After working as a Christian missionary in Kenya for 28 years, Susannah Kelty decided to resurrect the creative outlet she had used years earlier as a small fundraiser overseas.
Having retired back to the United States in 2011 to care for her elderly mother, Kelty revisited Reflections of Kenya, which had been born more than a decade earlier as an outlet for the photo note cards she and her photographer husband produced as a fundraiser to help the pastors in their area of northern Kenya. This time, she decided to pursue Reflections as a hobby to provide exposure for the work of Kenyan people who create handcrafted items to support themselves.
The products she now sells through Reflections of Kenya come from various sources and include: handmade jewelry; decorative home items such as placemats and cushion covers sewn from traditional Kenyan fabrics; blank note cards featuring images of people and scenery in Kenya; hand-decorated special occasion cards created from hand-crafted paper; and framed photos of Kenyan flowers, birds and wildlife.
The welcoming atmosphere of the Kannapolis Kaleidoscope festival has been perfect for Kelty as a hobbyist. “Reflections of Kenya is so small that it is definitely classified as a ‘side hobby,’” she said. “I enjoy the Kaleidoscope festival because it is intimate, friendly and varied.”