Friday, December 9, 2016

a few words, heart and soul

Etsy is composed of thousands upon thousands of sellers. I formed my business, Kissa Design, in 2007, after working a 9 to 5 in advertising and publishing for many years, although I think my business had been coalescing, gradually, from my many different interests, along my particular path through life. 

I joined Etsy in 2009, and reintroduced a unique form of paper ornament making to the big wide web world when I listed my first ornaments for sale that year under my own brand name, Star Urchins. The interest in my work has been astounding.  

I have been making these ornaments all of my life. They are a traditional Polish form of folk art called jeżyk, originally made from tissue paper to use as decoration during the harvest and holiday seasons more than 100 years ago. I was taught as a child by my mother who learned how to make them from a dear Polish friend when they were teenagers, and who intentionally brought them forward into my creative lexicon as a hands-on way to connect me to my Polish heritage.

My Etsy shop has become my body of work, my portfolio, created over many years, and was based on a tiny glimmer of an idea: to shine a modern light on a traditional, even humble, folk art craft that has been near and dear to me, and to move it beyond the Christmas tree into the realm of year-round decorative use. 

I created a vast, vivid and colorful, one-of-a-kind collection of paper artworks, and built it from the ground-up, based on my exploration of different textures, forms, sizes and techniques. During this process I created ornaments both little and large, hand-glittered "Sparklers", tree toppers, stemmed bouquets and magnets, "Wall Urchins" and more, hand-formed from my vision and imagination. At the time of my shop's inception, there were no other sellers of this particular craft form to imitate. 

My work is my own, my shop was fully conceptualized by me. My over 1300 Etsy sales represent thousands of handmade works shipped around the globe, all handmade by me. My words written throughout my shop, my web site, my blog and everywhere else are all my own. My photography, styling and editing are my own. My brand is my own. All of the press I have been so fortunate to receive has evolved from my own merit. I am an example of an independent artisan, the heart and soul of an original small handmade business started from scratch, literally from a blank sheet of paper. And I thank you, sincerely, for your continued patronage, past, present and onward throughout the new years. -Kathleen./Kissa Design

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