Beadwork proves relaxing for Kailey Simms, a Wyoming woman who makes bracelets, headbands, belts and more
For more information about TwistedKS, Kailey can be reached on the TwistedKS facebook page or by email through her site twistedkscreations.com.
It all starts with 3 millimeter microscopic beads, some heavy-duty thread, a loom and an idea.
Several days later, it is a work of art. For Kailey Simms, it is a relaxing way to create unique beadwork gifts for clients, family and friends.
Like most young women, Kailey’s interest in beadwork stemmed from a desire for a one-of-a kind item that was too expensive for her to buy.
“It all started because I really wanted a beaded belt,” Kailey said of her venture into beadwork three years ago. “I loved how those belts look. I thought they were just gorgeous, but I didn’t want to spend the ridiculous prices to get one.”
A trip to Hobby Lobby produced some beads and a loom, then she went home and taught herself.
“I never took any formal training, it was just mostly a lot of trial and error. When I would get stuck, I would look things up on the Internet and YouTube until I figured it out on my own,” she said.
Kailey started out big. Her first beadwork project was that belt.
“When I finished it, the beads were a little bit wobbly and it wasn’t even close to perfect, but I had created it and I couldn’t be more proud of it,” she said.
In the last three years, she has made phenomenal progress with her work. Now she makes bracelets, hatbands, headbands and belts for clients, family and friends. She can also make horse tack, like beaded bridles and headstalls. To market her designs, Kailey started a small business called Twisted KS, which can be found on facebook.
“Most of my work used to come from word of mouth or from my Facebook page,” she said. “However, with the expansion of my business, I now have a website, twistedkscreations.com, and my work can be found in WYOMADE, a little local shop here is Casper. The process of growing my little hobby into a business has definitely been an exciting adventure.”
Kailey develops her intriguing designs from things she sees that inspire her.
“Some of my best ideas came from my geometry class,” she said. “I like how the shapes and patterns all work together.”
She also has a beading program on her computer to help finalize her designs and determine which colors look best together.
Most of the beadwork is custom, so her customers also give her some input into what they would like.
“Because it is expensive, customers usually want me to make something unique and something that is designed just for them,” she said. “As I make these items, I really enjoy seeing my clients’ personalities come out in the patterns.”
Although she hasn’t been commissioned for a really unique item, Kailey has made some items with very unique patterns. “I had a friend who requested a belt in eight different colors of beads,” she recalled. “I thought it looked a little wild and the design was absolutely crazy, but once it came together it was actually pretty amazing and fit perfectly to his personality.”
These belts can take anywhere from three days to a week to finish, depending upon how complex the pattern is.
“Beadwork is very time consuming and tedious, and lots of people ask me how I can stand to do it, but I have found that I really enjoy it,” she said.
Kailey works with a local leather worker, Lee Robinson of 37 Custom Leather in Casper, who does the tooling and carving on the belts after she finishes the beadwork.
“Lee does amazing work with the belts. You can see that he takes the time to do them right and the final look is beautiful,” she said.
Kailey recently wed Cody Simms, who is also a craftsman. Cody enjoys welding and makes horseshoe tables in his spare time. These tables are a unique design that he would construct alongside his grandfather, Melvin Simms.
“His grandfather taught him to weld, and they would build these tables together. It is a project that is near and dear to his heart,” Kailey said.
Cody also makes different types of frames from barn wood. In their own home, he made a custom frame around their television. The frames can also be used for mirrors and pictures.
With the unique talents of this couple, they hope to one day open a small store in Casper, Wyo., where they live.
“It is a dream of ours to open a store where we can sell the things we create,” Kailey said.
In the meantime, she is finishing up an education degree through Western Governor’s University and substitute teaching full-time. Eventually, Kailey hopes to become an elementary school teacher.
Because of her love for children, Kailey readily contributes to children’s causes. Two of her more recent projects were belts for Fight Like a Kid and the Make a Wish Foundation organizations.
“Two amazing kids who are fighting cancer had a rodeo put on for them, and I was asked to make two very special belts for these children,” she said. “The best part is that I was able to do this at no cost. It is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart and I was very honored to be asked to do it. It is events like these that I hope to be more involved with in the future.”
An event that Kailey and Cody took part in, as well, was the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska, where they had their work on display and donated pieces to the auction. ❖
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I want to address a couple of issues in this week’s editor’s note.