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Featured Shop: bky kid

Jun 8, 2015

by Becky Thada

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hello, my name is Becky. My husband Adam, our friend Joe and I run bky kid – a shop geared towards family fun. We make play mat t-shirts, which are tees that have little roads and train tracks printed on the back to encourage families to relax and play together. We live and work in northern Indiana.

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It’s not surprising that we’ve come together to start this little shop. The things we were doing when we first became friends back in college eventually turned into the skills that help us run our shop today: I was studying elementary education, Adam was studying biology and inventorying Indiana’s native insects, and Joe was dabbling in graphic design and drawing dogs. These days, Adam still inventories insects, but now inventories t-shirts, too. Joe is still drawing dogs (see the happy pup on our kid’s car tee), and his eye for design keeps our tees looking bright and engaging. Meanwhile, I try to use my teaching experience to bring an aspect of learning to our products. (I’m especially proud of our number tracing tee and the “story cards” we include with our shirts that encourage language development.)

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We find inspiration playing with our kids, and we love the way young minds think. We’re really just big kids ourselves, looking for an excuse to play. The idea for our t-shirts came from my daughter, who was 15 months old at the time. She ran her wooden train on my back, and soon I was on the phone with Joe describing what a play mat shirt would look like. Fast forward two and half years, and we’ve got a variety of interactive shirts in our shop.

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We’re always looking for more fun ideas to bring to life. Once we brainstorm, research, and settle on a concept, Joe starts drawing. He often references old doodles and leafs through his favorite kids’ books for inspiration; then he scans and edits his drawings on the computer and sends us previews for feedback. Adam handles number crunching, accounting, and inventory. I’m at home with the kids, so when I’m not blowing bubbles with them or changing diapers, I respond to buyers’ requests and questions, find advertising opportunities, and packing up orders. As far as production goes, there’s not much room for printing shirts at our home, so we enjoy working with Pro Prints, a local family-owned screen-printing business.

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I appreciate how Etsy has taken what could be a very impersonal shopping experience and turned it into an opportunity for buyers and sellers to connect. Shopping online can be a frustrating experience, but Etsy encourages positive and personal connections between buyer and seller. It’s this personal contact that helps to inform our next design or gives us ideas for the shop. As for what’s up next, we recently added some car-themed birthday tees for toddlers to the shop. We’d like to help make birthday parties a blast for kids and a breeze for parents, so we’re working on more party-related items. We’re also working on a product that might help parents’ sanity when going to the grocery store with their little ones, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise. Stay tuned!

Follow bky kid on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Photographs by Moe Lauchert and Jer Nelsen.

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