Now that it’s November, I am getting back to my new series, Friday Five. With this series,Â Iâ€™m recruiting indie crafters/sellers and asking them five questions about their work. Emily from EKRA is our guest today. Emily and I met at Chicagoâ€™s Renegade Handmade Fest last summer, and her work is great (and green)! If you’d like to be a part of the Â Friday Five series, check out the Features page and email handsoccupied-at-gmail-dot-com with your responses for me!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Emily and my business is EKRA which stands for Emily Kircher Recycling Artist.
2. Why did you decide to go in to business making this/these particular product(s)?
I have always been concerned about the environment, so much in fact that went to graduate school to study Environmental Toxicology which I thought would prepare me to work for the EPA or DNR on solving the problems of pollution. When I realized what I was really being prepared for was a job in a pharmaceutical company, I was very unhappy. I had been crocheting rugs with recycled fabrics for a few years as a hobby and decided to leave school to open my business selling my handcrafted items from recycled materials. I’ve made many things over the years including mosaics made with tiles I cut from old plates and glass bottles, magnets made from bottlecaps, and of course, my rugs crocheted from recycled fabrics. I’m currently focusing on my rugs. I love making them because there is so much textile waste that supplies are easy to find. Also, every rug serves as a reminder to people who see them that old clothes, linens, curtains, and pretty much anything can be reused. Instead of throwing it away, donate it to a thrift store where someone else can find it and put it to use, either as its original intended purpose, or in a new way!
3. Do you have a day job, pets, a family, or a partner? How to you balance everything?
EKRA is my full time job. I do have a husband, two cats, and four birds. How do I balance everything? Not very well! I work pretty much all the time, and take breaks from work to do things like wash dishes and do laundry. I can work anywhere, so I don’t have to be away in a studio to work. So, I crochet while my husband watch TV and movies and hang out.
4. What’s your favorite thing to make or do when you’re not running your business?
I love to go to shows to see live music. My husband and I actually met at a concert! It was Mates of State in Madison, WI.
5. Where can we find you online? (Website, Facebook, Etsy, Twitter, etc.)
Facebook: search “Emily Kircher Recycling Artist”