This week, we had the pleasure of learning more about Toronto-based Maker, Kara Schuster. This jack of all trades could reupholster your furniture, revitalize your antiques, style your home and then top it off by creating incredible DIY’s. Read her below and then check out her site .and.once.we.were.
1. What inspired you to start your site .and.once.we.were.?
I had always been a maker on the side, weekends were for painting and fixing things, and I never could sit still. So when I “woke up” to the realization that I was truly unhappy & unfulfilled with my day job, I finally had to take the leap! The name; .and.once.we.were. came from a blog I used to write. I was fascinated with personal histories, so I would collect old photographs and would try to research them and connect them back to a story, even their family if I could get that far. It’s the notion that everything has a story, and I find that a little bit romantic if you can help preserve it, or use it to make another story. So refinishing furniture, fit right in, because each piece has so much history, and I could give it a new future – so I made the jump to doing it full time and haven’t looked back since.
2. If you were to describe your consumer as a single person, who would they be?
My consumer is a little bit of a romantic. They love the idea of reusing something to bring a different or new story to their lives. My clients have an emotional connection to the pieces they bring me, and by the time I’m done, I have a bit of one too. They are diy-ers at heart, but often just don’t have the time or materials to complete their vision.
3. Why do you make things?
I’ve always been a maker, even as a kid I was covered in paint! I’m happiest when my environment is changing, and being a maker allows me to work on so many different projects, and learn new skills all the time, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
4. How important is staging your photos and photography in general?
Photos are a very important part of telling the story of transformation. I always take a before and an after to document the work that has been done. However, I feel that this an important step that I could improve at. I’m usually so excited to get pieces back to people that I rush through that step. I need to slow down, and document my work properly.
5. What is next for your brand?
Growth! The brand will be growing in every way possible, from a website refresh to designing our own custom fabric to finding a larger workspace so we can deliver more great pieces and offer classes.