Welcome to SPOTLIGHT! Every so often on a Tuesday, I post a quick interview with an awesome person you need to know. This week my friend, Kasey Pearson – owner/operator of The Pearson Shop – swings by to answer some questions.
1. For those who don’t know, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I’m Kasey Pearson and I design and create custom games such as cornhole, giant jengas and connect 4’s, to name a few. Nearly all products I create are made out of wood and I can customize each item to meet the customers needs for their special occasion or event. I’ve always been “the artistic type” as some describe me. I always enjoyed painting and coloring in my free time when I was younger. Once in high school, I took all the “artsy” classes, just trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. Since most of my friends were taking medical classes, of course, I wanted to be in class with them and I thought being a nurse or dental hygienist seemed like a decent job with decent pay. So, pushing my artistic abilities aside, the medical field is what I focused on. After having an unforgettable internship at a dental office, where I got sick the first day, I quickly realized the medical field was not for me and doing what seemed like the normal career path was not the path I needed/wanted to take. So after graduating high school, I decided to attend Randolph Community College for Photojournalism. The program was amazing and I grew to love taking photos of all action sports. Trying to get THAT shot, freezing the coolest, most amazing things athletes can do was such a thrill to me. Once obtaining my degree I had lots of amazing opportunities photographing countless sports (college and professional level – NFL, NASCAR, NBA, Pro Golf). I will forever be grateful and proud of that time in my life when I was able to attend those amazing events, be around amazing athletes and use my camera to capture it all. So, “why am I not still doing that?” you may ask… As a photographer it was all fun when I was out shooting the sports but obtaining a good decent paying job was not realistic. I realized as fun as photography was, I was not able to make a living doing it unless I photographed weddings/portraits and I really did not enjoy doing that. A while passed where I had several random jobs (retail and food industry) while doing photography and it wasn’t until I met my husband that my life and career path started to fall into place. My husband was handy and built a cornhole set for us and I decided to paint it. A friend saw it and asked me to paint one for them and the rest is history. At the same time, I had been taking photos of a friends clothing for her Etsy shop. After learning about Etsy through her I decided to start selling the cornhole sets on there as well. Turns out the sets were a hit. I decided to add more products to our shop, like the giant jengas. Our shop had no competition at the time since no one was selling a wooden giant jenga set. It was the perfect thing to really get our shop up and running. I started customizing the blocks, with a hand held engraver, to really set us apart. That exploded and I knew I needed to get something to help me with the engraving, as it was really hard to do by hand and took forever. I did my research and decided to purchase an Epilog laser system, a huge investment for our company but the best one I have ever made. From then our shop grew by different products I created with the laser machine…. (I really went off on a tangent, sorry for going off track of your initial question, haha)
2. What inspires you from day to day?
Before having Cambrie and Carter(her babies, pictured above) I was inspired to just make a living doing something that I loved. Now that I have the little ones running around, I’m inspired to still do the same but also provide for my family and show my kids that they can do anything they set their mind to if they work hard do the best they can. I hope when they get to the age of deciding a career that they choose the path that’s best for them and what they love to do, instead of just doing what everyone else is doing.
I’m also inspired to create these games for families so they can enjoy spending time together, without the use of all the electronics (TVs, iPads, etc) there are these days.
3. Why do you do what you do?
I just enjoy designing things in photoshop and building things with workshop equipment. I like to be hands on while working and learning. I learn something new every day whether it’s from a woodworking stand point or the business side of things. I also really enjoy knowing that the products I’m making are going to be cherished items in households all over the US and even internationally. Every product is different and they all tell a story. It makes me happy to be a small part of every customer’s story.
4. Can you describe your process for us?
The process varies depending on which product I’m making but in a nutshell… I initially have already designed our products and made the templates for them all. We currently sell our products through online venues, Etsy and UncommonGoods. So, when we receive an order (a personalized/custom order) I “plug” in the clients information into my templates. Cut the wood to specs, stain/paint the wood if needed and put the material in our laser machine, which cuts out the designs I’ve created. After the laser machine is done I then glue and finalize the games. We test all the games before packaging them up to ship out.
5. How has that process changed over the years?
I have taken a different approach to making our products and running our business since we first started making things in 2012. I have learned better techniques while working in the workshop with tools and I’ve also learned a lot more on the business side of things, like taxes, shipping, and paperwork.
6. Where can people go to find more about you?
People can find out more about our products at the link below or by searching “The Pearson Shop” on Facebook or Google.