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Monday, July 26, 2010

An Interview with Kara from Olive Jane!

Kara is the amazing maker of the Olive Jane diaper covers that can also be used as swim diapers!  Her creations are one of a kind and her attention to detail is out of this world!  Read her interview below, check out her blog when you’re done, and take a peek at her shop too. :) You can also see what April has in stock from Kara by clicking the link to the right and visiting the swim diaper option. Here's all of Kara's links:

I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada (which my heart still aches for) but now reside in Utah with my gorgeous husband and four spectacular boys who have made me deliriously happy and mind bogglingly busy!

Graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree where I majored in Printmaking (Intaglio/Lithography). During my senior year I was pregnant with my second son and didn’t feel as though it were safe to be spending 12 straight hours in the studio smelling ink, kerosene and nitric acid fumes…call me crazy! I decided to do a series of quilts based on famous color field artists painting. I reproduced a number of famous paintings into quilts and combined them with several of my own design and creation. It was a hit and such a fun show. It was an interesting topic to combine the two ends of the hierarchy of art in one medium (men and oil painting with women and quilting). It was fascinating to see how people could really respond to quilts they weren’t intimidating like pictures in frames can sometimes be. After that show I was hooked, quilting became my medium and still is to this day.

My mother was a home economics teacher and taught me from a young age how to sew/cook/knit etc. My mother passed away last year from agressive colon cancer but I will always be supremely grateful to her for the time she took to instruct and tutor me in these life long skills. These skills have blessed my life. I remain an avid sewer having made numerous wedding dresses, quilts, clothing and more mending than I care to recall.

With the birth of my first son I decided to give cloth diapering a try. I have continued with the birth of each son to re-dedicate myself to cloth diapering trying different methods and combinations. It wasn’t until the birth of my 4th son that I decided to design my own diaper covers being unsatisfied with the ones that I had purchased. After much investigation and research on supplies and design I came up with a few covers. My neighbor asked me to make her a few and then her friend and suddenly I found myself selling diaper covers on
Etsy.com along with my quilts, aprons and children’s clothing.

With the introduction of my diaper covers I scarcely have time to quilt (a quilt could take me 70 hours easily) but it has been an exciting ride, stressful at times but highly rewarding. My sisters have been encouraging me for years to start my own business. When I finally took the plunge I wanted to name it in honor of them. When we were children Santa used to always put jars of Manzanilla olives in our stockings. My sisters and I LOVED olives and so in memory of that and many other happy memories spent with my two best friends in the world the name of my company was born “olive” for my sisters and “jane” which is my middle name and my mothers’.

Something that people may not know about me is that I used to play rugby in university for a few years, I ran a marathon last year and a 188 mile relay this year called the "Ragnar relay", I also speak 4 languages (English, French, Japanese and Portuguese), I love to play board games, swing dance and used to read (which I have no time for now so I burn through several audiobooks per month).

In the future I do anticipate having my covers manufactured, at least partially as I'm having difficulty keeping up with the demand and I really want to be able to ship these little creations to my customers in a more timely fashion. I really want my customers to have the best customer service. I anticipate the manufactured ones to fulfill my wholesale accounts, while still allowing me to make the individual orders from my Etsy shop by hand.

I thoroughly enjoy being able to choose fabrics and select combinations that intrigue and create a positive emotion or inspire people to cook because they are wearing my apron, cloth diaper because my cover is so cute, make their bed to show off the love and attention that was put into making their quilt… my products are about where I love to be most…home, with my family, making it a bright and cozy haven in my little corner of the world.

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