KING, N.C. - Two Parkersburg natives have built a custom business for party graphics from their home in North Carolina.
K Customables was founded by Kelli Cross and Kara Tidd, both of King, N.C., near Winston-Salem, in November 2011.
"After over a year in the making, it is so exciting to see our business starting to blossom," Cross said. "We are getting so much attention and so many customers that we just can't wait to see what happens next."
Cross and Tidd met as students at Parkersburg South High School and graduated together in 1998 before going on to West Virginia University together. They both moved to North Carolina where they decided to start the business, which designs custom party graphics for printable decorations.
"Kara and I were pregnant at the same time and after our kids were born we wanted to have very specific things for their birthday parties and we couldn't find anything we wanted," Cross said.
So, without the items, they decided to make the decorations themselves.
"We decided to take online design classes and started the business," Cross said. "We started running out of our website last November and now run out of an Etsy shop."
Etsy is an online site that allows artists and crafters to sell their products. Cross said that by moving their business to the website, K Customables has seen an increase in business.
"We are having good luck on Etsy," she said. "By moving there we are able to partner with other businesses to show people what is available for their parties."
With the move, Cross said people from not only across the country are hiring them to create customized products for their parties, but from around the world.
"We have filled orders from not only California, but Lebanon, England, Italy and Australia," Cross said. "It's pretty awesome for us."
The company allows people to have their products, colors, text and other aspects of party decorations to be completely personalized.
"We create personalized graphics and the people buy the files from us," Cross said. "All they need is a pair of scissors and tape to put everything together."
Cross added that what K Customables does may be difficult for some people to understand.
"I think it's a hard concept for people because they are printables files, but once they figure it out, they like to use us," she said. "We have several repeat customers already. We opened our Etsy store in May and already one customer has come back to us four times for different events."
This year they held a baby shower at the Blennerhassett Hotel that was featured on expectant mothers' website babycenter.com.
"We are getting a lot of attention and it's really amazing to see what is happening for us," Cross said.
The company specializes in children's parties and baby showers, but will design anything for any party.
"We are getting connected to event planners all over the country and working on so many different types of parties," Cross said. "It's so great to come up with new things and just have fun with it."