Etsy UK shop KLNDRA is home to the most beautiful accessories crafted from Jesmonite. Founded by Kalandra Mcfarquhar and run from her home studio in Birmingham, you'll find an array of coasters, trays and ornaments in solid colour and marble effect finishes, each one completely unique.
'I do everything from the product design and research to the making and packing of orders and of course, social media. I graduated as a 3D Designer Maker in 2019, where I discovered the material I specialise in today,' Kalandra tells House Beautiful UK.
'I have always had an interest and calling for design and being creative from a young age, and was lucky enough to carry that through my education all the way into what I do today. Although I love to design, my passion has always been making – using my hands to create something from scratch is so fulfilling and why I'm making products every day.'
Kalandra tells us more about the inspiration behind KLNDRA and exactly how she found her niche.
What year did you start your business?
I started my business back in lockdown 2020 – I was furloughed from my day job and had previously been working to start up over the Christmas period, but just didn't have the time to build the basis for my platform to grow. I began my business on Etsy as I heard amazing things about the selling platform for small businesses and it was super easy to set up. Selling on Etsy gave me the confidence to grow my business and eventually create my own standalone website.
What was the inspiration behind launching KLNDRA?
Coming out of university as a design graduate I quickly realised that the job I wanted didn't exist – I spent months looking, but everything was computer based and generic. I knew that I wanted to make, to be hands-on with my work, and create things that I would love to have or enjoy. So that's where the motivation sparked: my business specialises in contemporary small homewares made from an eco-friendly composite called Jesmonite. I studied this material in my final year of my degree and fell in love with it, and knew it had great potential to start a small business once I found my niche in aesthetics and values.
Does your heritage feed into the products you create and sell?
I believe so. It's obvious in some collections more than others, like for example, the BLM collection – a collection deliberately designed in the movement as my way of expressing that Black is beautiful, no matter your shade. The collection is driven by the motive to spark conversation in your homes and act as a daily reminder that Black lives matter.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a small business owner?
The most rewarding part for me is when I get a returning customer – it amazes me every time when I have someone place another order for a product I have made all by myself. For me that really hits home on the efforts of my work being recognised.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is important in so many ways. It is a chance to celebrate and promote the achievements of the Black community, including representation, integration and most importantly the appreciation of the struggle of past generations for freedom, but at the same time, confronting the racism that still exists today. The month allows for a time of focus on such subjects, and to spotlight inspiring figures and events that have been overlooked, whilst educating and spreading the knowledge.
How can people continue to support KLNDRA on Etsy, now and beyond?
Everyone thinks that to support a small business you have to buy from them, but that is not the case. If you have purchased from me, leaving a review or a picture of the product in your home is a huge support too! Favouriting items or my shop also goes a long way. Following me on social media so you are up to date with the latest but also can see what I get up to behind the scenes and learn more about me and my business is also rewarding for everyone. These are all methods of showing support that do not cost a penny but mean so much to small business owners.
Visit etsy.com/uk/shop/KLNDRA to shop the collection.
Etsy is committed to showcasing and celebrating independent creatives this Black History Month and beyond. There is a huge selection of one-of-a-kind creations to discover from Black-owned businesses from the Etsy community, and you can shop a few of Etsy's favourites at etsy.com/uk/featured/blackownedshops-uk.
• Discover more Black-owned homes and interiors businesses here.
You Might Also Like