Yeager gets crafty

Patrons at the Knox County Farmers’ Market are sometimes surprised to find more than fruits and veggies available.

Photos by Emily Baker

“You go to Farmers’ Markets to buy vegetables or flowers or ferns, people are not expecting the things that I have,” said vendor Kim Yeager of Kim’s Kustom Alterations behind her stand of handmade jewelry. “I go to the Farmers’ Market which is so much fun because I get to see people who I haven’t seen in forever and what I have to offer is pretty unique.”

A Barbourville native, Yeager returned to her hometown in 2012 after spending 15 years in Memphis, Tenn. Recently, Yeager opened a storefront on KY 3438, by the old Yeager Shoe Store.

“The services I provide are alterations to clothing, whither it be a hem or taking something in or possibly letting something out,” said Yeager. “I can do bridal dresses, prom dresses, and Daniel Boone dresses. I can take a pattern, modify it and make it the way you want it. I’m a costume designer basically.”

Yeager has the credentials to back her up. Growing up with a passion for fashion, Yeager got the education to help her achieve her dreams. She earned a master’s degree in theater with a concentration in scenic design and an emphasis in costume design from the University of Memphis and then worked there for 12 years as the costume shop supervisor.

“I have been interested in clothing since I was a child. I can remember designing dresses when I was ten years old. My mom and dad bought the shoe store and originally I just thought I was going to run the shoe store for the rest of my life,” said Yeager. “My first major was even a business major. But I changed it to fashion merchandising, which means I could be a buyer for a store. Then I got involved in theatre and was introduced to the costume and design world. I was encouraged to go to design school by my theater mentor Rebecca Pettys.”

Aside from alterations and dress and costume designing, Yeager also makes handmade hats, scarfs, cabochon pendants and earrings.

“The way these pendants are set up, if you want to send me a picture of your grandbaby, I can print that off and put it in an inch cabochon pendant that you can wear around your neck,” said Yeager.

You can find Yeager’s work at the Knox County Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. You can also call Kim’s Kustom Alterations at 606-622-9211.