We are back with another fabulous artist feature for you! This time we got to learn more about one of the kindest and most hard working artists we know. Kaelee Rupell of Kaelee’s Kups and Custom Gifts shared some of her story with us and we can’t wait for you to get to know her better!

Kaelee has been working with resin for four years now. But her creative journey started long before that. Kaelee learned all about creating and running a business from her mom whom she calls her “ultimate goofy craft buddy and inspiration”. Kaelee’s mom passed away when she was 19 and Kaelee took over her jewelry business which is how she got her start running a business on her own. 

Since then Kaelee has expanded her business to selling lots of amazing things! All while working and helping to care for her family. She is a talented artist who has an equally amazing spirit of kindness, hard work, and perseverance.  Her story is an inspiration to us and we know you will find something to treasure in it too!

Ask an Artist: Featuring Kaelee Rupell

We asked Kaelee to tell us a little bit about her family…

I am 25 and live at home with my brother, dad, three cats, and a dog! I have been helping to take care of the family (I am one of five kids) since I lost my mom when I was 19 in 2015. She was my ultimate goofy craft buddy and inspiration. 

And about her work life…

I am currently working as a phlebotomist. It is a really interesting job! I was working as a mental health technician but got burnt out by the work environment and decided to switch it up! Covid has made it super hard to get into my actual work field. I did my masters entirely online through covid. My bachelors is in psychology and masters is in criminal justice investigative forensics.

And her business…

I was originally running my moms jewelry business after she passed. After 3 years, I lost my passion for wire wrapping because I no longer had my goof ball sidekick. I started playing around with vinyl after buying a Cricut. My love for glitter and crafting blossomed and I had found my way into tumbler making!

I now hate decal day and avoid using vinyl at all costs! I have expanded my business into tumblers, pens, sublimation (tumblers and tees!) bleached and tie dye tees, wickless candles, wax melts, and even resin jewelry (couldn’t quite kick the jewelry to the curb!). I would love to just keep growing my business! I can’t imagine never not having a business. I like to stay busy! 

Where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world, and why…

Hmmmm. If I was asked a month ago, I’d say Italy for all the pasta and pizza! But now I am gluten free (lots of sad faces!!!). I still would say Italy though! 

If I had to choose somewhere else, I would love to see the Aztec Ruins! I have always been fascinated by them! 

Where she sees herself in 5 years…

 My ultimate dream is to be working for the FBI. I’ve done a lot of work in my undergrad and graduate work that keeps me pulling for that dream. Career aside, I could see myself settling down with someone (hopefully married!) and starting a family. Growing up in a big family, and having my siblings moving out, makes me long for my own big family! 

One of her strengths and one weakness…

One of my strengths would be my work ethic. A weakness of mine is that I am an extremely emotional and empathetic person. It has its perks because I can relate to people easily, but the flip side is that I can easily take on whatever mood is filling the room. 

How she got started with resin…

I first played around with resin when I was trying to preserve flowers from my moms funeral. Not my smartest move! Luckily my aunt had some extras that she preserved for me because I had no idea what I was doing! As I was learning vinyl and tumblers I picked up resin again and continued from there! 

How she balances her art, family, and work…

Luckily my hours as a phlebotomist are really nice! It allows me to go home and use the rest of the day as “work hours” to work on orders. I dedicate that time when I got home for a few hours of work time before having to make dinner. Then I get to spend the night relaxing with family! But for anyone who is like me, I always have a craft in hand while watching tv haha!

As for friends, I have a lot of crafty friends. We all have our own businesses which is really fun! When we get together, we use that time to play around with any crafts that we want to for just fun (no orders!). 

Her favorite project…

My favorite project has been UV Resin flower jewelry! I feel like I still get to incorporate some of my moms spirit into each piece!

And her least favorite…

Anything with vinyl!!!

Her favorite CCDIY product…

I have to choose one?!?! That is tough! Fast Set has been a game changer for my business!  

Her must have tool for resin art…

My must have tool for my resin art is rubbing alcohol in a tiny spritz bottle! I almost never use heat on any of my tumblers/molds anymore once I started giving my tumblers a little spritz right after I epoxy them! Gives my cups a flawless finish! 

What tip would she give to beginner resin artists… 

First and most important, have fun! All of this is meant to be fun! 

Second, trial and error will always have errors! You learn what works for you! What works for you might not work for others and that is completely ok!

The Wrap Up…

It is so wonderful to have Kaelee as part of our community! She is always ready with a kind word and to offer support to her fellow artists. Kaelee is always willing to help by answering questions and teaching her fabulous resin art techniques. If you want to see what Kaelee is up to and see more of her beautiful creations you can find her on Facebook and TikTok. You can also join her VIP Facebook group and head to her Etsy Shop

And you can find her right here on our website! Kaelee has put together a few tutorials for us in the past. She is always gracious in sharing her talent and her process so that others can learn and build their craft. If you’d like to learn from Kaelee, check out her Father’s Day Tumbler with a Wrench Handle (it is so cute!). And How to Make Resin Pens. In both posts, Kaelee gives us the supply list and step by step instructions. She makes these projects simple to do and a whole lot of fun!

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Kaelee as much as we have! We love working with her and are so glad she has shared part of her journey with us.

Looking for a new project? You can find awesome video tutorials on our YouTube channel!

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If you want more inspiration and information we have a Facebook group for that. Join us in Counter Culture DIY Artist Support where we, and other artists, offer ideas, answer questions, and support each other!

Do you have an art project using any of our products that you want to share? Send it to us at support@counterculturediy.com, and we can feature them here!