Kay Thomas began working for Mary Maxim in 2013 as a pattern tester; she works with our designers to work through their patterns as they develop, pointing out any problems she is having and giving her feedback and her completed works are used in our catalog photography. In 2014 she joined our family full time by becoming a customer service specialist. Some of you readers may have actually spoken to Kay at one time or another. She is a wonderful addition to our team; Kay is thoughtful and creative. She makes amazing items. She is participating with our “Wins and Losses” scarf. Her team is the New York Yankees. We wanted the rest of you to get to know Kay the way we do.
What started your love for crafts?
My mother crocheted, quilted and gardened when I was a child. I was never a big fan of dirt, but fabrics and yarn amazed me. I was around 12 when my mother taught both my brother and I to crochet. Although I have continued with both, crochet is my true love and I do it on a daily basis, not just for work. It’s a requirement for my day, kind of like coffee.
What inspires you?
Almost anything can inspire me. Most often I pull from items around me such as my children, my drive into work through our local railroad yard, and even my dandelion filled lawn just this past week. Pattern websites are my downfall and I tend to pull a great deal of my inspiration from them. Somewhere deep inside me I think, “She who dies with the most comprehensive pattern collection wins.”
Do you like the ‘Wins and Loses’ scarf? Who is it for?
Truthfully, when I started it I hated it. I am NOT a weaver. I do it because it’s a necessary evil for beautiful items to be completed correctly. As I’ve worked through it, I’ve come to love it and have no doubt the biggest Yankees fan I know (my husband) will as well.
What else are you working on?
My current project is long-term. I started a temperature blanket in the Apache Tears pattern. It will take me the entire year to complete and more yarn than I have ever put into any project. It will be worth every minute. I wanted something to mark our 15th wedding anniversary and this was the best way I could think to do it. My husband and I do not have any crocheted items as bedding so I chose to make this to fit our king-sized bed as a bedspread. It truly is a labor of love and it will mark one of the craziest weather years in my recollection. Of course, this works wonderfully to allow me to have multiple projects going at once. I still work on projects to be tested and baby blankets in between.
What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself or as a gift?
I rarely keep items I make. Having said that, I recently made several “ruffled” scarves for my Grandmother. She is 101 and I wanted to give her something she could wear when going to dinner in her assited living community. She was overjoyed and I ended up making several more for her to share with the ladies at her dinner table. She and my mother have matching scarves to wear for special occasions.
What is your favorite thing you have made for our catalog?
My favorite piece to see complete was the Painted Daisies Throw. I love the Mary Maxim Prism yarn and the motifs that created the daises were gorgeous. However, my go to pattern for baby blankets is often the Ripples for Baby. I’ve adapted it to be done in any yarn for boy or girl.
What is your favorite part about working for our company?
I get to work for a family that truly values a person’s hard work. This was a second career for me and a life change after 12 years in the middle school classroom teaching English and math. I don’t just answer phones and take orders here. People often share their love of crafting with us in the most interesting ways. There is never a dull moment be it with staff or customers.
Thank you Kay for all that you do for Mary Maxim! Keep watching for more Mary Maxim Employee Spotlight’s.