Meet the Pro: Laura Kelly from The Handwork Studio

Handwork Studio

The Fairfield Team loves to showcase the makers in our world, and each month we’re delighted to introduce you to a different creative person who is sharing their craft.  This month we are thrilled to introduce you to Laura Kelly, the founder of The Handwork Studio.  We met Laura as a client, since she uses Poly-Fil in her curriculum, and we love that she is introducing children to sewing and other handicrafts via her camps and classes.

Handwork Day Camp 3

The Handwork Studio, in their own words, “will not only teach your child amazing lifelong skills but will inspire them to be amazing creative humans. We’ve designed our programs to be a resource in not only teaching practical needle arts skills, but to provide role models for your children as they learn about patience, achievement and problem solving. Our project based curriculum will not only teach your child to sew or knit, but will instill in them the practical applications of mathematics, reading and comprehension.”

Laura Kelly started The Handwork Studio because she wanted to give other parents the same thing she wanted for her own children:  a nurturing, creative environment where they could safely grow and learn.  She started with test marketing projects at her own kitchen table, went on to hire an instructor, and now has multiple locations of The Handwork Studio.  She also works with Girl Scouts of America and other groups to develop fun, creative camps for children.  You can keep up with The Handwork Studio’s progress by following them on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Fashion & Machine Sewing Camp 5

We were eager to learn more about Laura and what inspires her, so we asked her a few questions.

What is your favorite project or tutorial and why?

My favorite project is making stuffies with kids. It is my favorite because I know those stuffies go home and play a huge role in the life of the child who made it for years to come. The kids sleep with them, show them off proudly to friends and family and they become best friends to the kids who made them.

My favorite tutorial that we did was on finger knitting. Kids love this rhythmic, meditative technique. It is a great technique when you want kids to settle in, focus and be at rest.

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What would be a perfect crafternoon for you?

I love the social aspect of crafting and how it makes you feel. Whether it is with a group of kids in class or my girlfriends at home, nothing beats the conversation and laughter that happens around a crafting table.

Glamorize Your Doll Camp 1

If you could invite four creatives/bloggers/makers to dinner, who would you choose and why?

Jay McCarroll, Season 1 winner of Project Runway and Fashion Professor- he is a talented, kind and generous man who he has been a huge supporter of our work and believes in mentoring kids to pursue their passion
Brett Bara – Author, Blogger, TV personality – She has a fresh approach to crafting and wrote one of the best books on sewing that we use in our camps and classes “Sewing In a Straight Line”
Martha Stewart – I love her business model and I always say we want to be the Martha Stewart of Kids and Needle Arts by providing education, content and products that inspire kids.
My mom – My mom was not much of a crafter but during the 70’s she briefly worked in embroidery and crewel making amazing pieces with her friends. This was not something we did together. I wouldn’t so much like to invite her to dinner in as much as I would have liked to have had the opportunity to craft with her as an adult to know that side of her.

Can you share one quote or saying you love?

The difference between dreams and reality is action.

If you could replay one moment in your sewing/blogging career, what would you choose?
The most meaningful and life changing crafting I have done was with Alex Scott of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Alex was a little girl in our community who had cancer. She spent her short but poignant life raising money for pediatric cancer. We would get together to knit and talk. The brief time I spent with her changed me forever. During those crafting sessions I learned more from that adorable 8 year old then any other time. She taught me about strength, vision, courage, family and selflessness.

What technique/project would you try if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Quilt making, beyond the basics.

Handwork Day Camp 4
Describe your creative style in six words.
Instilling “Can Do Attitude in Kids”

Thanks to Laura Kelly and The Handwork Studio for sharing your creativity with us!  Be sure to visit their website (thehandworkstudio.com),  Facebook page, Pinterest page , and YouTube channel for more creative kid’s projects!

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