We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Kijak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, what do you attribute your success to?
I genuinely love & use every product that I make and I believe that passion shows through in my branding & marketing. A goal of my business is to provide my customers with little moments of beauty throughout their day in places where they may have not had any before. For example – for years I’ve used an old receipt, post-it note, or whatever I had laying around as a bookmark. But then I realized this was an opportunity to bring a little more “pretty” into my life & to have intention behind a product I use almost every day. So I designed 2 bookmark options featuring faux vegan leather in a variety of gorgeous prints to offer in my shop. I’ve also had immense success in making masks during the pandemic by offering hundreds of prints ranging from beautiful florals, to fun geometrics, to pop-culture print options. Giving people the opportunity to bring a little joy & fun into something that has now become part of their daily life is what makes my products so successful.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Rainy Day Handmade started as a mask-making business during the COVID pandemic and has grown into a full e-commerce shop offering apparel, accessories, stationary, and more. To be honest, starting my business was rather easy. I was fortunate that I was offering a product that almost every person in the country needed all at once. Word of mouth was our biggest means of growth to start out and my advertising was quite literally walking around on people’s faces every time they left their home. For that reason, orders were consistent and new customers were coming every day.
Now, my challenge has been keeping those same customers interested in my new products now that masks are on their way out. I’m finding ways to offer the same things that my customers loved about my masks (beautiful prints, fast turnaround, and lots of upgrade options) and applying them to my new products. Its been fun to see which products take off and which ones aren’t so popular.
Another hurdle I’m currently overcoming is that I am growing past the point of being able to hand make all the items that I offer. As it stands now, I’m spending almost all of my time just on crafting my products, which is taking away time from marketing, researching new ventures, and limiting me from being able to scale. So I’m working now to find the balance of offering my handmade items while moving to manufacturing other items. It has been a huge learning curve of figuring out manufacturers, turnaround times, adjusting profit margins, and more, but I am excited to open up more time in my schedule.
And that hurdle actually leads me into what I am most excited about in the next few months: RDH is getting a makeover! We will be operating under a new name, brand, and look. I will always love Rainy Day Handmade and its origin story, but it is time to expand and have a more identifiable brand. I’m not releasing our new name just yet, but follow us on Instagram and/or TikTok to find out!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am assuming this question is meant for Miami, but I live in Philadelphia so I’m going to answer for my city.
Philly has so much to offer – ranging from historical outings to amazing nightlife. I would insist on at least one day spent in the historical Old City section of the city, visiting the Liberty Bell, touring Betsy Ross’s house, visiting the historic Christ Church & Christ Church Burial Ground where many of the founding fathers worshipped and are now buried.
We would also absolutely hit Reading Terminal Market MULTIPLE times for lunch, dinner, and dessert throughout the week because there are so many options. At least one evening we’d spend in the Gayborhood club hopping. We absolutely would not miss brunch at my favorite spot – Cafe La Maude – and we’d have dinner on our last night at my favorite restaurant Noord.
Between meals, we would hike at Wissahickon park, explore the shops in Rittenhouse Square and along South Street, and take a couple strolls along Boathouse Row.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without a doubt, my mom deserves the biggest shoutout in the story of my business. Rainy Day Handmade started at the beginning of the COVID shutdowns. I started RDH mostly to fill my time after being laid off from the live events industry. I figured I’d try my hand at a few crafts and sell a few pieces if I could.
A few weeks into being stuck at home, my mom called me in to help her make some free face masks for some healthcare worker friends of hers. We got together a few days and mass-produced a few hundred masks out of her scrap fabric (she had a lot of scrap fabric). Once people heard that we were doing this and then when the mask-mandate hit, we were flooded with requests. We eventually began selling them and grew our fabric selection to hundreds of options with dozens of upgrades for customers to fully customize their masks.
For the next few months we worked in tandem sharing resources and helping each other when one of us got overwhelmed with orders. We stopped counting after 6,000 masks sold which was when I took over the process entirely under Rainy Day Handmade. There is no doubt in my mind that without her pulling me in to help with those first few masks, RDH would not have seen the growth & loyal customers that it now has.
Not to mention, she also taught me everything I know about sewing & bought me my very first sewing machine that I still use to this day!
Other: TikTok – https://www.tiktok.com/@rainydayhandmade?