Last year we began our “Meet the Maker” series where we introduced you to a maker who creates items for &NEST. We are happy to be sharing with you our interview with another creative genius, Dana Kalatsky of Apple White Handmade. Her &NEST products include the tooth fairy cottage and the tooth fairy teepee.
Born in the Pacific Northwest, Dana studied fine arts in college and currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, three children, and three guinea pigs. She started Apple White Handmade when her youngest child began preschool and she was struggling a little with what to do with herself. We are certainly glad she did, as our customers love her products! Read on for more of Dana’s story.
How did you come up with the idea for the &NEST products, the tooth fairy house and tooth fairy teepee?
I came up with the tooth fairy house because my daughter needed a tooth fairy pillow for her first loose tooth. She had just drawn me the sweetest little picture of our house. The pattern for the pillow was made directly from that drawing. The teepee came later after I saw an entire beautiful play teepee village at a craft show.
That is so sweet you based the tooth fairy house after something your daughter made. For the patterns, what do you like to work with, and why?
I love patterns and colors. My favorite pattern is florals, I'm just drawn to them. I'd have my entire house in florals if my husband would let me (so sad, he won't)!
What inspires you and keeps you going?
I love what I do. I love creating and working with my hands and mind. I get really antsy if I'm not making things or being creative in some way. Because Apple White is my very own business, it's easy to spend my time growing and nurturing it.
Do you have a favorite item to create?
I like my tooth fairy pillows the most because I love putting different patterns and colors together and always love how they turn out. My customers are so grateful for them too. I love that I can bring a little joy to a family.
I recently purchased the tooth fairy teepee as a gift, and it was very well received! I am excited for when my son will be old enough for one. Can you tell me about customer feedback that has meant the most to you?
I'm constantly amazed by the wonderful feedback I get about my shop and products and am so happy to know that my shop inspires other people. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and lose track of why I'm doing what I do, and then I'll get a kind note from someone and it reminds me how blessed and grateful I am to be able to do this for a living.
How lovely that you truly enjoy your work. Now, do you have any thoughts on where you would like to see your business go in the future?
I'm going to keep doing just what I'm doing for now. Sending things out that were made entirely by my own hands is very important to me and I think people like that too. Someday I may want to expand, or retire but for now I'm here in my home studio making pretty little things.
Well, we are so happy that you are going to keep creating your products, both for our customers and for ourselves!