OSAWATOMIE — Keith Myers and his fiancée Hailey Upshaw have just kicked off their professional partnership with the creation of H+K Designs, but they are already looking to give back to the community they love.

Both grew up in Osawatomie, with Keith graduating from Osawatomie High School in 2015 and Hailey graduating one year later in 2016.

Like many people across the globe, Keith and Hailey experienced a lot of life changes during the past year due to the pandemic. Hailey, who is a registered nurse, was pregnant, and they found themselves isolated at home more and contemplating some new endeavors.

They decided to take a couple of their hobbies and focus on them more as business opportunities. Keith was always good at woodworking and making home furniture, and Hailey has a passion for décor.

They recently decided to combine their talents and start H+K Designs out of their home. The business offers local community members a variety of custom-made home décor pieces. Everything from custom name plaques, blanket ladders and stovetop covers to wooden growth charts, spice racks and Christmas tree boxes are featured on their website at handkdesigns.com.

Keith’s handiwork can already be seen throughout his own home, with him tackling projects like adding sliding barn-style doors to their pantry and building a custom fireplace décor piece.

“I saw a fireplace pic on Facebook and thought, ‘I’m definitely building that,’” Keith said.

Even though the business has only been in operation for a couple of months, Keith said they are getting good feedback from the community, and he and Hailey are ready to give back. They are partnering with Miami Lumber and Queen’s Price Chopper in Paola for a holiday giveaway called Project Pantry.

Keith said he plans to make a handcrafted pantry using supplies donated by Pete Peterson of Miami Lumber and it will be filled with groceries donated by Barry Queen of Price Chopper. The pantry will then be given to a local family in need this holiday season.

Local community members can go online to handkdesigns.com and nominate someone who they think would be the perfect person to receive the pantry gift. Nominations are due by Dec. 10.

Keith said he knows there are people in the community who would really benefit from the pantry, and it’s something he can relate to.

“I grew up with a single mom who worked two jobs,” Keith said.

He added that he has been overwhelmed by the support from the community, especially Peterson and Queen, who were willing to work with him even though his business just started.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and I feel like it’s the same way with a business,” Keith said. “I’m excited to be able to give back.”

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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