This month, DIME caught up with Katie Kelly of Archer + Hare to see what maker secrets she has up her sleeve. She still claims she’s new on the scene, but she’s a seasoned pro when it comes to accomplishing any project with her own two hands. Read on to learn more about this gem (sorry, we had to).
WDDI: First of all, what’s the story behind the name “Archer + Hare"?
Katie Kelly: It's silly, really. The short version is that it is named for my daughter Nola and my husband Lou. Archer because Nola is a Sagittarius, and the symbol for them is the archer. Hare is because I call my husband rabbit. Bunny is a term of endearment I have used for the ones I love. Archer + Hare just jazzed it up a bit. I don't know if Nola + Lou holds the same magic. Haha.
Have you always been involved in creative things and making?
Yes! Always! I love the learning/creating process and trying to work things out on my own. I'm a total jack of all trades and master of none. I love cooking, painting, building and sewing. I will give most things a try - I might not be successful but I am and always have been happiest fully submerged in one project or another.
We know your Etsy shop is really new, yet you have a very specific product line. What made you immediately choose the amazing agates and crystals that you work with?
I wanted to make jewelry for a long time and always sort of dismissed it for some reason. Then after my daughter came, I made the switch to being a stay at home mom. It was really tough at first. She was 2 months premature and the first year of her life was really stressful and I felt like I completely forgot I ever did anything creative. But sometime after her first birthday the fog started to lift and something clicked - I was like, "I need to make things!"
I have always loved fossils, agate and crystals. Initially I chose to make things I wanted to wear myself. It never occurred to me to do otherwise. Everything I make I want to keep. They are all one of a kind, so it's easy to be like "well, I don't have one like this one." It's like giving away your treasures.
We saw your work at the Christmas Show last year and noticed that you make a big variety of other great products. Yet, the line in your Etsy shop if very curated. How do you think that helps your brand?
The Christmas show had a lot of the things I make for Nola and that we give as gifts when our friends have babies - bandit bibs, leather headbands and bows. It just made sense for that event to include the items in with the rest of my stuff (and clears out some of my vintage fabric hoard!).
My etsy shop is different in that I started out wanting to make one thing really well. When you are making so many items that are completely different things can get out of hand pretty easily and seem all over the place and I would like to avoid that. I have already shifted and added earrings to the mix, which I didn't plan on in the beginning. I hope I continue to change and grow into more skills that will let me add more items that fit. I would love to be able to make rings and prong settings so I hope metal-smith is my next step. I would also like to add some fun hair accessories to the shop. I never thought I would be drilling stones, so why not?
In addition to your fantastic work through Archer + Hare, you're also a hair dresser and mom to a very busy 2-year-old. With so much going on, what helps you stay motivated to work on your creative business?
Motivation is hard! I am a wife and mother first, and I wouldn't ever change that. So that means a lot of cups of coffee and nap time/after bedtime scrambling. On days when I absolutely have to get things done I try to get Nola involved so we don't both go crazy. For Christmas I got a new dremel tool and she got a work bench with tiny tools including a drill. She gets first dibs on all my broken stones and loves to "make necklaces". We make a good team!
How did you become involved with DIME?
I connected with Rachel on Instagram! I didn't really have any plans to grow very quickly but she was too wonderful to not link up with. Every day I meet more local makers and feel so excited and humbled to be a part of the life that is being breathed into this little world!
If you’re not hanging out up at the DIME Store, what are you favorite places to be around town?
We love breakfast at Loco, bi-weekly trips to Denton thrift and the antique malls on 288 and 35(seriously, go y'all!).
Where can we shop your work?
You can find my babies at Dime Handmade, on etsy (archerplushare) and on Instagram (archerplushare)! I love social media and how it has become part of our everyday lives. If you haven't joined Instagram and you are making something you would like to be seen, you are missing out! It is a truly great tool to share glimpses of your daily life and connect with some incredibly talented people while also directing people to etsy. I do a lot of flash sales on there also which are a great way to snag some of my items before they go to etsy and usually for a discount!
Do you have any advice for aspiring makers?
Find one thing you like to make, make it well and expand from there. Don't let fear keep you from beginning something and don't let stress keep you from slowing down. You are the boss!