Kez uses her creative eye to make her own stationery range

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North Ballarat NDIS participant, Keziah (Kez) Glenane has created her own stationery range using her creative eye.

The 29-year-old, who has Down syndrome, uses her own camera to capture unedited digital images of landscapes, landmarks, people and places, here and abroad. Then she works her magic, turning them into a range of novel cards, calendars and notebooks.

Kez said she loves making her stationery at home with help from mum, Trish. They sell her range by word of mouth, on Kez’s Facebook page, at markets, through small local businesses and at the Craft Cottage, in Ballarat’s Botanic Gardens, where they volunteer.

Kez said she has always had an interest in taking photos and proudly admits it’s an art she is good at, she enjoys and it’s something she can do herself.

“I take photos of anything that interests me,” she said. “I go out to a lot of places around Ballarat and I take photographs of landscapes, statues, street scenes, and mum likes me to do close ups of flowers.

“Last year we went to Disneyland. It was awesome. I took a lot of photos there and I had fun turning them into cards, calendars and notebooks, for presents for people and to sell.”

Trish said Kez has been making her stationery range for three years now.

Trish has her arm around her daughter, Kez, who is holding one of the notebooks in her stationery range

“She started when I retired from full-time work,” she said. “At that stage, Kez’s three older siblings were all living and working away from home. I wanted to find her an activity she was good at and one she would enjoy.

“Kez has always loved taking photos and her sister, who is actually a professional photographer, said to me she takes great photos so I thought maybe we could do something with that and we came up with a card business initially.”

Trish said when Kez first started the business they only made 20 cards.

“We showed them to our family and friends and we soon we had orders for over 100 so we quickly made more,” she said.

“Then we decided to make Kez a Facebook page, ‘Pics by Kez’, so she could sell them online, and a lot of small local businesses we asked started stocking and selling them too.

“We were overwhelmed when the local florist brought 200 cards for Mother’s Day to sell with flowers. It was so lovely of them,” Trish said. 

Since joining the NDIS, Kez has been able to use her funding to continue to build her capacity to keep living independently. She receives supports for menu planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning and accessing the community.

“My friend June and I did an Independent Living program. It was lots of fun and I learnt how to look after myself and how to make food,” Kez said. 

“Then June told me about the Craft Cottage. I said to her I hadn’t worked there before so I did some volunteer work and it was great.

“Now mum and I volunteer there each month. We take out the signs, put them in the right spots and serve people.

“At the Craft Cottage we sell lots of art and crafts and it’s all made by locals. There’s woodwork, jewellery, bags and my cards.

“People come in and have a look around to see what they like, but when they go to leave I ask them if they want to have a look at my cards,” Kez said with a laugh.

“They’re pretty nice. You should check them out,” she added.