This month's special guest is one creative lady - Kaitlyn Stenoski, wooden sign maker from Salisbury, North Carolina. Her pieces are one of kind and are all made WITHOUT stencils. When I came across her work I was already reeled in, but once I read that it was all created free hand I knew I had to get in touch with her!
Originally from Syracuse, NY, growing up she was always interested in art and creativity. As she entered high school, she started to feel the pressure to get her life figured out (just like many of us in the world today do). Ultimately she knew she wanted to do something that she absolutely loved - a job she didn’t need a vacation from. Her mom used to build things and make crafts, so she was always exposed to that atmosphere - throughout that time her mother taught her a lot, and most importantly pushed her to be the best version of herself.
Once she started creating she became addicted and knew that she found her dream! While she still has other interests she's so glad to say that this one is a key part of her life and can’t wait to see where it takes her in the future! Today, Kaitlyn opens up about her journey and advice on what it takes to be a young, self-started business owner. So let's begin :)
Ashley: How old are you?
Kaitlyn: I am 23 years old!
Ashley: What made you start your business? How long ago did it begin?
Kaitlyn: In 2015 my dad bought a house in Florida so I flew down there to help him decorate his place! He didn’t have much to work with, so I started finding furniture that I could refinish for him and then made little pieces of art out of plywood. When I got home I stuck with it! I was painting more furniture and then had moved on to pallet signs. My mom was a big help in showing me a lot tricks and tools I could use! I had always wanted a job that was something I absolutely loved - this was it for me and still is something that excites me every day! While I started messing around with things in 2015, I’d say my business really began around 2016-2017!
Ashley: Have you always been a creative person? Or is this something that came naturally to you?
Kaitlyn: I’d say I’ve always been pretty creative! I loved art in school and I’ve always been the type of person to want to do my own thing. I’m constantly thinking of new ideas - it makes me so happy to be creative everyday and pour my heart and soul into each and every project!
Ashley: Is this your only profession?
Kaitlyn: Yes, this is currently my only profession! While I work many hours of the day (almost 7 days a week) I try to keep on somewhat of a schedule, and I always make sure to take days off when needed!
Ashley: I see that you create a lot of pieces with wood, and that it’s called scroll saw art...how cool! Can you explain to everyone what scroll saw art is?
Kaitlyn: Yes! While most of my signs are just painted on, I have been using the scroll saw a lot more! The scroll saw is a tool with a very fine blade that you can use to cut out intricate shapes and words - I then take the shapes that I cut out and glue/nail them onto signs for a 3D look!
Ashley: Do you use stencils at all, even with scroll saw art? Or is it completely free hand?
Kaitlyn: I do not use any stencils at all! Everything is drawn out and painted by hand. I‘ve made a few templates that I can re-use, but they were drawn out by me beforehand!
Ashley: Have you ever had struggles throughout this journey of running your own business? If so, what would you tell those who think about giving up?
Kaitlyn: Yes, I‘ve definitely have had my fair share of struggles. There have been so many learning lessons for me, but I feel its made me stronger and more confident with what I do in the long run! I would tell people to just keep pushing through no matter what. There will be good days and bad days, but focus on the positive ones and most importantly your goals! It’s completely worth it when you look back, see your growth and how far you’ve come!
Thanks for sharing Kaitlyn :)