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 architect in my own way and I love this job. Equipped with my studies in Computer Science and Deaf Education and work experience in teaching, instructional design, and user experience, I invented unique stands and “Deaf Accessible Eyes” and “Accessible Eyes” which are new teaching strategies that you cannot imagine how valuable they are not just for deaf kids but also for other kids. My unique stands for electronic devices are also valuable for people who need a better support and a better artwork. I balance my career by working as an instructional design quality assurance analyst 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. Not only did I find out that there are no similar bookstands on the market like the one I created, but I also identified the gaps in the competition for stands for posters, books including Big Books, binders, phones, tablets, and laptops. So, I became excited to create more and more physical stands for different purposes. My Teddy Bear bookstands are best for virtual and in-person storytimes because you can turn pages of a book easily. My stands for phones and tablets support multiple viewing angles and room for plugging in chargers. Artistanda LLC is located in Rockville, Maryland.