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Pittsfield woman starts ornaments home business

[/media-credit] Bob and Kathi Kelly are shown in the crafts studio in their Pittsfield home.

PITTSFIELD – Kathi Kelly, an experienced rubber stamp artisan, has had a lifelong love of crafts, so it makes sense she’d eventually start her own business selling her artistic ornament creations.

The different aspect of her home business, BobKat Designs, is that she launched it after a time of deep personal sadness, concern and worry.

She said she wanted to come up with something for her sister, from whom she had been estranged for a couple of years.

Cross at the Bottom of  Ornament

Last November, her sister, Barbara Velez of Plympton (near Plymouth, MA), found out she had pancreatic cancer. When she got the news about her sister’s diagnosis, Mrs. Kelly was making Christmas ornaments to give as gifts to family and friends.

She made a special ornament with a cross suspended from the bottom and sent it to her with a note, saying it was a prayer rather than a Christmas ornament.

“I told her that every time she looked at it, I wanted her to think of me and know I was praying for her recovery,” Mrs. Kelly said.

More Prayer Ornaments Requested

Mrs. Velez loved the ornament and its thoughtful concept so much that she asked her sister to make two more. She had two friends, each of whom had lost a young son last year and she wanted to give each of them a prayer ornament.

Then, a third was ordered for a person Mrs. Velez met during chemotherapy sessions.

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It was her sister who encouraged Mrs. Kelly to start a business making her prayer and other ornaments. With her encouragement and the support of Mrs. Kelly’s husband of four years, Bob, BobKat Designs was born!

It’s been a rough year for Mrs. Kelly’s sister who has endured surgery to remove the cancerous tumor on her pancreas, extensive chemotherapy and radiation, gallbladder surgery and now, six months of post-surgery chemo.

Diagnosed Cancer-Free

However, in June, her sister was diagnosed “cancer-free,” Mrs. Kelly said.

Mrs. Velez has two grown children, Jason, 31, and Maureen, 29 years old. Plus, she is raising a seven-year-old granddaughter.

“She’s doing well,” Mrs. Kelly said of her courageous sister. “She’s not 100 percent yet but her spirits seem to be pretty good.” 

Mrs. Kelly goes down to Plympton to visit her sister at least once a month.

[/media-credit] The colorful ornaments are each hand-done and embossed.

Bob Kelly built his industrious wife a state-of-the-art crafts studio in the basement of the couple’s Pittsfield home. It’s filled with all the supplies needed to make the ornaments.

Bob and Kathi Kelly met on the Internet and married in 2009.  He’s been extremely supportive of his wife’s business, Mrs. Kelly said.

BobKat Designs Website

In addition to the crafts studio, there is a website called BobKat Designs that can be reached on the Internet by going to It has photos of the different kinds of ornaments Mrs. Kelly makes, including the special prayer ornaments with the small crosses hanging from them.

The prayer ornaments come complete with display stands that look like brass, gift tags and bags. They also come with cards that inform the recipient they are being thought of and prayed for.

[/media-credit] Shown above is one of the prayer ornaments.

In addition to the three different sized prayer ornaments, Mrs. Kelly also makes angel ornaments, intended for people who have lost loved ones.

Then, of course, there are traditional Christmas ornaments which make special gifts.

All of the ornaments are accompanied by gift bags, tags and printed inserts.

Ornaments Come with Special Notes

For instance, the angel ornament insert notes states “This angel ornament is being given to you as a reminder that your loved one, while no longer here in a physical sense, is still a presence in your life, and is now watching over you from above, as your own special angel.”

It also suggests the angel ornament be displayed where it can be seen often so the recipient can find comfort in the memory of their loved one.

[/media-credit] Each ornament comes with a stand, printed inserts and gift bag.

The Kellys will be selling ornaments at craft fairs this fall. The ornaments are made from card stock and are hand-stamped and embossed. There are six parts to each ornament.

Mrs. Kelly makes them in stages.

She laughed that many evenings her husband is a “craft widower.”

“She disappears for hours,” her husband added, but he doesn’t seem to mind as he spends time in his own office upstairs in the house.

In addition to running her home business, Mrs. Kelly works full time for Berkshire Orthopedics in Pittsfield.

Cat Lovers Personified

The Kellys are also cat lovers and share their home with six felines. They include Emily Rose, (a Norweigian forest cat), Benjamin Thomas, Dooley Xavier, Georgia Sue, and twins, Tia Louise and Theodore “Teddy” Brian. 

Except for Emily Rose, the other cats are mainly Maine coons.

The ornaments Mrs. Kelly makes for BobKat Designs are very affordable. They are all under $20, minus postage.

For more information on ordering, check the website at or call Mrs. Kelly directly at (413)464-0300.



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Posted by on August 29, 2013. Filed under Arts and Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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