Karena Rumble is preparing the inventory for her first local debut, a pop-up shop on Sept. 29 at Lyn Kahoe Power Yoga in Ridgefield. But while she is readying the products from her Krumble Krafts line of custom-etched glasses, she is still wondering at how she wound up at this point in her microbusiness’ young life.
“I am still in shock,” she laughed. “People tell me I have an amazing business. They say, ‘You really created all of this by hand, by yourself?’”
Rumble, who holds a full-time job as an accounts analyst while pursuing her MBA, did not originally intend to take on the extra role of entrepreneur. But in May 2017, she wanted to get a special present for her mother’s 60th birthday — but she thought it would be more meaningful if she created something rather than purchased something from a store.
“I was on Pinterest and came across etchings,” she recalled, adding that she dabbled in the pursuit before but never gave it serious consideration. Her present of a custom-etched glass for her mother was well received, and then the proverbial lightbulb went off in her mind.
“I realized, ‘There are people who are doing this for money,’” she continued. “So, I learned some techniques and I just went with it.”
Transforming the bedroom of her Danbury residence into a workstation, Rumble set up shop and began creating a series of designs that she could apply to glassware. Using playful sayings like “I Can’t Adult Today” and “Hakuna Moscato,” she began transforming blank wine glasses and shot glasses into sassy celebrations of a good life.
“I have a special printer called the Silhouette, which is a print and cut,” she said. “I make the design on my computer and this printer does all of the stenciling. All I do is apply it on the glass and the cut I’m using.”
Rumble launched Krumble Krafts modestly last December, distributing her first batch of items to family and friends for Christmas. She tiptoed into social media, joining a number of small-business forums on Facebook and setting up an Instagram account to highlight her work. And while she made connections via Facebook, she credited Instagram for turning on her cashflow.
“I have way more followers on Instagram than Facebook,” she said. “I feel like Instagram catches people a lot quicker. Not everyone is still on Facebook. With Instagram, all you do is casually scroll until something pops up.”
She also staked out a page on Etsy, the e-commerce website specializing in handmade crafts. And while Rumble complained that Etsy is “a little bit crowded” and not the easiest site for standing out, she noted that her first international sale came from that source.
“It was from Sweden,” she said about her overseas buyer. “They found me on Etsy. I don’t know how, out of all of the other crafters, they found me. I am grateful, but I’m like, ‘How are you finding me?’”
Within this country, Rumble has already racked up orders from Arkansas, California, New York, Florida, Wyoming and Wisconsin. “A girl from Ohio who works for a pizzeria bought two wine glasses with the ‘Buy Me Pizza, Pour Me Wine’ etching and then ordered eight more glasses because the store wanted to give them as donation to a local nonprofit,” Rumble said.
Krumble Krafts recently expanded its product line to include vinyl travel mugs, and Rumble is planning to launch a company website next month. And while she welcomed the idea of having a staff to help her with production, she is still running a one-woman operation.
“I just made six last night after I got home from class, which was at 8:30,” she stated. “If I’m not distracted, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to create an etching. If I am distracted, it takes an hour.”
And as she readies for her upcoming pop-up retail foray, Rumble still expresses a happy surprise that she has come so far so quickly.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is happening,’” she exclaimed.