Meet The Face Behind


A BRIKA maker story

Kristin Oldach

"I believe in laughter as a cure for a bad day. "
“My designs come from my love of pattern and the old tiles found in vintage Chicago buildings.”

“I feel humbled knowing that something I have created is a part of someone's everyday life.”

“There is no right or wrong way to approach art making. There are no rules. ”

“I feel humbled knowing that something I have created is a part of someone's everyday life.”

Kristin Oldach is a graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago. She started KraeO Scarves + Accessories when she was pregnant with her son, Bob. Faced with the decision of putting him into daycare or staying home, she decided on the latter. Having always wanted to work for herself, this was the perfect opportunity to care for her son and start something of her own. She launched KraeO Scarves + Accessories in 2011 -- a line of fun, chunky knit scarves and accessories. She lives and works in Chicago, juggling her busy yet exciting life of being a mom, business owner and creator.

Why is making handmade goods important to you?  

Creating handmade goods is an honor. I have the opportunity to be a part of every process, from creating the design to packaging the item. Every single item is touched by my hand, right down the tape that seals the box. The idea that something I have created is now off to live with someone halfway around the world and be a part of their everyday life is humbling.  

Walk us through your production/design process.

My process is truly trial and error. I get a lot of my inspiration from patterns that exist in the world. Whether it’s a shadow or a beautifully tiled floor. I take that image and start crocheting prototypes. While some work and some don’t, I learn from each and every mistake and success.

Who or what inspires you to do the work that you do? Why?

From an Artist standpoint, I’m inspired by anyone who takes their future into their own hands, and does what they love regardless of the challenges that come along. I also get inspiration from my son. I’m in a position to show him that you can be whatever you want in this world. I’m a firm believer that success manifests itself in different forms. It’s not about money; it’s about how we choose to live our lives.