Hello! My name is Crystal, but you also can call me Krystallo. I am the founder of Artistanda, LLC. I am exploring my deaf Greek and American identities through my entrepreneurship journey. Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to reshape ourselves and our contributing roles in our communities. I have a passion for woodworking, sewing, art quilting, embroidery, mixed media, and paintings. Although I do not major in engineering/architecture, I feel like working as an engineer in my own way and I love this job. Equipped with my studies in Computer Science and Deaf Education and work experience in user experience, instructional design, and teaching, I design and create unique bookstands. I balance my career by working as an instructional designer during weekdays and as a creative designer in late evenings and during weekends.
When I became a mother to twins, I faced a big challenge: In order to read books to children in sign language, I needed my hands free. That is how I got to create my first DIY fabric bookstand, enabling me to read and sign the books with both hands, so the twins did not miss a thing from the books and my reading. Thanks to my bookstand idea, the twins became bookworms. They have been admitted into magnet programs and take advanced classes in English and mathematics. I strongly believe that traditional books are the best way to educate kids because they can encourage parents/educators and kids to discuss what they see or read on a book, and because they foster kids’ world knowledge. My Teddy Bear bookstands are best for virtual and in-person storytimes because you can turn pages of a book easily. Artistanda, LLC is located in Rockville, Maryland.