Kelderman Klassy Glass is a new microenterprise of Kailin Kelderman of in Reno, NV.
KK is 18 years old and has Down syndrome. All of her life she has been fully included in her community and has attended school with her sister, Eilish, who is 16. We have always had high expectations for both of our daughters. Both KK and Eilish are enrolled in the Nevada Pre-Paid College Tuition program, so their college educations were paid for when they were young and we expect them both to go to college.
Mary Bryant, Kailin's mom, works at the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities at UNR, and has worked on projects that have included the development of microenterprises, or very small businesses, for people with disabilities. This type of business can offer people with and without disabilities added income, social opportunities and flexibility as an alternative or supplement to government benefits.
This microenterprise began when Mary, Kailin's mom, took a class in glass fusion offered by the Washoe County School District's Community Education Department. She enjoyed it, took a few more classes, and started to see some potential for a future business.
Kailin has always been very creative with color, but not so great at precision, and with glass fusion, there is the opportunity to create beautiful pieces of jewelry without the need to be extremely precise.
Bill, Kailin & Eilish's dad, took a few classes, and also saw the potential for Kailin's future. A small investment turned the family's back porch into a glass studio. KK and Eilish started creating pieces and took a teen glass fusion class through VSA Nevada.
Kailin has now been creating beautiful glass pendants for four years. We are hoping her interest will continue to grow and that this will eventually become an income-producing business for her. Currently, all family members are working on the new business and enjoying creating art together. Kailin continues to create, while Mary and Bill handle the glass cutting, drilling and wire wrapping.
Our first showing of jewelry was at the 2009 - 2010 National Down Syndrome Congress' national conference in Sacramento. We sold a lot of jewelry and had a great time! Since then, we've done a few craft shows and are starting to market the jewelry in local Reno stores. Money from the microenterprise goes into savings accounts for the girls and reinvestment in the business.
We hope you enjoy our website. Please feel free to contact us. For more information about microenterprises for people with disabilities, see these resources: