Turns out, bright colorful holiday bulbs aren’t just restricted to Christmastime. That’s what Karen Kish and her nephew, Ryan, and niece, Halle, realized when they co-founded KissWreath & Co. Much like each wreath, the family business came together piece by piece. After being enchanted by a friend’s DIY wreath adorned with vintage bulbs, Karen had the idea to make her own. After positive feedback, the trio realized that bulbs left over from Christmas could extend to other seasons, holidays and celebrations as well. With their Etsy store launching this past April, orders started flying in for their uniquely made wreaths. “Not one is exactly the same as the other,” says Ryan.
Collab Clan: It’s a family business for sure, with Halle sourcing the inventory from thrift shops and department stores right after the holidays, while her brother, Ryan, handles business operations. “Halle has a really good eye for things,” Karen says. Even when creating each wreath, Karen gets feedback from her family to help go out of her comfort zone. “It’s good to have a lot of different inputs, because it just makes them better,” says Karen.
Bulb Science: Starting with two 12-inch Styrofoam wreaths as her base, Karen starts laying out the bulbs so they blend in seamlessly, by color or theme. After wrapping each wreath with a satin ribbon, she begins to glue each bulb on the inner and outer circles, which creates a more filled in look. “It’s tedious because as you’re laying them out flat, you think it’s going to all fit and then it doesn’t fit, so you got to rearrange,” says Karen. “It takes a good five hours to make a wreath.”
Made Special: From Easter to Hanukkah, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day, the variety of styles from KissWreath & Co. is endless. Each wreath, which has around 80 bulbs total, also features specialty ornaments — whether it be a cherry pie for Thanksgiving or a hanging figurine of the Cleveland Browns’ mascot, Chomps. “My dining room is filled with bulbs,” says Karen. “Sometimes color inspires you, so you pick a couple of colors that maybe complement each other or look good together.”
Team Spirit: For many, game day is just as much of a holiday as any. After starting with holiday wreaths, suggestions started to come from customers who wanted to show pride for their local sports team. So far they’ve got requests from as far as Alabama and South Carolina to create wreaths of their native mascots, team colors and more. “One time somebody said they wanted one for their son and daughter, one was an Alabama fan and the other one was Michigan, so then we did half and half,” says Karen.