First off, tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m the creator of K Kay Designs. I’m originally from a small town in West Central Minnesota. It was my senior year in high school I believe when I took a trip to the Twin Cities and discovered a store that sold beads and leather cord. I bought some, took them home, and made all the necklaces I could. Every time after I went to the “cities” I would stop there. Global Village, on the West Bank of Minneapolis. I always loved jewelry and wore as many rings on as many fingers as I could and pierced my ears like 5 times on each side so I could wear as many earrings I could at one time ( it was the 80’s after all…that was “in”).
Not much has changed as far as my love of jewelry wearing goes. K Kay designs was born in 2006 after I had a series of unfortunate events happen with my steady job and had the opportunity to go to school for my love and passion…..jewelry designing/metalsmithing. It had been a dream for many years but had the golden handcuffs on with my steady day job and didn’t “need” to learn a new skill. I soon started K Kay designs after my first year at school.
After launching the business, I got overwhelmed, and stopped designing after a short few months. I wasn’t confident in my business skills and felt it difficult to do both designing and running a business. Now is the time where I just couldn’t let my skills and love go to the wayside. I felt deep in my heart that I was to go this direction again and re-launch the business. The pull was intense and I couldn’t ignore it anymore. The difference? I am a full time student again but this time going for my Bachelors Degree in Business Management.
I think a combination of personal growth and learning new business skills has built my awareness and confidence to run my business. I may not always do it the best way, but I am doing it the best way I know how and am learning as I go. I feel so re juvinated now that I am able to do arts fairs and music events and have that much needed interaction with customers that fuels me more than anything. I LOVE that customer service element and talking and getting to know more people. I have found that this time around K Kay designs “feels” right. It feels like this is what I am suppose to do. How could it get any better than that?
When and how did you originally find Etsy?
I believe I found out about etsy from my cousin who was helping me with an ebay store. She mentioned it would be a good fit for me. I eventually dropped the ebay store and put K Kay designs on Etsy. She was right! I “opened” the store long before I actually listed items in there however.
What is unique about Etsy and what about the website do you like the most in regards to your shop?
I like the ease of set up and listing items. I love that Etsy is looked upon with a high regard. Etsy has a great reputation. I feel like I have quality items to list in a quality website…..they go hand in hand and feel like K Kay designs is well represented through Etsy. I also love that Etsy doesn’t have a monthly fee! It is very reasonable to list items and not feel like I have to jack up my prices to make up for a high monthly selling fee. I also love the forums and connections that you can make with other business owners. It’s a community of all handmade items. It’s like home. K Kay designs fits in perfectly. I also love that I can shop for supplies for my designs. Earring cards, thank you cards. You name it. You can find it on Etsy!
What inspires you the most in regards to your creations?
Well, first and foremost, God. I feel I have been blessed with this gift. Much of K Kay designs was born during a time of finding my faith and I am grateful to have a skill that I can use to reflect that. Next inspiration would be nature. I love the raw organic look of found things in nature. Sometimes just the way a stick is laying on the ground or a leaf that has fallen from a tree can inspire me. K Kay designs is sometimes raw and simple and sometimes perfect and symmetrical. Often times it’s how the metal might take shape as I am forming it. So, that would really be my other inspiration. Metal. I pretty much fall in love with anything metal. I could see a sign made out of metal that says “poop” and I will think it is beautiful all because it’s made/crafted/formed out of metal. I sometimes crack myself up with things I find beautiful. As long as I am not laughing at what I create for K Kay designs!
What is your favorite piece you’ve created and why?
Hmmm, this is a hard one. I have gone through different phases of learning with my designs so there are different levels of designs that I love. I would say my current favorite is the flower necklace I designed for K Kay designs. I am now playing with the differences in different metals and am making bracelets and starting with rings too. I’m just really into flowers right now. I’m sure if you asked me next month, I’ll have a new fave.
What do you want to accomplish with your online shop?
I hope to have traffic brought to K Kay designs and hope to grow my business. I love to create and design and would love to be able to make money doing what I love to do.
It’s like a dream that is slowly being revealed before my eyes. I am just going to keep working my business and keep on designing and listing items and hopefully continue to sell sell sell!
Do you have any new creations in the works? If so, what can shoppers expect to see from you soon?
I think I always have new creations in the works. I keep getting inspired and keep plugging away at what I visualize. I am working on my stone setting and hope to start doing more and incorporating more in my designs. I love raw stones and the raw unrefined look that somehow pulls off “pretty”. I will always continue to reach and grow with my designs so stayed tuned! K Kay designs will be an evolving jewelry company.
Where can readers find out about more information regarding your jewelry and other creations and possible special offers (including additional websites, blogs, facebook, etc)?
I have a fan page for K Kay designs on Facebook. Please “like” me. I will be running periodic specials to fans on Facebook. AND I am planning a monthly humanitarian cause to give a portion of sales to. I will be disclosing the first one soon on Facebook!
I am also building out my website, kkaydesigns.com, but, it is a work in progress and not yet launched.