Eye on KELOLAND: A father and daughter business

Eye on KELOLAND

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – While it’s pretty easy to send an email or text to someone, it can be much more meaningful to receive something in the mail, whether that be a postcard or even a letter. One KELOLAND family is hoping more people will take that extra effort to do that with the help of their homemade greeting and postcards.

It’s a busy afternoon for this father and daughter in Brookings.

The two are hard at work creating products for their hand drawn stationery business – Kevin and Kaia.

“I’ve always liked to draw, it’s been something that is just a hobby of mine and so I started to draw and I would draw the pictures and Kaia would color them,” co-founder of Kevin and Kaia, Kaia’s dad, Kevin Smith said.

“I’ve always really like art so we wanted to make something creative,” co-founder Kevin and Kaia, daughter, Kaia Smith said.

As part of their business, the two create greeting cards, stickers, and postcards. They are hand drawn by Kevin, while Kaia takes the time to color the drawings.

“Our cards are done with on heavy cardstock, I use pencil and marker and then she uses colored pencils to give them the color and then our stickers and post cards are done on the iPad, we use an apple pencil for those,” Kevin Smith said.

They got started with this business venture about three years ago.

“There was a kids pop up market in Brookings and I encouraged Kaia to participate in it, she had created some post cards using photos that she had taken around town so she made these postcards and we sold them at this pop up market,” Kevin Smith said. “Then we kind of took a break from it, we didn’t do a whole lot with it, but then last summer, Kaia was saving for a trip to go to DC as a part of her 8th grade class and so we kind of got back into it and we started to add more things, like stickers and greeting cards.

And the business has taken off. In addition to their website, you can find their products in businesses around Brookings.

“A couple stores had reached out and wanted our products there right at the first market so that really encouraged us and got us interested in continuing doing it,” Kaia Smith said. “I really enjoy doing it, I think it’s kind of therapeutic and a time to take a break, it’s fun.”

Kevin says he usually sketches out a drawing in a sketch book, and if he likes it, decides to turn it into a card.

“Our inspiration for the cards come from a lot of different places, things we like, movies we watch, we try to do a lot of things that are interesting to the region, a lot of South Dakota stuff, we like to be outdoors so we do outdoors cards, I think our inspiration comes from all sorts of places, whenever we see something that we like, we try to turn that into a card that we think people might like,” Kevin Smith said.

He also uses an iPad for some designs.

“When you use an apple pencil you have all sorts of options for brushes, you can use a pencil, or a marker, or paintbrush, you can use watercolors, so we have all of these things at our fingertips with one tool,” Kevin Smith said.

With these unique creations, they hope more people will take the time to send a little positivity to brighten someone’s day.

“I want people to write personal notes to each other, it’s so easy to send a text, but much more meaningful to get something in the mail,” Kevin Smith said.

Either way, this is a way for the two to spend time together, and they both agree this is something that want to keep doing.

“I definitely want to continue to do this, I think it’s really fun, even when it’s kind of frustrating, I think it’s definitely still something I would continue to do,” Kaia Smith said.

“It’s an awesome project that I get to do with my daughter, she has always been very interested in art, and always been interested in entrepreneurial things,” Kevin Smith said. “This is just a perfect match for her to get to use her art skills, to be creative, and then she learns so much.”

You can even sign up for a monthly subscription, where every month you will receive an envelope of greeting cards, postcards, and stickers.

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