Thursday, May 28, 2015

Handmade in KC inspired by the Kansas City Royals

Kansas City is a baseball city. All the excitement of this winning season and last seasons World Series has ignited the creativity and passion in all things Royals. Check out the awesome products that were made by Handmade in KC designers.


From left to right: 
Stand Out Style All About Baseball Bracelet, Nuggets of Goodness Blue Recycled Vintage Drop Earrings, Creations by MandJ Royals inspired Elephant Lovie With Ribbon, Nuggets of Goodness Upcycled Blue Necklace, Nuggets of Goodness Blue Necklace, Ivory Isis Vintage Key Blue Ribbon Necklace, Hang Ups in KC Be Royal Hand Stamped Baseball Necklace. 

We have so many wonderful items from all types of jewelry to upcycled art to clothing to wall hangings. Please support these wonderful hometown vendors who love for our hometown teams!

From left to right:
Handmade by Lolo Z Royals fan clothing for children, FabTabulous Royal blue guitar string earrings,
Life’s Gems:  I love KC Baseball Upcycled Art, Nuggets of Goodness:  Royal Blue Recycled Ring, Hang Ups in KC: Take Me Out To The Ballgame Hand Stamped Bracelet, Nuggets of Goodness:  Blue Recycled Magnet, FabTabulous:  Royals Guitar String Bracelet.
Thank you to LeTysha from Stand Out in Style for creating this blog post of behalf of Handmade in Kansas City.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Meet the Maker: Gypsy Soup

Our current featured maker is Sara “Gypsy Soup” Hunsaker.  She is the owner of, you guessed it.. Gypsy Soup!   You know that with a name like that she's going to be an interesting person to get to know.  Recently  Handmade in Kansas City maker,  Tania Marg from Ivory Isis sat down with Sara.  This is what she learned. 

 Sara GypsySoup Hunsaker's photo.
Sara tells us… I am the youngest of 10 children, with a twin brother, Sam. So standing out was something I did quite by accident and necessity!

My grandmother called me Little Gypsy because of the way I dressed from about 8 years old on.  I learned to hand sew with paper and a large embroidery needle as my grandmother, auntie and mother all made their own clothes for various occasions.

I later was allowed to use the sewing machine again using paper, as soon as I could sew all of the curved,  square and straight lines, that Mother had drawn on the paper, perfectly without error - she let me sew on my own. I was about 12 when that happened!

The name comes from my Grandma calling me Little Gypsy, and Soup was added because I knew my garb would be an amalgamation of various materials and designs - it reminded me of a large pot of lovely soup, full of lots of yummy goodness.  GypsySoup was born on June 3, 2011.

What Sara sells:
Using 90% repurposed components that typically begin with neck ties, then adding a variety of other hearty materials, recycled buttons with whimsy, antiquity, and one-of-kind flair, my garb inventory consists of wrist cuffs, across body pouches, Aunt Fannys (fanny packs) and larger Satchels (new messenger bag designs coming soon).


I also do a lot of custom designs, which are requested by families that have lost a loved one. they will bring me an item of clothing or neck ties, to make them something to use and keep forever, rather than the item sitting in a box somewhere. This design and staging process envelopes the client and we often cry together, it is cathartic for all parties involved, as I have lost my Mother, Grandmother and my Aunt. So I tend to become quite connected to these particular people forever.

I also take concert t-shirts and make custom pouches and satchels.

I implement the designs in my heart, I transfer those impulses to my brain pan, I then cut or rip (this part is fun) the fabric to stage said design.  I personally machine construct all items.  I hand sew every button with a knotted button stitch.  I maintain an extremely high standard of quality control. I also produce, print and distribute all matters of marketing collateral (digital and paper) and control sales and custom orders.

Do you have another job or is this a full-time commitment?
I have a full time job as a General Liability Investigator - I specialize in wrongful death, bodily injury and product liability.

I am also a Mark Kay consultant and a die hard fan of the product - I am 4 1/2 years away from 50 and Mary Kay is my cage match coach against age!

I volunteer with the Kansas City Doberman Rescue, Kansas City Public Television and Habitat ReStore.  Habitat ReStore has used my re-purposed furniture in their commercials!
My additional work is costuming when I can - lots of work in costuming!

What makes your items unique?
I think GypsySoup is unique because 90% of the garb is repurposed and it is quality constructed - it rings true the meaning of your trash my treasure! It is also one of a kind - I have only made 3 exact matching cuff sets for myself for costumes. I will also mention that on each piece as I construct it, I wish love, light and healing over all of the components and as they become one piece, I hold it for a moment and finalize these wishes for whomever walks away with a piece of GypsySoup.

Do you have a creative motto or slogan?
Conserve. Create. Recycle Everything.

Favorite quote about creativity or creating?
A human believes somehow that creativity is a brain born creation, when truly its nature and origination is of the heart. - GypsySoup

Any famous last words?
I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”
- Walt Whitman

Links to websites or social media and where your items can be found locally
My creations can be found in Primary Colors Gallery on the Independence Square, Independence, MO and online at:

A big THANK YOU to Tania Marg from Ivory Isis for writing this blog post.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Meet the Maker - Life's Gems

For this Meet the Maker, I sat down with Brie Holst from Life’s Gems.  We met for breakfast at Morning Day CafĂ© in Liberty and got to know each other.  Reflecting on our conversation and prepping to write this, two words stood out to me:  Creativity and Passion.  

