One Blue Valley middle schooler is making her craft known this year at a local Johnson County market.
Driving the news: Livia Viall, an eighth grader at Pleasant Ridge Middle School and owner of Crafty Girl Creations, is set to sell her home decor made out of upcycled pallet wood at the 2022 KC Local Holiday Market.
Background: Viall started her small business in 2015 at age 5 after being inspired by her dad, who has his own workbench for woodworking in the family’s garage.
- “One day, I went out there with him, and I wanted to make an American Girl farmhouse bed for my dolls,” Viall said. “It turned out super cool, and I realized I really like this, so then we started building some home decor stuff.”
- With help from her father, she began to make several decor items before a family friend encouraged her to sell her creations.
Business details: Now, at the age of 13, Viall has turned Crafty Girl Creations into a thriving small business that sells a variety of farmhouse-style holiday, mountain, coffee and KC-themed home decor.
- “I usually take lots of different ideas that I like and then combine it into a project that would be really popular and fall into one of those categories,” Viall said.
- She uses upcycled pallet wood and all-natural tea and vinegar stains to create just the right weathered and distressed look.
- In addition to selling her creations at local Kansas City art shows and popups, Viall sells her creations on Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade or vintage items.
Donating: With each sale, Viall donates a third of her proceeds to Children’s Mercy Hospital to help raise money to buy craft kits for kids in the hospital.
- Additionally, she encouraged her social media followers to partake in a matching challenge during the holidays last year, which helped raise over $1,000 for the hospital.
- “I have really enjoyed doing it and using my influence to help do something good and make kids in the hospital happy,” Viall said. “It’s definitely one of my favorite things about having a business.”
Holiday market: Viall will be one of 55 local vendors featured at the 2022 KC Local Holiday Market, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 5, at The Thompson Barn in Lenexa from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- The event, which drew at least 1,500 shoppers last year to support local businesses, is organized by local maker and Shawnee Mission West graduate Aidan Hall.
- “I have done a few other shows with [Hall] in the past,” Viall said. “They have been super fun and really food for sales, so when I saw that he was doing one at The Thompson Barn, I signed up.”
- Viall will be joined by several other young Johnson County entrepreneurs at the event, including Shawnee Mission East senior Ben Cloud, who owns and operates Cloud’s Coffee Company.
Key quote: “I just love the whole experience of selling at shows,” Viall said. “And I think it really helps since I’m a young female entrepreneur. There aren’t that many young girls doing things like this, so I mostly just like inspiring other little kids who come with their moms to shop around.”
What is next for Crafty Girl Creations?
Viall said she hopes to one day take her business from a predominantly online operation to either having her own storefront or selling her creations in a store that carries other handmade products.
- “I always see myself as an entrepreneur. I think that’s just a lifelong skill, but I’m just focusing on one thing at a time right now,” she said.
- She also plans to one day become a lawyer in hopes of using the entrepreneurial skills she learned from creating a small business.
- When not focused on Crafty Girl Creations, this Blue Valley student enjoys advancing her skills in taekwondo, in which she is a second-degree black belt.