We have today, another small business on Etsy that definitely needs some love! Karissa Jo Kloss is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sewing! From making her own clothes to make the most adorable stuffed hippos (which are kind of a big thing for me, I LOVE hippos!). In hopes of getting her some more exposure and hopefully help her happy hippos find good homes I asked her to share a little bit about herself and her shop with me so I could share it with you! (We cat people have to stick together, you know! *wink*)
I would like to introduce you to:
Here’s a little bit about the beautiful artist herself!
“I moved to Boston 9 years ago for grad school, and have stayed ever since! By day I work for an independent publishing house, printing books, and by night I'm usually hand-stitching my Dear Jane quilt, a Civil War–replica I've been working on for years. On the weekends I'm glued to Gloria, my sewing machine, working on quilts, dresses, and softies! I definitely keep busy! I sew a lot of different things, but softies are definitely my favorite; getting to sew them always feels like a treat.”
(I was thrilled to learn I wasn’t the only one who had named my sewing machine.. I love my Daisy!)
What inspired you to start your business and what inspires your creative process?
“I was inspired to start my business because people had been telling me to do so for years, but I finally felt equipped to branch out on my own. I had mainly been holding back because all of the crafts I were making were based on others' patterns. Then I decided to draft my own plush hippo, and things just took off from there! I took a class on selling online (Etsy 101, if you will), then did all the paperwork to become a legit business. It was definitely a LOT of work, but well worth it!”
“As far as my creative process, it really varies. I usually have more ideas and things that I want to make than time to actually make them! For softies, I'll get an idea in my head, and then spend a lot of time thinking about how to actually put the pieces together before I even start sketching. I'm very process-oriented, and I tend to let my subconscious work through things first.”
What would you say is your favorite item?
“Isn't the most recent thing we've made always a crafter's favorite? I'm loving sewing my own clothes (www.flickr.com/photos/karissajo/sets/72157604503488670/), mainly because I find it empowering and, frankly, a little selfish. Most of my crafting is for gifts or my shop, so it's nice to make something I get to keep myself! As for softies, I'm still super proud of my hippos, my very first original pattern, and so seeing a pile of them (www.flickr.com/photos/karissajo/6122023793/in/set-72157604507915239/) always makes me smile! :) “
(They make me smile too! I LOVE hippos! I typed in a search for hippos on Etsy and found these!)
“As for starting or growing one's own business on Etsy, I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice. In fact, I could definitely benefit from some! There are a lot of books out there on selling handmade and selling online, so I'd definitely recommend those resources to start. I've found that it can be a bit overwhelming, so making checklists and addressing tasks one at a time definitely helped me get through all the setup work. I definitely have a lot more to do, and learn, marketing-wise, so I'll be interested to see what kind of advice your other interviewees have to offer!”
That’s what we’re here for girl! It’s why I post these, helping each other is the key to success! Thanks so much for playing along with me (I consider blogging playing, lol!)
Be sure to visit Kitty Kitty Crafts on Etsy and check out more of her fabulous hippos, like my favorite below! I hope you enjoyed getting to know Karissa! Have a blessed day!