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Clayful by Abbie

How one UMKC student turned her pandemic hobby into a full-blown business
Provided by Abigail Weiler
Abigail Weiler holds her business card.

 Abigail Weiler, fourth-year political science and French major at UMKC, delivers confidence in the form of handmade polymer clay jewelry. 

  Her hobby started as a way to kill her boredom during quarantine, but it quickly developed into an established local business and occupation for the then 18-year-old.

  Weiler was a senior in high school when the pandemic hit its peak in 2020 and a quarantine mandate was issued nationally. She stumbled across a TikTok video of a girl doing a “craft-a-day.” 

  “I thought it’d be fun to follow along with the video,” Weiler said. “It looked like something I could do, so I placed my first mobile-order and drove for the first time in what seemed like forever and picked up my supplies.” 

  It took her a while to find a craft that she liked, but once she found the multitude of possibilities with clay, she dove in headfirst. 

“It was my senior year so I was making all of my friends’ little graduation gifts,” Weiler said. “I made them all earrings of the colleges that they were going to and dropped them off at their front doors.”

Clayful by Abby booth display at the City Market
(Provided by Abigail Weiler)

  She realized that her hobby could potentially lead to greater things.

  “I got all of these messages saying that the earrings were so cute and that ‘for future reference I would buy another pair from you’ and so it just kind of grew from there,” Weiler said.

  Weiler devoted her time to perfecting her craft, learning more about business aspects of creating a brand and began selling online.

  “The hardest challenge for me was learning how to register my business and marketing my brand and getting over that hurdle of gaining confidence since I am so young,” Weiler said.

  As a full-time student who is immensely involved on campus, Weiler still manages enough time for Clayful and is cognizant of the danger of mixing hobby with work. 

  “Although it has become a business for me, I have always been very cautious regarding Clayful because it is first and foremost my creative outlet,” Weiler said. “When I want it open, it’s open but when I want to close it, for whatever reason, I will close it.” 

  With the holiday season  approaching, this time of year is when Clayful by Abbie is booming with business. Weiler takes part in several craft and art fairs around the Kansas City area including Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair and the Merry Markets at The City Market. 

Clayful by Abby booth display at the City Market
(Provided by Abigail Weiler)

 “Craft fairs are my favorite thing in the world so I try to do as many as possible,” Weiler said.   “I love the personal aspect of craft fairs and being able to talk to people about my designs and the story behind my brand.”

  Proud of what her brand has become, Clayful by Abbie aspires to create a product that allows for self expression and embraces confidence. 

  “My pieces are very colorful, they have a lot of patterns and some have a little sparkle,” Weiler said. “My designs are meant to be big and bold statement pieces and with my brand I just want to brighten people’s days.”

  To keep up with Weiler and her business, follow her on Instagram.  

[email protected] 

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    Ellen BeshukOct 19, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve bought from Abbie and the earrings were wonderful! I love checking out her season creations as well!!