Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Feature Shop: KayaLu Creations

Good morning! Meet Amy, a busy mom of five and the creative force behind KayaLu Creations. She's also an active member of our team. Nice to meet you, Amy! -Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

What is your name?
Amy Oswald

Where are you located?
Albion, Michigan

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a stay at home mom to five kids. My oldest will be 15 at the end of this month and my youngest will be 3 at the end of this month. Things get pretty crazy sometimes but this is seriously the life I dreamed of. As a kid whenever people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said: "A mom!" I love every age and stage of childhood so far--most of the time anyway. When I am not chasing kids or transporting them to one activity or another, I am also involved in my church and community. I love to read just about anything. I am crazy about all sorts of crafting but have always felt pretty mediocre at just about everything I try. I do it because I love it and it makes me happy when once in awhile other people love my work too!

Snowy White Polar Bear Hat with Ears

What type of merchandise will shoppers find in your shop?
I sell mostly handmade crochet hats for kids but you'll also find adult hats as well as scarves, crochet headbands, washcloths, kitchen towel holders, purses and floral hair accessories. I love trying new things, so I'm always adding new items.

How/why did you get started?
For the past few years I have been a babysitter in my home to try to bring in grocery money but still be at home with my kids. Then last summer, plans fell through at the last minute and by that time most people already had their childcare arrangements set. I was scrambling to come up with something when I remembered years ago, a friend of mine had seen a scarf I was wearing and told me I should sell my things on Etsy. At the time I had so much going on that I didn't really think much of it. But this time I decided to investigate and decided to give it a go. I'm learning that building a business isn't a quick thing, and so far all the money I have made has gone back into my supplies! But I am having so much fun with it and I love being able to make something and then actually have it go to someone rather than pile up here at home. (That makes my husband happy too!)

Green Frog Beanie

How long have you been crafting? How did you get started crocheting?
When I was nine years old my family took a road trip to California and my grandmother came with us. On the way back, with nothing else to do, I sat next to my grandma and watched her crochet. I remember watching her wrap her yarn around and insert her hook into the stitches to catch another loop and thinking, "I could do that!" After awhile, I asked her if she would teach me how. She was happy to show me and from that time on I was "hooked"! I made little things like pot holders and baby afghans for the most part, but I didn't learn to read a pattern until after I had my first baby. Once I figured that out, I felt like I had so many other possibilities. I still only worked at it off and on though and It wasn't until the birth of my second daughter and fifth baby, that I really started to crochet a lot.

What is your favorite thing to make?
Definitely hats. I love a project that produces the end result rather quickly. Afghans are beautiful, but they can take a long time and often I end up taking a break when I get tired of working on the same thing for so long. Hats can usually be done in a couple of hours, but they can look like they took much longer.

What inspires you to create?
My daughters for sure. My oldest daughter is always asking for more hats and headbands, and my youngest loves to always have a flower clip in her hair. I also enjoy seeing something in a magazine or store and then going home to see if I can create my own version of it.

Girls Crochet Purse--White with Blue and Green Flowers

What is one thing you need to have with you while you craft?
Scissors. And I can never find mine when I need them usually because one of the kids needed to "borrow" them for something.

How do you balance mothering and running a small business?
I'm honestly still trying to figure that out! I usually crochet at night after the kids are in bed while watching TV with my husband. I also go to a knitting group once a week and usually am amazed at what I can accomplish there. I try to make hair accessories and do computer stuff during nap time, but a lot of times I have my daughter sitting on my lap "helping" or playing with toys nearby. There are some days If I'm trying to get something created and shipped that the TV is on for my daughter more than I would like it to be. And there are days where I do nothing on the business, because I always want the mothering part to come first. It just goes SO quickly--I will never regret letting go of some things to spend time with my children.

Light Blue Crochet Headband with Removable Flower

What is your favorite thing to browse Etsy for?
I love looking at all the things I can't do-- sewing projects, woodworking, art prints, jewelry, soaps, etc. I am in awe of the amazing things that people can create!

When you're not crafting, what are you doing?
reading, scrapbooking, gardening, watching movies, playing cards and board games, playing with the kids, camping, going on walks, and doing lots and lots of laundry.

Where can we find you? (although I've been a TERRIBLE blogger lately!)

What is your favorite shop (not yours) on Etsy currently?
I recently found this amazing shop that sells scrapbook embellisments that are absolutely gorgeous. The paper flowers look real and are so stunning. The shop is called Layouts From The Heart. You can find her here:

Newsgirl Hat Blue Organic Cotton with Attached Flower