There’s nothing small about this Notable Neighbor who specializes in all things miniature and comes up with big ideas. Since early childhood, Kristyn Start has been trying new things. At the age of three she took it upon herself to launch a decorator business when she drew a mural on her mother’s bedroom wall. This early artistic endeavor remained intact for twenty-two years until the room had to be painted in order to sell the house.
Kristyn was raised in Long Valley, New Jersey and came to Beacon Woods in 1997 when she and her mother moved to Florida. Prior to that, she had distinguished herself by winning many art awards both in high school and college. She comes by her artistic talent naturally, and remembers fondly her “Nana” who would whip out pencil and notepad to draw exciting freehand sketches to amuse Kristyn and her three siblings.
Though Kristyn had received many honors over the years, she did not initially take aim at the art world for a career. Her first love was dance and her hope was to be a ballerina until she realized she was well ever five feet and growing. Her next love was horse-back riding, a sport in which she excelled, winning many ribbons and trophies until financial realities hit home. “To make a small fortune in the equestrian world, you have to start out with a large one,” she wisely admits.
Kristyn was destined to be an artist.
She pulled out all the stops. For the next few years, using her degree in Fine Arts from Morris University, she expanded her childhood fascination with dollhouses. In 2003, now a member of the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (NAME), Kristyn went to her first dollhouse convention. This experience opened to her the very real possibility of making a living by designing and creating her own line of dollhouse interiors—a hobby she had pursued for years. She registered for a business license as a professional artist and set up a series of miniature shows. When she saw the market changing, however, she went back to her fine arts roots and began painting miniature portraits. One of these she gave as a gift to Ron Mummert, owner of the largest miniature shop in Florida. He took one look and said,” Kristyn, stop what you’re doing and just paint these.” She did.
This still wasn’t enough. For years Kristyn had made earrings, bracelets, and necklaces for herself. Eventually, at the encouragement of a friend, she added jewelry designer to her list of accomplishments. She learned about semi-precious and precious stones; studied differences in metals, weights, grades, hardware, and design. She used various aspects of her portfolio such as laser cutting, etching, enameling, hand painting, silk screening, fusion, wirework, and lithograph. Today Kristyn’s work is displayed on her website: www.studiokes.weebly.com.
Despite the challenges of her thriving business, Kristyn manages to use her talents to help others. Applying her professional know-how, she makes one-of-a-kind artisan rosaries, the profits from which are given to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She is active in The Friendship Circle, an organization that lends support to individuals with special needs and their families. She is a member of the band #Praise, a vital part of the permanent music ministry for St. Peter’s church in Trinity.
In her “free” moments, Kristyn recently launched out in two divergent directions:
She earned certification as a Tea sommelier enabling her to sell a line of organic tea blends on her website.
She began logging hours with the Yoga Alliance with the hope of becoming a certified yogini.
No matter how you slice it, Kristyn Start is an asset to Beacon Woods. She brings talent, know-how, and energy to whatever she does. In the process she makes our community a better place to live.