Maker City KC

Nine questions with a maker: Samantha Peters of Surly Bird Boutique

This Saturday is Troostapalooza, and one of the many artists that will be on display at the event is Samantha Peters, founder of Surly Bird Boutique!

Have you heard of Troostapalooza? It’s a free, family-friendly event from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday on Troost between 30th and 31st Streets. Troostapalooza celebrates art, culture and community with live music, local food and drinks. Proceeds benefit Troost Market Collective.

Make sure you stop by Surly Bird’s booth at Troostapalooza and get some of her witty items, such as this sleep mask.

What inspires you and your work?

This may sound dopey, but I really am inspired by my customers. No matter how hard things get, if I can make someone laugh that makes my day. I love it when my artwork resonates with people. I am also very inspired by my family, who are SO funny and supportive. More than anything, I am inspired by all the super amazing women out there.

Are makers doers or dreamers?

Both, ideally! I myself am a dreamer trying to make it as a doer. I am a bit shy, so it has been very challenging to step out of my comfort zone, but I am so happy that I have.


What invention/product do you wish you would have created?

The Snuggie! It’s a blanket! With sleeves!

What is the worst invention/product still embraced by modern society?

Ugh the Snuggie! It’s called a ROBE, people, don’t you already have one? Just kidding. I’d probably say that the smartphone represents the best and worst invention of all time. It has provided people with great opportunities for communication with people living afar, and yet a total breakdown in communication for people under the same roof. I am sure that answer has been given a thousand times before, but it could be given a thousand times more.

If you could sit down and have a drink with any person in your industry, who would it be and why?

Let’s all go get a drink; that sounds like a blast! I’ve met so many wonderful, interesting people in the past year through my craft fairs.


What do you love most about the maker movement happening in Kansas City right now?

It’s like a big love fest. There is so much love and support going on in the art community here, and I am so thrilled to be a part of it.

Who or what is another maker in Kansas City that you’re impressed and inspired by?

I nerd out pretty hard over a lot of them, but if I had to choose one, probably TigerSheep Friends. I cannot get enough of their aesthetic and their whimsy. They are just delightful.

What Kansas City creation/icon best reflects our makers’ community?

Gosh, that’s a tough one. Maybe the shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. They’re pretty iconic and cool-looking.

If you could ask people to do just one thing to support the maker movement, what would it be?

Try to shop local is the obvious one. But even more importantly, teach your kids to value art and personal expression. It’s so important for them to get messy and use their imaginations! The world needs the artists and the dreamers.

Keep up with Surly Bird Boutique here: