The Rapidian

Holiday Artists' Market Feature: Shelly Klein

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/Shelly Klein of k studio

/Shelly Klein of k studio

/Shelly Klein of k studio

UICA's 22nd Annual Holiday Artists' Market is right around the corner and we asked the artists a few questions about their products for the market. Below Shelly Klein of k studio answered our questions.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Grand Rapids, where I’m surrounded by family. Most immediate are my adorable husband Curt and our cuddly pets, Ben and Sugar.
 As an artist, I am interested in connections. The connections we choose to make, and those we choose to avoid making. My latest work explores themes of family—and everything that goes along with being part of a family—in all of its meanings. My work takes two directions: paintings and textiles. Technically speaking, my background is in painting (BFA, Kendall College of Art & Design, 1994), but I’ve had a lifelong interest in textiles. In 2004 with my mother as my business partner, I launched an embroidered product line called k studio. The product line pulls directly from the imagery I explore in my painting studio. We’re thrilled with the national and international following k studio has built after only 6 years. We’ve been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Real Simple, and Better Homes & Gardens, and our pillows, bags, and other gift items have been carried by more than 100 boutiques as well as national retailers Anthropologie and Room & Board. We also have our own retail website,

What kind of products will you be selling at Holiday Artists’ Market?
Pillows, bags, stretched canvases, iPad cases, and holiday ornaments. We’ll also be taking orders for our popular customizable Family Series. People can pick out characters to represent their family members (partners, kids, pets, etc.) and we’ll embroider the families they specify on pillows, bags, or stretched canvas wall hangings for a personalized gift.

What is your process for creating these products?

Our figurative embroidery patterns are conceived during quiet reflection and sketching time in my painting studio. Many of our most popular designs are based directly on drawings or paintings I’ve made. This way of working allows me share the characters I create with anyone who feels a connection to them, which I find very fulfilling as an artist. The objects themselves—pillows, bags, etc.—are manufactured locally in our busy studio, where we run a digital commercial embroidery system. Besides my mom and me, we also have an excellent sewer, Kathy, who helps us with production.

You will be able to purchase Shelly Klein's products at UICA's Holiday Artists' Market on December 3, from 5-9 PM, and December 4, from 10 AM-5 PM.

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