Father-daughter maker business to debut at 605 Made Holiday Market

Dec. 4, 2019

For Kevin Smith and his daughter, Kaia, a creative collaboration has turned into a business.

They launched Kevin & Kaia Creations two years ago and sell originally designed postcards, greeting cards and stickers.

It all started with a pop-up market in Brookings in 2017, encouraging young entrepreneurs to sell their work.

“We felt like there weren’t a lot of postcards of Brookings, so I took the pictures, we did most of it on an iPad or iPhone, and we focused on things in the Brookings area,” Smith said.

While Kaia acknowledges sales at that first event “were not very good,” some area businesses saw the cards and contacted the Smiths about carrying them.

They sell their work in Brookings at Honeycomb, the South Dakota Art Museum and the office of the Brookings Arts Council. An Instagram page has helped build their following. 

This summer, they expanded into greeting cards.

“I like to draw, and Kaia is really into everything art related, so I would draw the cards, and she colors them with colored pencils,” Smith said.

“And we started to do the same type of thing on the iPad using digital tools, so we use an Apple Pencil and tag team. I’ll draw, and she’ll paint with the Apple Pencil, and our primary method of sales was going to the (Brookings) Farmers Market on Saturdays, and we got pretty positive comments from that. People liked our stuff, so that was the next thing for us.”

They also have found success with stickers that kids are buying to put on laptops and water bottles.

“The greeting cards are all original drawings, so that makes them unique,” he said.

“We expanded and do a lot of things related to South Dakota, and we’ve done some Sioux Falls ones … and we’ve done a lot of Christmas ones. We just kind of do things we’re interested in and that we like. We’ve done a lot of Christmas ones based on movies we like and things like that.”

They will sell their work for the first time at a 605 Made Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The free event is in the underground parking area of Cherapa Place in downtown Sioux Falls.

“We just saw it and thought it would be fun,” Kaia said.

Smith, whose day job is teaching education majors at Dakota State University, said the venture has ended up teaching him and his daughter about entrepreneurship.

“I feel like she’s learned so many good things about doing a business,” he said. “We’ve had to think about marketing and how we display our stuff and how we price things and all the things that go into having a business. It has been really good for her.”

For details on the 605 Made Holiday Market and a complete list of makers, click below.

605 Made Holiday Market vendor guide

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Father-daughter maker business to debut at 605 Made Holiday Market

This creative father-daughter team will sell SD-inspired designs at Saturday’s 605 Made Holiday Market.

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