Brie has lived in KC since she was about 9 years old.  Her earliest years here were spent in Parkville (she has the coolest stories about her adventures while living on the Park University campus) and now resides in Liberty with her husband.  She has become a passionate supporter of all things local.  You can find her dining at Rock and Run, grabbing coffee at Morning Day and helping out with local groups like Handmade in KC and KC Ballet Barre, an organization that does fun events to help draw interest for the Kansas City Ballet.  Their Facebook page is - you should check it out!
Creativity has always been an important part of Brie’s life; she even considered attending the Art Institute after high school, but in the end, she pursued her education as a Physical Therapy assistant.  While it may seem like a big jump, hearing her describe the beauty of the human body and the creativity used to develop therapy plans for her patients, you can see the art in this career choice as well. 

Brie started her business the way that many of us crafters do…She made a garter from vintage materials for a friend and that led to her selling gorgeous veils, facinators, and other wedding related items at shops like Bottoms Up and The Lace Loft in the West Bottoms.  While she had success with the bridal market, and was even featured on Beauty & Lifestyle Bride and The Knot, Brie had so many more ideas and directions she wanted to go.  Her passion for creating was being limited by designing exclusively for weddings.  So, Vintage Wedding Gems became Life’s Gems: Dazzling Designs for Home & Life.  She now focuses on creating eco-friendly products, repurposing discarded items like vintage sheets and donated clothing and turning them into new and useful items for the home.  The amazing amount of creativity it takes to look at used, old materials and turn them in to beautiful new and functional pieces is just unbelievable.  Life’s Gems carries a wide array of products from organizing bin, hot/cold packs, chalkboard art, tags, and pretty much whatever Brie can think of!

Since she is truly an artist at heart, I had to ask Brie about her process for creating one of my favorites of her projects - skeleton bones!  I was amazed to hear how she used different materials and methods to create the look of realistic muscles from plain old fake bones from the craft store!


Want to see more of Brie’s work?  She is a featured trunk show artist at Ugly Glass & Co. June First Friday Weekend (Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 11am-4pm).  Ugly Glass & Co is located on the 4th Floor of the Fou Flea in the Historic West Bottoms of Kansas City.  You can also find Life's Gems online!

Website -
Instagram - lifes_gems
A special Thank You to Laura from Handmade by Lolo Z, Clothing & Gifts for writing this Meet the Maker article about Handmade in KC member Brie from Life's Gems.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

31 Finds and Flavors of Kansas City

Who knew May had so many quirky holidays?  KC Source Link along with Shop Local Alliance has created a fun program to help Kansas Citians get to know the small businesses that make and sell local. 

Each day in May, they will share the stories of Kansas City entrepreneurs. Find them in the Entrepeneurs in Action of the KC Source Link website. 

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or maker, we know that you will find inspiration in the stories of these local entrepreneurs.  The following is the calendar for the month.  If you know any of these businesses please help to share on social media by using #shoplocalkc.  Check out those that you don't know, we are confident that you will not only have fun but be impressed by the small businesses that support our local economy.  Businesses marked with a * are part of our Handmade in Kansas City team.

Day / Holiday / Flavor
1 / Space Day / Remnants by RJ*
2 / Brothers and Sisters Day / Wood+Salt
3 / day after Baby Day / Creations by M & J*
4 / National Candied Orange Peel Day / Springboard Creative
5 / Cinco De Mayo / Panaderia de las Americas
6 / No Diet Day / Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen*
7 / National Tourism Day / KC Cool
8 / No Socks Day / Worlds Window
9 / pre Mother's Day / Hang Ups in KC*
10 / Clean Your Room, Mother's Day / Indigo Wild
11 / Eat What You Want / Dolce Bakery
12 / Fatigue Syndrome Day / Fusion Fitness
13 / Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day / Red Dirt Shop
14 / Chicken Dance Day / Lu & Ed*
15 / Bike to Work Day / Family Bicycles
16 / National Sea Monkey / Nuggets of Goodness*
17 / Pack Rat Day / Life's Gems*
18 / No Dirty Dishes Day / The Tulle Box*
19 / May Ray Day / Ugly Glass & Co.
20 / Pick Strawberries Day / Snow & Co.
21 / National Waiters and Waitresses Day / Tasty Thai
22 / Musical Instrument Day / French & Music House
23 / Lucky Penny Day / Ni-Chern Designs*
24 / Tiara Day / Handmade by Lolo Z*
25 / Towel Day / Geek Chic Boutique*
26 / Sally Ride Day / The Little Wing*
27 / Sun Screen Day / Swim Zip
28 / Golden Gate Bridge / Stand Out Style*
29 / Get Caught Reading / One More Cup
30 / Neighbor Day / Coffee Girls
31 / Aquarium Month (June) / Ocean & Sea