Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meet the Maker - Kristi & Carolyn of Hang Ups in KC

We are Kristi & Carolyn and we have A LOT of Hang Ups!   Our adventure started when we took a soldering class a few years ago. After that, our creativity exploded and 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 come from very different places, geographically (California vs Quebec Canada,) and love to tease each other about just about everything including how each of us speak with our respective “accents”.  To be honest, the key to the success of our partnership is probably our different backgrounds and views.  We are each other’s biggest fans creatively and have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the business.  This variety of skills and constant support (sometimes in the form of brutal honestly) is something that we do not take for granted. 

Our favorite Hang Ups are the ones you can find at Hang Ups in KC.   We have been making handmade jewelry since 2011, but in 2012 we found our true calling when we started making jewelry from repurposed and vintage materials. We love scouring antique malls, thrift stores, yard sales and salvage shops to find materials that we repurpose into fun, unique and inspiring jewelry. Belts, typewriter keys, buttons, vintage jewelry, silverware, keys and keyholes are among our favorite finds but we see beauty in just about anything vintage.

It has been an adventure from the start but last year was a big year for us – we finally built a website, started a newsletter & a blog and joined “The Twitter” and Instagram. As our business and audience expanded we found ourselves overcome with the desire to do more - to give back to the community that we love so much (Kansas City) and couldn’t think of a better way than supporting literacy locally.   

We contacted Carrie Coogan, Executive Director of Literacy Kansas City and an amazing partnership was born! Literacy Kansas City certifies volunteers as tutors and matches them with adult learners from across the Kansas City metropolitan area who want to improve their literacy skills. We designed a collection of literacy inspired jewelry to support this amazing organization and also donate our time at fundraising events, where we donate 20% of our sales to the Literacy Kansas City.  We have had such much fun working with this amazing team. 

We are very excited to be a part of the Handmade in Kansas City Initiative.  What an amazing group talented of local artisans! We look forward to friendship and learning and growing with this local group of talented makers and creatives!

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