Clique Kits is so excited to share that today we have the one and only Kelly Purkey stopping by to connect with our friends and followers! Kelly Purkey is the designer behind the amazing Basic Grey Second City Collection featured in the October kit Masquerade Ball. As soon as we saw this collection when it was released by Basic Grey, we knew it was going to find its way in to a Clique Kit! It has so many features that we fell in love with– the bold colors, the trendy patterns like cityscapes, Subway maps, and cool geometric patterns such as triangles we are loving these days! We also loved that it is not a ‘themed’ line for Halloween but can be used for fall and Halloween layouts among the many other possibilities!
Kelly Purkey has designed some amazing stamp sets for her own brand, Studio Calico, and Simon Says Stamp as well as paper and embellishments. She has been spotted teaching this class with last April’s Designer in the Spotlight Amy Tan on Big Picture Classes. We will be on the look out for more of her great products and collaborations in the future!
And now read on to learn a little more about this designer, traveler, and amazing woman!
Q: How did you get started as a designer for the scrapbooking industry? Have you worked for other companies besides Basic Grey?
A: My first job in the industry was working in the American Crafts offices. I was hired to be an in-house scrapbooker and transitioned to be a product designer. The first line I got to work on was Metropolitan, back in 2006. From there I did some freelance work and then was hired to be a product designer + education coordinator at Studio Calico. They were a small company back then and it was fun to see them grow. After two years there I decided to start my own brand and have been lucky to license products to BasicGrey, Simon Says Stamp, and an upcoming partnership with Hero Arts.
Q: Tell us a little about your process and where you find inspiration for your collections. How do you go from an idea to a finished paper and embellishment line? Are you involved every step of the way?
A: I love to travel and I think you can see that in my products. There’s been elements of travel in both of my BasicGrey lines and I get so much inspiration from going on new adventures. A lot of ideas start with things that stand out to me on Pinterest. I will send the graphic designers at BasicGrey pins that I think will be great elements in a collection and together we turn them into patterns or embellishments.
Q: Who would you say your influences are? Favorite scrapbooking designers? Graphic artists?
A: My favorite scrapbooker and good friend is Ali Edwards. I love her dedication to telling the different stories in her life, good and bad. She inspires me with how she uses products and although her pages are simple, they always have a twist of something fun using products in a cool way.
Q: Second City is a nickname for Chicago. Can you tell us the story behind the name for this collection?
A: Chicago is a city that I call home. I lived in Chicago for a few years after I graduated college and was living there when we started working on the line. I love that city.
Q: Where and when are you most creative? From your blog it’s clear that you love to travel. How do you manage to create on the go?
A: I am 100% a night owl. It’s really hard for me to get work done during the day so after dinner is when I really start to get to work and can be the most productive. When I’m traveling, I try to prepare a mini album to take along with me to work on. I take a lot of Instax photos when I travel and have also been taking my little Selphy printer to print photos from my phone while I’m traveling. It’s easy to bring just a few supplies like stamps, washi tape, and stickers to finish off an album.
Q: Three things people probably don’t know about you…
A: I am a horrible driver and haven’t had a car for the past seven years. My favorite city in the world is Barcelona. My middle name is MeeHyun, which is Korean for beautiful.
Q: Right now:
Wearing: sweaters, it’s turned fall here
Reading: Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl
Listening to: Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off (it’s so catchy!)
Eating: almonds, blue cheese, and spinach
Loving: Gilmore Girls on Netflix streaming
It has been a blast talking with Kelly Purkey! We are super grateful she took time out of her busy schedule designing and globe trotting to spend a few minutes with the Clique! Please leave some love here in the comments and don’t forget to follow the Clique Kits Blog so you won’t miss out on any of the inspiration or future features with your favorite designers and scrap-lebrities! You can connect with KP here: