Kith & Kin - Firefly Handmade Featured Artisan
Kith & Kin truly understands the marriage of form and function. This husband and wife team of makers both grew up with the adage, if you’d don’t have it, build it! From toys to clothes to furniture, these designers have a passion for figuring how to create things themselves. Lucky for us, they’ve poured this energy into crafting beautiful, ethically sourced bags that delight us with the details. Each purchase from this handmade handbag shop in Boulder, CO is a gift that keeps on giving as they employ textile companies overseas that give back to vulnerable communities. Their love of craft benefits families here and internationally with thoughtful bags that make carrying fun!
We welcome this new designer to the Boulder maker community and the Firefly Handmade Holiday Market. We know they’ll be a welcomed addition with their carefully crafted wares and infectious, positive attitude.
We love your company name, Kith & Kin. Why was this the natural choice for your brand?
Kith & Kin is an old folk phrase meaning family and friends. Peter, my husband, and I grew up in families who made everything out of necessity and hobby. We always made and received handmade gifts. We started our brand continuing that tradition of sharing what we love to make with our loved ones.
On your website you mention that you grew up in a home full of handmade items. Can you talk about how this has shaped you as a designer?
My dad is a carpenter and my mom is a seamstress. He built all of our furniture and she made our clothes. She even made my wedding gown! As a kid I was always encouraged to make things. Same thing with Peter. Peter's dad built their family home. Neither one of us thought this was significant as we thought all families were raised like this. When we met, we continued the making, even made four kids! We recognized the privilege of our heritage and the rich knowledge from our parents. We had a special opportunity to build on their skills with modern, exciting design and materials.
How do you source the materials for your bags?
Our goal with the bags has always been to employ women from vulnerable communities through our textiles. We are working with weavers in Thailand and China to source our ethnic fabrics and are always making new connections. This is the most exciting thing about my work. We belong together, and if making bags can increase income for my sisters across the globe, providing opportunity for a better lifestyle, then I am as happy as can be.
What inspires your designs?
I'm inspired by hard work and beauty. I love the hard, sturdy bark on the base of the tree, and the soft, pretty leaves up above. I am blown away by refugee women who make a life for their families in spite of devastating circumstances and by women in vulnerable communities who somehow take such tender care of their few possessions. I like the way old materials get better and better with time and use. I like the way my fabrics soften and wrinkle with age. I'm inspired by the combination of the tough, durable canvas, its long lifespan, and the beautiful intricate textile. They enhance each other and belong together.
Your diaper bags are really beautiful. Can you tell us more about them?
My diaper bag is more than a diaper bag. This bag is also great for work or travel. It’s a perfect size for everything! I have four children and know first-hand how important the features are to this carryall and the construction got better with each pregnancy. I wanted to make a bag for the family who is constantly adding and changing. This bag is gender neutral, season neutral, will last a long time, and it is a great connection piece. It’s a way for families to connect with the lives of those in vulnerable communities, hopefully all of us changing for the better.
How do you hope customers will interact with your art?
Some of my favorite feedback I hear from customers is that they love how my bags make them feel like they are connected to themselves. So often in motherhood we lose sight of ourselves, our style and our needs. There is so much giving involved! It’s an easy way to stay stylish in the midst of the loving chaos. It’s also a beautiful way to stay connected to the worldwide community of mothers as this purchase is helping a vulnerable community overseas.
Why are you proud to be part of the Firefly Handmade Holiday Market?
Our family is new to Boulder. We moved here in January and I have been eager to become immersed in the maker's scene! I am very excited about my products and love this town. I cannot wait to see how these two loves interact and I couldn’t think of a better place than Firefly Handmade to make it all happen!
Kith & Kin joins us at the Firefly Handmade Holiday Market, Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 at the NEW Embassy Suites Hotel Boulder, on Canyon Boulevard and 28th Street. In the meantime you can connect with them here:
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