Friday, September 2


Amanda | Artist/Owner
Service Industry Detour
Amanda is a homebody and likes the assurance of predictability. She enjoys hanging out with her "cute as can be" husband who is in the health care business at home. "We're polar opposites in what we do, but it works out." Her love for home (probably) influences her work as an artist. Although Amanda said there is no particular medium she works in, themes of home and family are part of her art: portraits of houses, old family photos and late 70s photos of her siblings. Back in Milwaukee, where she went to art school and lived for seven years, Amanda had a stamp hook up. Combined with her love for writing letters, she created 5x7 envelope packages pre-stamped with a wonderful collection of postage stamps. Most of the art at Mash Handmade, however, is from other artists. "It's more fun that it can be about other artists," she said. "I feel a lot less pressure. I love when people come in and say they dig my stuff."

As a sculpture student, Amanda didn't know what she imagined herself doing in the real world. She had worked in a museum and thought about continuing museum work. Ending up in the retail world with her mom Karen as her business partner, however, was a surprise. Her mom was always a big supporter of the arts. "She was always shopping the studios at school," Amanda said. They took that concept of buying diverse art and exposure to new artists to Kansas City in the form of a retail shop.

Mash Handmade will be celebrating two years this October and to Amanda, it's really starting to come together. The longer they are here, the more people find them. Originally, Amanda and her mom looked at a small church located in Mission, Kansas as their shop. Good ol' dad said that it was a terrible idea (to put your retail business in a non-retail environment), but it was a catalyst for their business. Now they're situated in a high-traffic area on 39th Street and Pennsylvania on the edge of Westport. "With Boomerang as an anchor, we have good traffic," she said. "Plus we have a parking lot." Kansas Citians are pretty much spoiled rotten when it comes to parking, so that's a big bonus for any business. Amanda is pictured above with a custom sculpture she made for a client.

  Make KC Better » Light Rail. I think the city still divided up in many ways. 
 A really cool light rail