There wouldn't be an OAD without YOU

How OAD came to be.

We are thrilled that everyone who stitches our designs knows they are getting a high quality embroidery design.

-Kelly Anderson
Ohana Applique Designs owner

My Story

Short Version

OAD was originally created as a finished product store. I find so much joy in making and creating toys and gifts for my children and their friends. After a short time selling on Etsy my finished products, I had inquiries to where the designs were from. 

Not feeling my work was good enough quality to sale….

I gave my first few months designs away for free! After so many freebies and gifts, I went head first into the world of digitizing my ideas and designs. I thoroughly enjoy being able to create and make new designs and toys. Our fan base grew quickly and our customers kept cheering us on with more wishes and desires! 

Customers would specifically ask for us to design over others due to our attention to detail and customer care.  For that, I am so thankful and in awe everyday. I KNOW without you, there would not be an Ohana Applique Design! YOU are what keeps me going and growing! YOU inspire me in all my creations.

Thank you

The very LONG version.

Read at your own risk of getting to know me and my history a little more

The name Ohana means family in Hawaiian. I was very blessed to grow up for most of my childhood and young adult life on the windward side of Oahu. As beautiful as it is, the hard truth is, Hawaii is very expensive to thrive in.  So, in 2008, my family moved to the mainland due to funds, to be able to enjoy life and to grow our family.


Jump ahead to 2011. Even though we had moved, we still were not doing very well. The market for jobs was low and we took whatever we could get, even if that meant minimum wage to pay our bills.  My mother in law, brother in law, husband, our 10-year-old, our newborn baby girl, and I lived in a 2-bedroom, 1.5 bath house and we were on gov’t assistance due to our extremely  low income. But we were always thankful and blessed in all we did have. That same year, my dad bought my first sewing machine, a Brother 6000i sewing machine, for my birthday since I had always wanted to learn to sew. First thing to know about me, I like to jump into passions head first. My first projects were diapers as a way of saving any money I could. But I found that I was not very good at making diapers and moved to sewing children’s clothing. Little one’s clothing was much easier for me to learn and perfect. Then I learned how to sew children toys. 

Ah, the joy I felt when I was able to turn a piece of fabric into a teddy bear or ballerina and watch my little girl play with her new toys or see the excitement on my little boy’s face over a favorite TV character come to life.


For my next birthday (2012), I asked for an embroidery machine to further this new passion I had creating fun items for my kids. My Dad, Mom and Husband all chipped in and gave me a PE770. I was over the moon at the new machine, and terrified of breaking it! But once again, I just jumped in head first and started to stitch whatever I could. I was able to add fancy eyes and rosy cheeks to their toys, learned to make little items called fealties and made hair clips for my daughter, finger puppets for my son, and monsters for my friend’s kid’s birthdays. I opened an Etsy shop shortly after that and I had my first 100 sells within 6 months. I know this may seem like a long time to some, but for me, a stay at home mom, I was happy and thankful to be bringing in some money to help our growing family. 


In 2013, My mother and I split the cost on a program where I could design and create my own stuff. I quickly learned how to use Embird to create fun new in the hoop projects. My new toys were listed and it wasn’t long before my sewing peers started asking where I purchased the patterns. For the first few months I gave my patterns away for free, feeling that they were not up to the high quality I desired. However, those who got the designs began asking for other little ITH projects they thought of.


I started chatting with friends on Facebook who also embroidered, and they started to test my designs to see how they stitched on various types of machines. I found that I really LOVED designing over stitching finished products for a website. I tend to get bored doing one thing repeatedly, so designing was PERFECT for me. Even though the motions to designing are also repetitive (fill, satin; bean; tack; applique, etc.) each design was different. To be able to mold and create so much just from a straight line or curve was magical to me. I felt excited with each fun item that was created. I enjoyed being able to stitch something a handful of times and my heart feels fuller being able to donate my product tests to my local church. I know all these fun toys and designs will get great use from the little children who cannot afford them from stores.


I am in awe every day that I get to do what I do. We have been able to go from being on gov’t assistance, to being able to help others in need. We are all so thankful for our many blessings. Since 2011, I have had 3 more little bundles of joy; another little girl, and two rowdy wonderful boys and are now expecting out last bundle in November 2018. Being able to create fun new in the hoop projects and then see them enjoyed by you and your Stitching Ohana warms my heart and soul. I pore a lot of love and time into my designs to make them smooth and easy. I try to create clear, understandable instructions in hopes that you too will be able to enjoy making fun gifts for your family and friends. I do my best to bless others with good customer service as I know I would not be here without YOU!