Our Story

Making art, cooking, learning new things, and connecting over shared interests is our small contribution to making the world a better place. Nurturing our community is core to who we are and we live by the motto that everyone is welcome at The Works, always.

The Works started as a DIY school for adults, offering in-person experience-based learning in Seattle. As challenging as the Covid-19 pandemic has been for individuals and small businesses, it sparked us into bringing an idea we've always had to life. We've distilled the magic of our in-person classes into DIY Kits, complete with materials, detailed instructions, and a video to walk you through your projects. It's almost like having The Works in your home!

Looking for a more hands-on experience with a teacher? Learn more about our private events. 

Our Team

Kellie Phelan (she/her)

Where are you from?

New Hampshire, the live free or die state. 

Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

With the woods of NH as my stomping grounds, I developed a deep appreciation for the natural world and our human connection to it. I spent the first decade of my career working in climate change consulting and now seek to change the world on a much more local level - by building community, connecting over passions, and sharing skills.

What’s your role at The Works?

Humble founder and owner, which means everything from developing kits to crunching the numbers to cleaning the bathroom. 

What else are you passionate about?

Growing food at home, knitting blankets, camping in our Westy, and supporting other small (especially woman and BIPOC owned) businesses. 

Bonus round!

  • Favorite movie: I'm famous for sleeping during movies, don't @ me!
  • Favorite food: Sugar snap peas fresh from the vine
  • Favorite band: Anything by Neko Case

     

    Alyssa Laiacona (she/her)

    Where are you from?

    Las Vegas, NV

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    I grew up in Las Vegas (too hot), went to school in Boston (too cold), and moved to Seattle (just right) in 2017. I am a graphic designer by day, a crafter by night, and I keep a year-round countdown until Christmas.

    What’s your role at The Works?

    Graphic designer.

    What else are you passionate about?

    Embroidery, cats, books, dessert, and tiny knickknacks.

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: Beetlejuice
    • Favorite food: Ice cream (bonus points if it's for breakfast!)
    • Favorite band: Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance… basically all the 2000s emo bands

     

    Kia Zuend (she/her)

    Where are you from?

    The Emerald City

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    I was born and raised right here in the PNW and, growing up with a lively battle between my left and right brain, developed a deep curiosity for the why and how stories of the world around me. Never content to just follow the pack, I love infusing unconventional creativity into traditionally unimaginative situations.

    What’s your role at The Works?

    Performing backstage magic! I help to facilitate process optimization and support our team and community along their journey of learning and self discovery.

    What else are you passionate about?

    Traveling, hammocks, daydreaming, unexpected adventures, tiny houses, animals, and beaches.

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: Empire Records
    • Favorite food: Rhubarb pie
    • Favorite band: It changes weekly!

      

    Kiya Schnorr (she/her)

    Where are you from?

    South Florida

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    I had an artsy childhood drawing, dancing, singing, and writing, graduated college with a BFA in dance performance, and moved to NYC to pursue a career in concert modern dance. There I started cooking more, which led me to found my blog, Kiyafries, and two years ago moved to Seattle and I love it here!!

    What’s your role at The Works?

    I develop classes and kits, mostly food-related!

    What else are you passionate about?

    Research and learning, history, houseplants, gardening, all things spooky, scandinavian design, making playlists, and my cat!

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: Moonstruck
    • Favorite food: Thai red curry
    • Favorite band: Lucius

     

    Kulsoom Burney (she/her)

    Where are you from?

    Islamabad, Pakistan

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    Moved across the globe in 2009. Having a business degree and being a creative at heart, working and experimenting with different mediums eventually gave birth to my very own Etsy shop. Currently living the mom-life while juggling never-ending upcycling projects and growing my business as well as learning new and exciting things along the way.

    What’s your role at The Works?

    Kits and class development

    What else are you passionate about?

    My morning coffee, crafting/incorporating old pieces into new works of art, traveling, making lists!

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: They are all too long for me to sit through
    • Favorite food: Anything hot n spicy
    • Favorite band: Depends on the mood

     

    Lauren Upton-Chance (they/she)

    Where are you from?

    I grew up in Sonoma, CA.

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    Before moving to Seattle in 2016, I lived in London, Lake Tahoe (Incline Village for the curious), and had many adventures romping around Italy. My background includes archaeology and project management, but through it all, community and creativity have been my true loves.

    What’s your role at The Works?

    I'm a teacher!

    What else are you passionate about?

    Friendship, singing, traveling, and my two adorable kitties!

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: How to be Single
    • Favorite food: Pizza
    • Favorite band: CHVRCHES

     

    Madison Haws (she/her)

    Where are you from?

    The Middle West

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    Originally from Iowa, I grew up watching Hayao Miyazaki, Tim Burton, and Jim Henson films. After moving back and forth across the country a couple times, I now find myself sculpting amongst the pines while bringing my art to life and am excited to share all the things I’ve learned with wonderful people!

    What’s your role at The Works?

    Teaching, hosting, and helping make classes and kits.

    What else are you passionate about?

    Building objects with my hands, autumnal weather, tasty treats, thoughtfully designed objects, cozy spaces, imagined (or real) creatures, and a nice cup of tea.

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: Dark Crystal & Pieces of April
    • Favorite food: Noodles
    • Favorite band: Blood Orange & Radiohead

     

    Robin Bundi (she/her)

    Where are you from?

    I grew up in Montana. I sing the MT state song every time I drive over the ID/MT border.

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    Grew up in a household where cooking, gardening and sewing were regular activities, and this instilled a love for creating. I worked as a graphic designer for a decade, took a big change in my life by hiking across the United States (via the PCT), and came back ready to embrace the combination of art, design, and teaching. 

    What’s your role at The Works?

    I’m one of the teachers that develops kits and classes.   

    What else are you passionate about?

    Gardening, foraging, spending time outside via hiking or backpacking, making fermented goods, painting, and learning new skills. 

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: The last time I said I had a favorite movie was in high school and it was Love and Basketball.  
    • Favorite food: Tomatoes straight from the garden
    • Favorite band: The Hamilton musical

     

    Steven Petrose (they/them)

    Where are you from?

    West Virginia / South Jersey.

    Tell us your whole life story in two sentences or less… go!

    I'm an East Coast mom friend who loves to create inclusive and memorable experiences for people. 

    What’s your role at The Works?

    Teacher and facilitator.

    What else are you passionate about?

    I'm passionate about my family, video/tabletop games and my 51 plant children. 

    Bonus round!

    • Favorite movie: Princess Mononoke 
    • Favorite food: Pho
    • Favorite band: Teebs