January 16th, 2021

Lethbridge designer finalist for Etsy Design Award

By Jensen, Randy on October 14, 2020.

Lethbridge designer Kyla Hornberger's message of empowerment for young girls has earned her a top-10 finalist spot in this year's annual Etsy Design Awards. Submitted photo

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald


One Lethbridge designer’s message of empowerment for young girls has earned her a top-10 finalist spot in this year’s annual Etsy Design Awards in the “Kids” category.

“I actually started my Etsy store in September of 2018,” explains Kyla Hornberger, a mother of five and former design student at Lethbridge College. “I had just signed up at Lethbridge College for the interior design program, but I wasn’t starting until the next fall. So I took what I already knew – I had been making dolls for my kids for years – and I thought I am going to learn to digitally create something so I could practise. That’s kind of how it all started, and I figured if I made any money from my Etsy shop it could help pay for my school.”

Etsy is a North America-wide online e-commerce website dedicated to handmade crafts and vintage toys. If Hornberger wins first place in her category, she will take home US $15,000. This year’s judges include talk show host and actress Drew Barrymore and Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson.

Hornberger explains the Feminist Crown Pattern she has been nominated for.

“It’s not a physical product,” she says. “It is a pattern other people can buy so they can sew their own. The idea behind it was my youngest daughter, she was three years old at the time, and I wanted to reclaim this idea of a princess. Everyone always likes to say a princess needs to be rescued or they are dressed in pink, or they are dainty. Why can’t we be a princess and be fierce? Why can’t we be strong? I wanted to change the dialogue and kind of take back the crown, I guess you can say.”

Those buying the crown pattern can choose between four empowering messages: fierce, strong, mighty and brave. Contest judging concludes at the end of October.

Hornberger says she is “stunned” to be nominated, and would love for her passion project to take home first prize.

“We have had a lot of awakenings in history where people start coming to the forefront, and start claiming their own,” she says. “I feel like we are really coming to a time in this world where we are starting to realize we limit people, and especially women, when we tell them, ‘You just need to be soft, or kind. You need to be gentle.’ All those things are really good things, and important. But maybe we also need to be teaching young ones, ‘You can be fierce, and you can have a voice, and it doesn’t make you a bad person.”

To learn more about the Etsy Design Awards, and to view Hornberger’s design visit https://blog.etsy.com/news/2020/drew-barrymore-joins-etsy-as-a-judge-for-second-annual-global-design-awards/.

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