Carrie and I want to introduce our new business partner, Karen Shryock (Carrie’s sister-in-law) to the 1canoe2 community.   We’re still working on her official title, but she fills in a lot of the gaps that us creative types need covered (like organization).   She’ll be writing blogposts now, too, so we thought we’d give her the opportunity to introduce herself to you through one.   Enjoy!   ~Beth

Magical.   It was a place bursting with every color of the rainbow, smiling children and hands-on art activities, and it’s name was just as fitting, Kaleidoscope.   As a third grader on a school field trip (back in the spring of 1987), coloring a crown and making cards at Kaleidoscope and touring the Hallmark museum were the beginnings of my own in-home stationery line.

The following summer I began “ked cards” (ked were my initials) in my parents’ unfinished basement, creating a production line that included design, folding, envelope creation, stuffing, and addressing.   I “employed” the two neighbor kids and we worked for what my mom says was hours each day creating our line.   And just like Hallmark, my cards had a signature “ked” label on the bottom of the backside of the card.

I think it was very comforting for Carrie and Beth to know this when they hired me to do a few hours of administrative freelance work; they wouldn’t want anyone who didn’t have “professional experience” in stationery!   Thankfully I did have real-world experience to compliment my childhood imaginative play that would be of assistance to them!

Being part of 1canoe2, first as the supportive sister-in-law (I’m married to Carrie’s brother Mike), then administrative freelancer, and now as a full-fledged partner, is nothing short of magical itself.   I watch the magic happen every time I watch Carrie and Beth draw or listen to them talk about new ideas they want to pursue.   Being able to support their dreams with my contributions and spending most of my time being a mom is just about perfect.  

I do my best to serve as head cheerleader (aside from their doting parents), keep-to-it researcher (Yea, Hail to the Chief and the Smithsonian!), boutique finder, customer-keeper, organizer of all things important, and crafter of wonderful writings (e-mails, letters, convos, blog posts, etc.).   After all, it takes all three of us (and our loving and supportive families) to keep the magic going…hopefully (for you and for us) for years to come!

 

*Note: Kaleidoscope continues to be a magical place for children.   Last summer I was able to watch my four-year-old daughter delight in making drawings with melted crayons, watercolor a fish, color and cut a Hallmark crown-shaped puzzle, and more.   If you live in the Kansas City, Missourivicinity, it is well worth your time!   Check it out at http://www.hallmarkkaleidoscope.com.