I'm pleased to introduce the featured shop for this week, Hang Ups in KC, a fun jewelry shop run by two friends. Hang Ups in KC are also members of the community Handmade in KC.
Hang Ups in KC is Kristi & Carolyn and everything we create is handmade by us! Our adventure started when we took a soldering class a few years ago. Since then our creativity and stock levels have exploded. Hang-Ups was born from our love of antiques, repurposed materials, clay, beads, wire and solder, and our strong entrepreneurial spirit….not to mention our husbands urging to get rid of some of our stock.
Carolyn is a former Human Resources Professional and Kristi manages her own Graphic Design Firm, KAP Design. We currently live in the Kansas City Missouri area with our wonderful and understanding husbands and children. We keep each other humble and have a lot of laughs (frequently at each other’s expense).
We are more than a little obsessed with collecting antiques and repurposing cool materials to make jewelry. We frequently add new styles so if you like our creations check our website and blog often! If you see something you like but want to change the color, size, length, etc., just let us know!
We hope that you love our jewelry as much as we love creating it.
The most challenging thing about having our own business is that we want to create all the time but have to find time to take care of the "business" side of things. We have both been entrepreneurs before and understand that to have a successful business means that sometimes you have to do the stuff that is not always fun, like bookkeeping, billing, etc.
Luckily we each have a different skill set when it comes to things like finances, organization, sales, etc. so we are able to split those duties. It is still challenging for both of us to take time to photograph and post items online, as well as, get the word out on social media that we have new items available.
We love that we are taking something that is basically being unused and turning it into something new, giving it a new life. We get very excited in antique stores when we find something unique and can't wait to get home to create a new piece from it.
We are both great readers and are very passionate about literacy. We have formed a partnership with Literacy Kansas City, an organization that helps adults learn to read. We have an entire collection of jewelry on our website that is literacy based and a portion of each sale goes directly to Literacy Kansas City.
We have also started making pieces from retired musical instruments and are having a great time with new designs. We are working with Band of Angels Kansas City, creating pieces that will benefit their programs that help support the musical arts in local school districts (bandofangelskc.org).
Another new adventure for us is making pieces from family heirlooms. We were contacted by a family that had found a mismatched set of silverware when they were cleaning out their parents house. From this we created several bracelets and necklaces so each member of their family would have a piece made from something that had belonged to their grandparents and great-grandparents. It was a great experience for us and we hope to grow this part of our business.
One of the things we love best about what we do is that we get to work together and are constantly pushing each others' creative limits. The creative process is something we both enjoy and find both challenging and rewarding. Our connection with Handmade in KC is also something we love about having our business here in Kansas City. This group of local handmade artisans is such a great support system and also an amazing source of inspiration to us.
One of our favorite things is a conference called "Craftcation" that
is held in Ventura, California each spring. We have been the last two
years and it has been an amazing experience both times. We are already
planning our trip for 2015. It is a conference designed for handmade
businesses and includes sessions on all sorts of aspects of running a
handmade business, as well as, sessions that include actual crafting.
However, the best part of the entire conference is getting to meet and
share stories with other handmade artisans.
Our favorite way to network is Instagram. This
was something that we just came into this past year and it was as a
result of Craftcation. Although we do have a blog and love sharing on it,
Instagram is a great way to share visually what we are doing, what we
love and how we are making things. We both are having fun with this
Our favorite blogs include The Tiffany Han, Lisa Congdon, Thoughts, Jots + Lots of Whatnot, and Kim Werker. We both love just about any food, and relaxing by sitting outside (on the beach if possible) sipping a glass of wine. We love antique stores- Brass Armadillo is a favorite along with Jesse James Antique Mall.
You can find Hang Ups in KC on Facebook, Etsy, website, Twitter, blog, and Instagram. Kristi and Carolyn are generously offering all fans 10% off any purchase in their shop with code HANGUPS10.
Which are your favorite pieces from Hang Ups in KC?