a few years prior. I was well on my way to making some wonderful and invaluable contacts and friends that would serve me well into the future and in any direction I decided to travel. The encouragement and support I received (and continue to receive) from my many wonderful social media friends is what keeps me interested in always learning and growing to reach my full creative potential. They keep me on my toes, if you will, and for that I am forever grateful 🙂  But we’re not done yet…

Three and a half years of decorating cookies had me yet again wondering if I was on the right path.  I was now really starting to miss my paints and brushes and was beginning to crumble at the repetition of decorating cookie after cookie of the same design day after day.  The business was taking over more and more of my home kitchen (even though at this point I had moved into a commercial kitchen space for baking), I was still doing all the decorating and packaging at home, on my kitchen table.  I was starting to feel as though the cookie business was going to eat me alive and I needed to save myself!  That’s when I had my light bulb moment.

Since starting my original Kudos Kookies blog and realizing how important and hugely personal bloggers take their own little piece of the internet, I once again turned to my paints and brushes to find my genuine creative niche and make my own little paint blotch on the world.

What if I offered a service for an item that is tremendously personal to people who blog or anyone who runs their own small business?  An item that would allow you to display your passion for your blog or business, in a new and unique way?  An item that nobody else has or has ever offered before?  What if I combined my passions for painting, cooking, baking and love of “everything home” all in one spot and then tailored my product to all those areas?   What if, I ask you…?

Enter Kudos Kitchen By Renee.  Where I’ve combined the “Kudos” from my cookie business, my “Kitchen” from where I feel my most comfortable and do my best work and the “By Renée” because that’s who I am and who I need to stay true to above all else.

It is now my honor and pleasure to offer you the most unique, highest quality, custom painted ceramic tiles and now re-introducing hand painted glassware, you’ll ever find!  Items that are specifically tailored to your own passions and personality.  Items that will speak to you and who you are.  Items you will love for a lifetime.   I’m back, paintbrush in hand and I could not be happier!!! And, thanks to the internet and my blog there is no heavy lugging involved.  It’s all done at a click of a button. Don’t you just love it!?!  I like to call it my “Creative-Full-Circle”!

So then, what can I paint for you?  Email me today to discuss your order:

Now, I know this post has been very long winded and most likely extremely boring so, if you’ve made it to the end, I commend you and now tell you this …  get a life !!! LOL. Not really!   However, That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

With love and best wishes, from my Kudos Kitchen to you!


  1. I loved it! Love finding out how you started in your crafting business and how you grew and changed. I've often wondered myself if I should change my products. I came to the conclusion that I would have separate stores: one for baby/children's items and one for misc items. After reading your post, I feel like I made the right choice and that sometimes change is good. Thank you 🙂

  2. I have so enjoyed following your and your artistic path since we met on Twitter. You have a wonderful gift and I'm just delighted that you share it with us. Continue to follow your heart, it never steers you in the wrong direction.

  3. Yes, Paula, it was fun seeing how Renee got started. Go Girl! You rock, Renee!

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