Monday, November 2, 2009
Featured Artist - Krystyn Wukitsch Foran of Kame Knits
Welcome back to the Featured Artist Series! This week’s focus is on EtsyNJ member Krystyn Wukitsch Foran of Kame Knits, www.kameknits.etsy.com. (Check out Krystyn's handiwork in the shots above.) If you have an upcoming baby shower or other kid-friendly celebration, then Kame Knits offers some great gift ideas. You’ll find blankets, clothing, bath accessories, and more for the little ones as well as outerwear accessories for adults. So stop on in to Kame Knits as the temperatures drop; you’re sure to stumble upon something heart warming.
1. The Tote Trove (TTT): In your Etsy profile, you tell us that your shop name, Kame Knits, comes from the word Kame, which is Japanese for turtle. You add that you love turtles and rescued a small diamondback terrapin a few years ago. Have you ever had a pet turtle? Any plans for turtle-themed projects?
Krystyn Wukitsch Foran (KWF): Actually, the diamondback terrapin that I found and rescued several years ago has been living with me ever since. When I first found her she was about the size of my thumb, and now she’s a full 5 (or so) inches and is happily living in her tank in my house. I tried to find an aquarium that might want to take her (since she can’t fend for herself in the wild), but they all said “thanks but no thanks” because they already had too many. As for turtle-themed projects, I’m trying to nail down a pattern so I can include little turtles in the blankets/hats/scarves, as I think they would be a cute thing to add to the pieces.
2. TTT: How did you become interested in knitting and crocheting? What is it about the fiber arts that sparks your creativity?
KWF: I actually learned how to knit when I was in college. I asked a friend because I was just bored one day and knew that she knitted. Then when I graduated I had a friend at work who crocheted (which is what I do predominantly now), and she taught me how to do that.
3. TTT: How did you decide to turn your passion for knitting and crocheting into a business?
KWF: Since I started my initial interest to keep me occupied (yay ADHD,) I made so many projects I ran out of people to give things to as gifts. Someone said “oh, you should sell these,” so I started listing things on Etsy through the encouragement of my friends. I found Etsy though the advice of OriginalAbbie, www.originalabbie.etsy.com. Abbie and I have been friends since high school.
4. TTT: What is your favorite item in your shop?
KWF: As of right now, I don’t know that I have one actually.
5. TTT: What items, if any, would you like to add to your shop?
KWF: I’d like to learn to create stuffed animals or small items to add to the baby sets. A blanket/hat/bootie set is cute, but I think it’s adorable when you have a little toy that would go with it that the baby can have as he/she grows up.
6. TTT: Describe your creative process. Do you follow a routine, create when inspiration strikes, or a little bit of both?
KWF: I’m always working on SOMETHING, normally out of necessity (baby showers, requests from friends, and Etsy custom orders). However, I do get times when inspiration strikes in the middle of another project and I just NEED to start on the new one. I think those make the best projects.
7. TTT: What is the best thing about running your own business? The worst?
KWF: The best part is being able to see and hear the happy things people say when they see my work or actually have it to wear/use. Worst thing? Having to keep records! Just a pain, but I understand how necessary it is.
8. TTT: Do you sell your work in venues outside of Etsy (i.e, other sites, craft shows, etc)? If yes, then how does selling online differ from selling in person?
KWF: I just registered as an official business with New Jersey earlier this year and have been very busy with my 9-5, so I haven’t actually had enough time to bulk up my inventory and get myself out into the venue world. That’s my goal for 2010.
9. TTT: Are there any new artistic/creative skills you’d like to learn?
KWF: I really need to learn how to sew. In all seriousness, I can’t set a button. I always need a little help when that type of thing comes along.
10. TTT: In your shop, you feature a model head sporting a funky electric blue wig, which I love. How did you decide to use it in your shop?
KWF: Haha. Actually, that’s the wig that came with the bust. When I bought the bust, I had a choice of a few wigs and I thought that one would be very eye catching.
11. TTT: Tell us about life outside of Kame Knits.
KWF: As I mentioned, I have a 9-5 job. I work at a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. My business is my hobby and vice versa. As of right now, it’s just myself and my husband of a year (we’ve been together 7 years this past August), but we’re looking to add to the family in the near future. And we have 3 insane cats. Thankfully, they are pretty respective of my work space and don’t come near.
12. TTT: What are your hopes for Kame Knits in the future?
KWF: I would like to one day be able to possibly sustain myself and not have to work 9-5, but isn’t that every business owner’s dream?
13. TTT: BONUS QUESTION. Just for fun, if you were stranded on a deserted island and had to eat the same thing every day, what would it be? You can pick a drink and a dessert, too. (I find that dreaming up a whole meal makes this game more entertaining!)
KWF: Oh jeeze, I think a good Parmesan-crusted tilapia with roasted potatoes. I only ever drink water, so I’d probably stick with that (although who wants to drink water on a deserted island??), and I'd definitely go with fudgy chocolate cake. Yummmm.
Thanks for visiting with Krystyn and finding out more about Kame Knits! For more turtle power, check her out on Facebook and Twitter.