Interview with Kristin, Creator of Spitfire Girl
Interviewer: Crystal from Modcloth
ModCloth: How did Spitfire Girl begin?
Kristin: Years ago, when I was the “perfect” housewife, I did a ton of entertaining and hand made all my event invitations. For my daughter Suki’s third birthday party, I created a reptile theme “Box Card” invite. When you opened the tiny box, it revealed a reptile toy and tiny invitation. This Box Card unexpectedly affected the children in a big way. They carried these boxes around for weeks; some were even sleeping with them. The parents were blown away at the concept. I knew I had something at that point.
Not that much later in a time of desperation when I was feeling scared out of my wits, I started Spitfire Girl. I was a mother of two small children and had to divorce my husband. I decided I couldn’t work for anyone else but myself- I’m too headstrong.
That drive, with a little bit of obsession, is what has made Spitfire Girl succeed.
MC: Do you design many of the pieces?
Kristin: Yes, for sure. Where would I be if I couldn’t get my creative on? A funny story: I drew the top selling design, The Robot, in divorce court. Out of such a terrible event came a great-selling image. My other designs include the Bedtime Story, Girl At The Window, and many more.
MC: It seems like many Spitfire Girl products give a nod to the West. Is this because you’re originally from Texas?
Kristin: I’m a BIG Texas girl and a BIG Daddy’s girl. I live in Los Angeles now, but I go back to my home state every four to five months, so my heart is definitely in Texas. My father tells me that I’m an “original” Texan, because my great great great grandfather was one of the original 300 settlers in Texas, and his brother supplied the blue silk to sew the first Texas flag. So that being said, my blood runs deep with the state of Texas!
MC: Why did you decide to print your postcards on cherry wood?
Kristin: I love, love, love wood- totally obsessed with it. It just gives the artwork such a unique look. The grain of cherry wood is also so rich and ages beautifully with time.
MC: We love how your pieces look so whimsical and vintage-inspired. How does this happen?
Kristin: I am definitely attracted to vintage artwork and design. So naturally, whoever I pick to join the Spitfire Team is on the same boat artistically. There are five artists, including myself, designing for Spitty. Two artists (my husband Jason Schroder and Adrian Sanchez) are tattoo artists. Two of us (Liz Young and I) are museum-shown artists. Last but not least, my daughter Sidney Sekula, age 12, designed one of the top selling postcards, Food Groups.
My husband Jay, who I met 2 ½ years ago, is a big part of Spitfire Girl. It was a mere two weeks after we met that we were designing stuff together. It’s just so much fun to have an idea and follow it through with someone you love, and see it sold in stores across America.
I also always have both eyes open, ready to be inspired.
MC: Where do you find inspiration for your pieces and life in general?
Kristin: I find it when I take time off and get out of town- that’s when product ideas comes to me. When my husband and I are traveling, we hit a bunch of thrifts stores and antique shops. Whether we are in Texas or Europe, we can sniff them out.
MC: Since we like fashion here at ModCloth, I have to ask: Does your creativity spill over into your wardrobe, too?
Kristin: Oh gawd, yes! At the moment I’m really into the vintage 70s dresses. What’s even worse for some reason I’m intrigued with the whole “Dallas” T.V. look. I think now that I’m getting older my whole look is changing. I also enjoy reconstructing vintage pieces on the fly before I head out to a party. I’m a bit of a crazy bird.
MC: Does each Spitfire Girl season have a theme?
Kristin: Yes. Spring’s theme is “Out With the Old, in With the New.” I will be discontinuing product that I no longer feel passionate about and replacing them with a super-rad doll line! We said ‘forget about recession- let’s hunker down and make new fun product.’ Some of the new dolls include The Gnome Doll and The Yeti Doll.