National Craft Month: Meet the KLUTZ team

March is National Craft Month and to celebrate, we’re inviting you to dive into some of the creative minds working at Klutz. We’re taking you to the folks behind the craft kits, the Klutz production team, and showing you how these creative minds are making a splash with their humor, curiosity, and innovation.

 

Our mission at Klutz is to create wonderful things, be good, and have fun. Not only is the mission statement filled with wholehearted excitement for innovation, but so are the seats that fill the Klutz office. There is no better pool of creative folk like the Klutz production team, who eagerly strive to live by this mantra.

 

Take, for example, Linda Olbourne, an Editor/Buyer for Klutz.

Linda’s Klutz journey started when a friend, who was working for Klutz at the time, recommended that she apply for a customer service position. Linda is crafty and inquisitive, a great combination for providing technical support for a crafting customer, and her knack for crafting eventually catapulted her into a position with the production team.

 

Linda’s creativity and love for teaching and writing are a set of skills that continue to drive her to find ways to take something complicated and break it down to its simplest terms.

 

To this day she’s a loyal crafter. So when asked, “What’s your favorite crafting material and why?” she confidently answered: “I go through phases. I was in a felt period for most of 2016! Felt is forgiving, versatile, and fuzzy. What more could you ask for? I like yarn a lot, too. My personal crafting includes a lot more knitting, crocheting, and weaving—any kind of fiber art. I really enjoy the different textures and colors, and how there might be an intended use for a material but I get to decide what to do with it, so that by the time I have a finished piece, I’ve transformed the ‘intended’ use of a material.”

 

So when it comes to crafting, Klutz is a teaching expert! Creating kids’ crafting books is a process of endless trial and error and constant re-imagination. It calls for creative problem solving, but most important, it calls for a creative adventure. So the challenge is to explore, play, and evolve ideas until we’ve created the perfect Klutz kit. Ultimately, it’s a creative process where the power of play is a tool for problem solving.

 

Hannah Rogge, Director of Product Development, provides insight into this process:

 


 “I’ve been fortunate enough to find a job where I can physically get in there to make and build, instead of being stuck behind a computer. I’ve always liked to make a sample of whatever it is we’re talking about. When a craft idea is first discussed, it often seems so simple. But when you begin to actually make it, you better understand the limitations of materials and resources. The product usually has to change and I really like that creative challenge. Samples show people what the options are, and let us discuss which way we want this product to go and how we can afford it.”

 

Crafting and creating is a profession that requires a lot of flexibility, as well as an open mind and a willingness to fail and learn from mistakes in order to make a better product, a better crafting experience. But ultimately, it’s about having fun as you’re inventing!

 

Take for instance our Senior Package Designer, Owen Keating. We asked him, “Are you a big klutz?” and with a smirk on his face he replied,

 “I’m always knocking over my wife’s wine glasses. Any drink she puts down, I’m breaking the cup. But generally I’m not klutzy. I work with a lot of X-ACTO Knives, and I still have all my fingers.” 

 

There’s a lightheartedness to the folks at Klutz—a fun factor, a crucial part of the crafting experience that translates into the products being created. So in honor of National Craft Month, three cheers for the creative folks at Klutz, who celebrate the occasion—12 months a year!

Scholastic/KLUTZ