Kassie Knudson, 30, lives in Cedar Rapids but travels to Des Moines where she works full time as an interior designer, three days a week.
So, she knows there is no place like home. And she’s combined her soft spot for home sweet home — Iowa — and her natural creativity into a side business.
Like many home-based crafters, she started making gifts for friends and family.
“It has been a whirlwind of a summer as I found myself getting busier and busier with custom orders and people requesting different items from me,” she says.
Now, as owner of Kassie K Designs, she makes everything from custom pillows and picture frames to mobiles (with owls, birds and airplanes) and baby onesies, many featuring the familiar outline of the Hawkeye state. She’s able to customize orders with fabric and colors. Find examples on her Facebook page. Custom orders for Christmas accepted through Dec. 16.
“I hate to say no, so when someone asks if I can make something for them, I will do my best to fulfill their request,” she says. “And it never gets old seeing a smile on someone’s face when you deliver their custom order.”
Q: How and when did you get started?
A: I started with the baby onesies a couple years ago when I had some downtime. I started by just making a few, but as soon as word started to spread, I was making several at a time and finding local markets to sell them. Just this summer, I started making the mobiles, pillows and frames. Everything just started to evolve and it keeps on getting bigger and better.
Q: What three words best describe what you do?
A: Creative. Personal. Unique.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Like so many people these days, I find a lot of my inspiration on different websites. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and other creative sites looking for new ways to create products of my own. I also have been getting a lot of ideas from my customers. They will see something of mine, and then ask me to make a couple changes to it to make it more personal or to fit their own style. By allowing people to customize my products, it has really allowed my business to start growing.
Q: What’s the best part about being a crafty/creative person?
A: I have had so much fun the past few months coming up with new and different things to make. It is the best feeling ever when someone will go out of their way to tell you how much they love what you are doing. I received the best compliment this summer while I was at a local market, and a customer walked up to my booth and said, “All of your stuff just makes me smile!” That was a really great moment and I will never forget it.
Q: Do you remember your first craft project?
A: The first real crafty project I remember doing was making paper dolls at my grandma’s house. She somehow got her hands on some old fabric and wallpaper sample books and my cousins and I thought they were the greatest things ever. We would sit down in her basement for hours making all sorts of paper dolls with the fabrics and wallpaper samples. I remember having a whole shoe box full of them.
Q: When you become rich and famous for your work, then what will you do?
A: A girl can dream, can’t she? It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to open up my own boutique/design studio. I have always loved working with people and don’t think I would ever be able to give that up. I just hope that I can always be doing something that will put a smile on someone’s face.