How Kel and Kayla Cudsik turned family into a family business
Words by Lindsey Brown
Kel and Kayla Cudsik’s journey began in 2013 when they started trying to get pregnant. They struggled with infertility for four years. After a long, tough season, the Cudsiks finally heard the words they had been waiting for: You are going to have a baby—but not just one. Two!
Kayla’s intuitive and creative mind began reeling with nursery ideas. Almost complete, the couple knew the nursery needed one more thing. With Kayla’s love for all things creative and her husband’s woodworking craft, the two handmade each little girl a wooden sign to hang on the wall above her crib. “There’s just so much love that goes into putting together a playroom, a nursery, or a kid’s room, and just creating that space together is always really special,” said Kayla.
Their first sign was the beginning of their handmade wooden sign business called Opal+Olive. The couple felt it fit for the company to be named after their girls, who inspired it.
Through family and friends, and a little help from social media, the popularity of the Cudsik’s handmade wooden cut out signs grew abundantly. Opal+Olive continued to grow, and to their surprise, it grew enough to support their family of four. In November of 2017, they launched their website and started working from their home.
From the start, Kayla had no intentions of ever making the signs for strangers. Her passion was being a mother and immersing herself in motherhood during that season of her life. When this opportunity to work from home came around, she knew it was the perfect thing for her family. Once her business took off, she began to realize that this passion of hers had turned into something more. She has been able to connect with so many other moms who have also struggled with infertility. “Beyond connecting with my creative side, I have had the opportunity to connect with other moms who have and are going through the same thing we went through. I have had an amazing opportunity to share hope with these other women,” said Kayla.
From others being inspired by the Cudsik’s story to Kayla being so interactive and inspired by some of her customers' journeys, Opal+Olive has become quite the small business for all things kids’ décor.
Kayla manages Opal+Olive’s social media and has really taken it to the next level by interacting with her customers and giving them an opportunity to inspire some of her designs. Since having two twin girls, her mind is often filled with pink thoughts, but one of her most popular designs is geared toward boys. By taking polls on social media, she found that there is a shortage of art on the market for boys.
To work from home and be able to spend as much time as she can with her girls, Kayla has made it a point to keep her work right in line with their lifestyle. Currently, Opal+Olive offers wood cut out signs and decorative wallpaper intended for nurseries, kids’ rooms, and playrooms. They also offer cute seasonal signs for each season.
As for any small business, sometimes demand is greater than supply. Kel and Kayla have engineered a process to manage this situation that works for everyone. On a specific date and time, they “open” their online shop, take as many orders as they can, and then close the ordering window. Over the next four weeks, Kayla and Kel are busy handmaking each sign and shipping it out to each eager customer.
Art takes time, and having customers who understand that is key when it comes to owning a small business. Even with a four-week turnaround, and through a pandemic, Opal+Olive has continued to expand. “We are just so grateful that we have customers who understand our work timeline and are so patient but eager to get their signs. We are not Amazon. All of our customers are happy to support our little family and wait on their orders,” said Kayla.
Now, that’s a good sign.