Story by Gina Yu
Kara Anderson hates sitting still. She’s a creator, a doer. Growing up with bonfire farm parties as the norm, her life resembled a novel about a girl growing up in a small Midwest town. As a child, Anderson’s parents took her brothers and her out to garage sales to hunt for things to fill their home while donating to local charities (things her parents still do to this day). Her and her husband now do the same with their family, although now they visit local farm auctions and flea markets.
With the bags of mismatched silverware she found at local auctions, Anderson wanted to share the garden markers she made for her own garden with others. So almost a year ago, she decided to start selling her products through her shop, The Fysh Store, on Etsy. “Etsy has been a great resource for me!,” she says. “I absolutely love to ... hear the stories behind the pieces and then to get the feedback that it made someone's Christmas or birthday or whatnot!”
Each product is as much of a labor of love as it is a family affair. Her girls color the envelope packages that are to be mailed, while her older boys work out in the shop and her husband hammers and builds. “They are amazing little people who really do help me with my creations,” she said. “They all help.”
Anderson’s family resides on a small farm — filled with horses, chickens, longhorns and “of course, dogs, barn cats and the occasional frog that [one of her children] sneaks inside,” she says.
Her husband is a horseshoer and coach, and she is a mother to five (soon to be six) children. They have a sprawling garden, “hence the need for readily-available garden markers,” she says, “and a need to reuse and repurpose to save money, teaching our kids about the values of not judging a book by it’s cover before discarding it.”
For the shop’s future: “There is a part of me that imagines the kids growing up and Corey and I opening a little local shop with all our jewelry and garden goodies in it (including his furniture pieces and our old farm finds),” she says, “selling to passer-throughs and the like and getting to have our children come back home after their adventures and maybe grow this into a business that can sustain them.”