Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kelly Kellie - QuietStorytellers

QuietStorytellers is a lovely Etsy shop run by Kelly Kellie where she features hand knitted and handwoven accessories and upcycled items. Kelly began hand work at a young age. “My mother taught me to embroider when I was 8 and to knit when I was 10 or so. Then she taught me how to knit again when I was 20…mostly I’ve been knitting for about 12 years, making simple gifts for friends and family and keeping myself occupied and my home filled with interesting yarns. I’ve been weaving for 4 years, and I’ve been upcycling since my sister and I were first handed my mother’s left over sewing scraps. I found Etsy when a friend with whom I weave recommended I take a peek as I was knitting and weaving more than I could ever use. I peeked in and set up my little shop here in August 2009.”

Kelly recalls her first knitting project, a blanket for her dog, Mia. “I liked it much more than she did--she kept sleeping on my bed and leaving her blanket in her basket.” Kelly took a short break from her knitting when her little ones occupied her lap instead of yarn. “Once the kids were older and I was allowed to sit down with out them always in my lap, I picked up my knitting needles again and starting making dishcloths…and practicing patterns in the process.” When it comes to her signature dishcloths Kelly prefers a simple garter stitch best. “Nothing beats a handknit dishcloth! And after working all those complicated patterns, I found I liked plain garter stitch (knitting all along the front and back of the piece) the best for those cloths. It’s a great nubby texture for bath or kitchen.”

Most important is color and a keen respect for the fibers she uses. “Even my riotous scarves and blankets, knit with 30-100 different yarns, are usually garter stitch. That is a huge aspect of my work—let the fibers do their job by shining through—I don’t try to fussy them up with complicated stitch work. I love to pair and blend colors in pretty much every aspect of my life. If you look at my bohemian scarves, thrum coasters, and sewn collage tags you can get an idea of the fibers and colors I work with. They are put together in an endless variety and nothing clashes, the colors and fibers embrace each other like old friends.”

Kelly truly enjoys pleasing her buyers. “My happiest moments…goes are when buyers tell me they received the item and truly love it…The sale of one particular woven blanket touched me deeply and made me very happy. It had taken weeks of planning and months of weaving at the studio to complete. I listed it and it expired. I decided not to relist it as it was spring and the blanket was in warm autumn tones. The next day someone contacted me asking what happened to it! She had visited it often and had finally justified buying it because she saw it as an heirloom piece, something she could wrap her children in now and pass on to them later. I love it when the right person finds the right item!”

When asked about goals and future plans for her shop, Kelly remarked “I’m a terrible goal-setter! I tend to dream and think and do, and even when I set a goal I get carried away with the next idea…This go-with-what-you-feel attitude is not a great way to run a business, but I am not a business person—I am a dreamer, thinker, and doer. So, where will Quiet Storytellers be in another few years? It will probably still be a little shop on Etsy where I will fill it with bits and pieces that fill my heart, and hopefully other hearts, with pleasure.” Kelly is developing some new items including knit scrubbies. “They are perfect for washing the fingers and toes sticking out of the casts we aren’t supposed to be getting wet--and in case you were wondering, yes I know from personal experience.” She’s also taken up gardening, kind of; “I’ve been growing flowers from fabric and yarn so they’ll probably bloom into the shop somehow, too.”
Kelly is inspired by color. “When my eyes are open I see color, like that of the bright greens only found in the very first glimpse of spring, the winter sky, flowers, my husband’s eyes. When I sleep I dream of shapes and listen again to conversations telling me of what others find to be amusing and lovely. And contrarily enough, if I find things to be diametrically opposed, I want to use them together and I often do!”

These are a few of Kelly's creations from her Etsy shop

Kelly loves kitting, weaving and sewing and counts them among her true joys I life. When she is not creating for her Etsy shop she is active in her church, spends time with her husband and three children and enjoys her large extended family. “I come from a family of eight children so sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews bless my days as do my own three children—who have suddenly and without warning, all reached adulthood! Thank heavens for the cats and dogs who believe themselves to be children and are still willing and able to cuddle on the couch when I need a good hug.”

All of Kelly’s works are unique and original. “I don’t use patterns very often so the colors in the scarves will not be repeated unless I am specifically asked to do so—and sometimes not even then because the fiber was one of a kind. The upcycled items are definitely not reproducible.”

Kelly’s one hope is “that you find a smile and share a laugh today. My children still find me in the store because they follow the sound of my unique laughter and a smile lights up not only your day, but also the day you are sharing with the person with whom you are smiling. So…Smiles!”

Kelly on Pinterest

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on being featured in the blog, Kelly. The fact that you enjoy making people happy shines through in everything you do!