Friday Features – Karis and Dea of Kay Dea Crafts

Friday Features are all about meeting the talented artists and creators of hand crafted goods to share their stories and bring to light the value and beauty found in handmade.

Today’s feature is all about Karis from Kay Dea Crafts on Etsy!

Tell me about yourself and your shop.
KayDea Crafts is run by myself and my twin sister. Our main area of selling is our crocheted toys, which we make our own patterns for. But since we love making things (especially cute things ;] ) there ends up being a wide variety of items in our shop. We also to consignments for local artists from Oregon : )
I’m Karis, the Kay part of KayDea Crafts, and I’m going to school for American Sign Language and Japanese. I also lovelovelove pokemon and am working on some toy patterns for them right now. And some screen printed shirts, too!
Dea is going to school for early childhood education and enjoys long hours of netflix, pokemon video games, and trying to master her beast of a sewing machine, Betsy.

How did you start, and why did you choose your craft? How much experience do you have so far?
Crocheting started with senior year writing class. Where it was taken up to fend off encroaching madness and boredom. Crocheting, or just making things, lead into other crafts simply because we’re stubborn and frugal and would rather make it ourselves than pay for it.
Dea has been crocheting for over four years and I have been at it for almost four. But time (when mixed with crafting) just kind of melds together after awhile. When we first started creating it just let loose like a flood gate and it’s literally been the only thing we’ve been doing for the past 4/5 years.

Stuffed Toy Horse, White Pony Doll, Amigurumi Plush, Rainbow Haired Horse, Kawaii Animal Toy, Childrens Nursery Pony/Phoebe the Pony

Stuffed Toy Horse

What influences your work from your life or city? (or anything else that influences you)
We’re from Portland Oregon and that has a huge impact on the designs of our products and even how we run/interact with our business. All of our products are at least 80% upcycled/recycled from unwanted materials. We believe in the triple bottom line theory instead of just the bottom line.
Besides that we just love cute things.

What do you do when you need a little bit if inspiration?
I usually doodle, the best ideas come when you’re just playing around and not forcing it.
Another great source of inspiration is other people. Sometimes you’re too close to your work to be able to see the other possibilities. Interacting with customers at craft bazaars really helps exposure and creative flow.

What is your best achievement?
We’re both still only 20 so we have a lot of time to make/have a “greatest achievement” But as for right now KayDea Crafts is our achievement. We’ve made it to the point where we have people who are fans of our work and have a list of custom orders. The fact that people see our work and appreciate it is a pretty big achievement.

Red Stuffed Penguin, Stuffed Zoo Animal, Plush Penguin, Kids Toy, Plush Doll, Crocheted Animal,  Stuffed Animal - Patrick the Penguin

Red Stuffed Penguin

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade is yes, being made by a person instead of a machine, but it also means quality. I think it must be from the fact that we make toys but don’t you hate it when you buy something an then in breaks in a few weeks? Days? A truly handmade item is something that is made to last and from the creators vision.
Again, brought on by our frugality, if you spend the money you want it to last. Especially when it comes to kids and their toys, you want them to appreciate them. So we make certain that our toys are cute, have convenient care, and hopefully they’ll be a forever toy.

Do you also offer custom made items? Is it something you like to do?
You bet your buttons we do! I mentioned earlier that customers interactive gives great insight for more creative ideas. We’ve done a bunch of custom orders and love doing them, the ideas are great! And it’s special to have something be made just for you 🙂

Brown Monkey Stuffed Animal, Girl Monkey Stuffed Toy, Crocheted Zoo Animal,Soft Monkey Toy, Girls Toy with Accessory - Bianca the Monkey

Brown Monkey Stuffed Animal

What plans do you have for the future of you business?
Make more toys! We usually to pretty well during holiday bazaar season so we need to start creating inventory again. Other than that just to keep doing what we’re doing. We love nerdy things, cute things and making them! It’s good energy that keeps you alive

Any advice for others looking to sell their handmade items?
Find a niche. Nerdiness reigns supreme on the internet so you want to be able to fine tune your target market. Also learning how the internet works, networking/SEO, are very important tools that will help with your success.

Many thanks to Karis and Dea and be sure to check out the rest of their shop for more adorable things!

Stay tuned for more Friday Features, crafty tutorials, and other joyous posts!  If you’d like to stay up-to-date on happenings here at Homegrownjoy, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.  Thank you!

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