Friday, June 26, 2015

A Crafting Genius

Creativity seems to flow through her veins, and she is as interesting as her store is unique! We all know of Dee’s crafting store, but you might not know about the inspiring woman behind it. Read more both here and in our latest issue about our Homestyle winner for Most Admired Woman 2015, Kathy Olliges.

Today's Woman: Did you learn anything in the medical field that helped you transition into business?
Kathy Olliges: Actually, yes. When I went to medical technology school, the last year of college was spent working in the hospital, and you learned how not to waste time. You learned techniques, like if you’re going to fill up 10 bottles with something and then add something to them and then go analyze them, you didn't do them one at a time. You first filled all the bottles, then you moved them to where you added that something to them, then you took it all and went to analyze. So all of those things I learned in college and in the medical field really do apply to running a business because it’s about doing things in a thoughtful, analytical, more practical way.

TW: What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
KO: There are two things, and they kind of go hand-in-hand. There’s looking forward and figuring out what kind of trends are coming, then there’s bringing them to the store and merchandising them. To me, there’s nothing better than doing a great display and seeing the stuff sell. I love that part.

TW: Does creativity run in your family?
KO: Yes. My grandmother did ceramics and those goose eggs with the doors that they would drill out and put scenes inside of, and my mom always sewed, knitted, cooked, and did all kinds of creative stuff. She started making crocheted rings and selling them at St. James back in 1970, and then my dad started making jewelry using rosary beads and wire, so they opened their business and sold their stuff and other people’s stuff.

TW: Why did you get involved with teaching arts and crafts to children?
KO: I think it’s good to express yourself and have some creativity in your life, and kids need to be able to express their creativity in some way. But they get frustrated with it if they don’t feel like they know how, so you need to show them. Watching them create something is a lot of fun. They feel a lot of pride in what they do.

TW: What are you most proud of?
KO: Professionally, just that we’ve been able to build the business and keep everyone employed and be successful. And I’m glad that I have a job that’s a fun place for people to come. Personally, I’m just proud of having my kids raised and doing a good job and being happy.

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