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In 2018, life changed for Krista Kraemer.
“I got really sick at the end of 2018, beginning of 2019. I couldn’t work,” Krista said. Last year at Christmas, boredom got the best of her and she picked up an evergreen wreath, small ornaments and started creating.
When Krista came home to visit for the holidays, she brought a couple of her creations. “My brother in law asked if I made them and I said yes,” Kraemer told us. “He said those are really good and you should sell those.”
Krista continued to make wreaths here and there, making some for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day for herself and her mother. Around Easter was when her family said again that she should sell them.
“I put some out on my Facebook page and everybody started buying them,” said Kraemer.
Being out of work, the wreath sales provided income for the time being. It was then that Krista was informed that she’d lost her position with her employer whom she had been with for ten years. Now Kraemer could put all of her time into her wreaths and come up with new creations.
The wreaths start from either wire, evergreen or grapevines. Creativity can come from the smallest idea and grow from there.
“Mostly, I have so many ideas in my head that I don’t have time to finish them all,” Krista said. “I see something that I think I’ll put together, then go out and get the pieces that match and coordinate, then go from there.”
Once the wreath is chosen, the centerpiece is picked. “Whether it’s a plush, a sign of wood or metal or an embellishment that I see, then I think ‘ok I can build around that’,” Kraemer said. “Then you pick your ribbons and I pick what I think goes with that.”
Each season and holiday has it’s best sellers. In the spring and summer the popular seller was a lemon wreath. The design began when Krista’s sister in law sent her a picture, asking if she could make something similar for her mother.
“I sold six of those,” Kraemer said. Red Trucks and Gnomes are also a big hit. “They have gnomes for every holiday and trucks for every season,” Krista said. “Easter it was trucks, I had pink and blue. Fall, I had a lot of those too.”
One thing that makes Krista’s business stand out is the customer is always involved in the process. “Sometimes you can interpret something completely different from what someone is saying.” The design is easier if the client has a picture of a specific idea they want.
From there, Kraemer will put a basic design together. This will involve the type of wreath, embellishments, greenery, and centerpiece that are chosen and what the client thinks about those choices.
“They’re involved in the process,” she said. “I will ask them what they think. I’ll send pictures and get the go ahead, then I will get the base.”
Once the customer is satisfied with how it looks, Kraemer will then begin to wire and glue everything.
Wreaths can take up to two hours once a design is agreed upon, but this depends if there are multiple orders or other projects.
“By the time you cut the mesh, picking the things that go with it is part of the process, so that takes awhile,” Krista said. Grapevine designs are less time consuming, but this all depends on how much greenery is involved.
In her first year, it has taken time to acquire the necessary items to have on hand for any project or idea that might come to mind. For any questions that she might have, Krista is part of wreath making groups on Facebook. “If you see something that you like and ask how they made it, they will brief you on how they did it, if they used mesh and what size of frame,” Kraemer said.
Though she has many ideas, Krista has found a new project to try. The new idea involves making a swag from a paint stick or a yard stick. “They take the yard stick or the paint stick, use mesh and tie it onto those,” Krista said. “I haven’t done one yet, but I’m thinking about it.”
Krista offers wreaths varying from eight inch to thirty-six inch as well as tobacco baskets and swags. They can be seasonal, holidays, special order, every day wreaths and just some of Krista’s ideas.
“The price depends on what they want on it, embellishments and how much,” she said. “It’s based off of their design. I’m trying to widen what I offer.”
Krista has also begun going to craft shows. She will be at the Mistletoe Market for Christmas in Paris on November 27th at Eveland Gym from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “I’ve got a booth at The Meadows in Terre Haute on December 18th,” Kraemer said. “I’ve never done it, so that’s something new.”
If you would like to place an order with Krista, you can contact her on Facebook, send her an email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 217-822-2203. Wreaths that are being made for Christmas presents need to be ordered by the end of November.