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Meet Brandy Thomas of Ket Mercantile in Fox River Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandy Thomas.

Brandy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After the birth of my son in 2015, I left my my career as a hair stylist to be a stay at home parent. It wasn’t long before I was itching for another creative outlet and started experimenting in fiber arts. Weaving and macrame really spoke to my love of textiles and fiber. I decided to launch a small shop on etsy in early 2016. Before I knew it, I was receiving custom orders for large event backdrops and wholesale boutique requests. I also started to receive requests for workshops and private lessons. Teaching workshops is a way for me to spread my love for the craft, as well as encourage others to get out there and find their creative passion.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Leaving my career was not an easy decision, but after months of contemplation, I decided that it was the best choice. Once I opened my shop, I devoted all of my spare time and energy (outside of ‘momming’) to creating macrame decor. There are a lot of options in the market for fiber decor, from small handmade shops to big box stores. So, growing a following and interest in my brand took time and devotion. I honestly would not have been able to accomplish any of this without the support of my loving husband. Luckily, things evolved and my little hobby turned into a business, allowing me to stay home with my son and support the efforts of other artists as well. I am not the only macrame maker out there with this story, but I am happy to be a part of such a warm and supportive community.

Please tell us about Ket Mercantile.
Currently, I devote most of my shop time to the supply side of my business, sourcing and selling macrame supplies to other fiber artists. As my business has grown, I have less time to create my own work, but I still sneak in a little knotting when I can! There has been a big resurgence in macrame in the past few years and I am honored to help keep the movement going by supporting other makers in their search for quality supplies and fibers. When I can find the time, I still love creating large-scale work. I get a lot of requests for wedding backdrops and enjoy the process of working with my customers to create their dream piece.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could go back in time, I would have jumped on the maker bandwagon much sooner! Being a creative has opened up a world of possibilities for me. The encouragement I have received and friendships I have gained through this process have truly been the best part.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Laurel + Prairie/Storytelling Photography, Jordan Voth Photography, Jen Jinkins Photography, Authentic Adventure Co, April Marie Photography, Queen of Marigold

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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