Squish Stars: Kate Anastasio

kate anastasio smiling
The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!

We were lucky to talk to Kate AnastasioFounder of  Creations by KK, and ask her some questions. 

Tell us about your business? How did you get started?
My hand lettering business started on Etsy as a side gig after I had helped friends with decorating several of their events. I always had fun ideas and figured why not try and make something of it. 4 years later and here I am, ready to start my own website and expanding so much from where I started. What began as just hand lettered chalkboard decor became wood home decor, hand lettered party packages and rentals and my most exciting work yet- working with restaurants and small businesses in my community on their in store advertising and decor.

What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business? 
Kate: I offer contactless pickup for those local to NoVA to ensure safety for all. I take COVID very seriously and want to make sure I everyones health is never at risk.

What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level. 
Kate: I have learned so much about myself when starting this business. I never imagined Id even be where I am today- I always knew I was a hard worker but from my experience on Etsy, I realized I was strong and smart enough to be a businesswoman. I’ve learned working closely with my customers achieves the best product possible. Listening to my customers makes my products that much more better. And most of all, that some little piece home decor I hand letter in my office is many times something much bigger than what I think- that my items are a part of some big moments in peoples lives- weddings, births, first days of school, memorials- and that is just pretty special and I am so thankful I am trusted by people to make them.

Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them? 
Kate:  2 years ago I started meeting with 2 ladies in my community who were small business owners- Caroline O’Neill of Body Birth and Baby Loudoun and Teresa Smith of Little Tots Music Together. We are all in different fields but helped each other build our social media communities and talk through so many key growing moments at the beginning. I am so thankful I had them to encourage me then and keep me motivated now. And truly, what inspires me most are my followers. I love their feedback, they are my customer and I try to really pay attention to their interest and whats on trend for them!

What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with? 
Kate: I am a SAH mom first, and businesswoman second. This doesn't mean it is low on the totem pole. With COVID my time has become more limited for projects but with that, my customers are loyal and are flexible with my new turnaround times.

What's been your biggest win since starting your company? 
Kate:  This win is an exciting one for me! Several Chick Fil A’s in NoVA now work with me on their community boards. The exposure has been wonderful and I never thought when I was a teenager eating a #1 meal that Id be asked to help make their restaurant festive and special! Truly a really neat moment for me!

Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded? 
Kate: Hand lettering is self care for me! Art is so therapeutic- projects are fun and rarely stressful. My business is a small one and with every order I get I am still so humbled someone thinks Im good enough to create for them.

Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to? 
Kate: Outlander- I am OBSESSED! A Must watch!

If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be? 
Kate:  Ohhh how to I chose! PB Jelly Time is my all fave. Could eat an entire pack in one sitting!

Anything else you want to add?
Kate: Everything you see in my shop is handmade and especially made for YOU! No two sign are alike- and thats what I love about my job most of all. You truly get a one of a kind item!

To learn more about Kate and her business:
Instagram:  @creationsbykk