By Jared Liddell
MANY people use craft as a way of expressing themselves, from making bags and clothing to making necklaces and earrings, the moulding of materials into art has a way of allowing the artist to engage their audience on another level, and this is no different for the artist behind ‘Kraftia’s Designs.’
Owner of the business, Marlloyd Kyte, in an interview with the Pepperpot Magazine, expressed that she always had a love for creative arts, and it was that love that led her to follow up what she described as a calling in her to open a craft business. Kraftia’s has gone up to represent Guyana on the regional level in the recently concluded 2020 Caribbean Craft Exhibition, but her journey was a long one.
“Well craft has always been a passion of mine, and I always wanted to have my own business where I’d be able to share my craft with the world; so in 2002 I decided to launch my business Kraftia’s Design, and I started small with floral arrangements. The business was operational but not where I wanted it, so in 2009 I moved to Barbados and launched my business there,” she said. “I had a number of good years there where I first started making jewellery. Although my business was good there I still felt compelled to do my business here, in my home country, so in 2016 I made my way back to Guyana and re-launched my company here. Since then I’ve watched my company grow to a level that makes me proud.”
One of the most attractive pieces of creation at Kraftia’s Designs is the handcrafted metal jewellery, which are mostly made from copper. Kyte stated that she wanted to move away from the normal materials that persons are using for craft and so she did a significant amount of research where she saw it being said that copper has healing properties.
“I was looking for materials that weren’t the normal thing that is used, and I ended up seeing copper and I was a bit skeptical at first, but I continued doing research and I stumbled on the information that it holds some significant healing properties, and I felt drawn to it. I knew now that I would be able to make my jewellery and help to ease any pain my customers may be feeling,” said Kyte.
The intricate designs which Kyte comes up with in her mind make for breathtaking pieces and they are all done by hand with a pair of pliers. She stated that this somehow offers her moments of calm as she bends the material to create the vision she has in her mind.
The copper jewellery are not the only pieces of craft that are produced.
Kyte also makes crochet clothing. She said that she began with smaller items such as bras and skirts and has significantly perfected her craft, making an entire crochet wedding dress, which was the featured piece at the 2020 Republic Jubilee Fashion Show.
When asked what advice she would give to other creatives wanting to establish their businesses, she said, “Be persistent, be innovative, never let anything bother you; despite what is going on, use the opportunity. As the saying goes: if you have lemons make lemonade.
This is your passion and you might get resistance, but don’t let that affect you, push through, once it’s coming from your heart you will achieve everything you want to.”
In addition to the copper earrings, necklaces rings and crochet clothing, Kyte also creates other pieces such as vases and now in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has moved to produce eye-catching face masks as a way of ensuring that persons are protected in this season.