April 02, 2018
Erin Roberts of Kitch Studios is no stranger to the art of the hustle. Before the days of Kitch, she was the front vocalist of The Juliet Dagger, a band signed to the label of Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac, Good Charamel Records. And let me just say, if you haven’t heard their music, you’re missing out. As I write this, I’m currently rocking out to “Taking it Back” off their album Hi-Ya! It's everything that made music in the earlyish 2000's so great. It gets the blood moving, to say the least.
Given the combination of personal resilience, a bubbly personality, and abundant creativity, it’s little wonder that Kitch Studios has gained the sheer amount traction that it has. In the ever expanding world of DIY startups, it can be easy to get lost in the infinite stream of crocheted table runners, organic soy candles, quirky pottery, and don’t get me started on all the bridal products. But Kitch Studios punches through the noise with towel designs that are as original as they are eclectic in their design and variety.
What can we say? Great things happen when hustlers are in the drivers seat. And that’s what makes Kitch Studios our featured business for this month’s ACS Showcase.
So you and your husband got your start in the screen printing business by doing your own, DIY band T-Shirts. What made you take the jump from just doing your own band shirts and merchandise to starting your own business and creating Kitch Studios?
At the time, I had just had my daughter and was wrapping up my last tour with the band. I wanted to find a way to stay home with her, but still contribute to our income. Luckily, I stumbled upon Etsy and I was just smitten with the whole idea of an online retail platform that celebrated handmade goods and their makers. I have always been a kitchen gadget nerd and wanted to try my hand at screen printing kitchen towels. So we did! Our product line grew organically from there. You’ve been doing this for 12+ years, making Kitch Studios one of the earliest DIY startups to build a successful business before Etsy came on the scene. Can you share what it was like building and promoting Kitch Studios back then?
Kitch didn't actually come into the picture until 2010, after Etsy had been around for a while... But my husband and I had been screen printing for that long leading up to the inception of Kitch. Everything we did to build and promote our business was done organically by networking in person and building our reputation.
Pictured: 30" x 30" Deluxe Gray Towels
The DIY culture has really taken off since the days of Etsy, what has it been like to see this community build up around you?
It's so cool! I love that anyone can try their hand at something and have the opportunity to be successful at it... I mean, I literally made myself a job! I never thought in a million years that I would be my own boss and have a successful career, but here I am. And I love the feeling of community that makers tend to have. I always hope to inspire others the way I was inspired when I started. You design everything yourself. And your style has such a massive range from minimalistic to homey, to vintage, to tribal. Where do you find your inspiration for your designs? Can you share a bit about your creative process to take an idea from conception to completion?
I'm a morning person (like, super morning person), and almost without fail, my creativity peaks early and my new ideas usually come to me on my morning runs or when I walk my dog. It's actually become a bit of a joke with my husband and myself that I come home and start talking a mile a minute about this "great new idea I have!" But in terms of inspiration, I pay attention to trends, but do not let them define my work. The bottom line is that I have to be stoked about my designs and ideas, or there's no point.
Pictured: 30" x 30" Deluxe Gray Towel
What was it that attracted you to the tea towels with ACS Home & Work?
I love the quality, attention to detail and variety that ACS offers for sure. But, I think the thing that I value the most is the customer service. Ted is AMAZING! That guy answers about a million emails a day from me and never lets me down! The best :)
Photos courtesy of Kitch Studios.
Would you like to be featured on the ACS Showcase? Follow any one of the ACS Home & Work social accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and post a photo of your product that uses ACS towels with the hashtag: #ACSShowcase for a chance to be featured.
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