Hot Skwash: Kitchen craft to international business

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A stay-at-home mom in West Linn turned her kitchen craft project into an international business, and now she’s sharing what she’s learned with future generations.

The finished product, Oct. 2015 (KOIN)

Daria Knowles has a talent for crafts, and a thirst for the unique, which resulted in decorative pumpkins.

“I got into three little local stores in West Linn and it exploded,” said Knowles.

Now, 70,000 of her designer velvet and fabric pumpkins are sold each year around the world, under her company, Hot Skwash.

A West Linn woman transformed her hobby into an international business, Oct. 2015 (KOIN)

Knowles leases land from Ryser’s Farm to grow the pumpkins. She turns them into works of art in her Tigard warehouse.

Knowles recently gave a group from Girls Inc. a tour of the facility. The Girls Inc. Eureka Program focuses on science, technology, engineering and math careers — also known as STEM. Knowles is now making a line of velvet pumpkins in honor of the girls. 40% of the proceeds will go to Girls Inc. Knowles said it’s a great partnership.

“A lot of the Eureka Program is how to succeed in business, get to where you want to be in life. Growing business to what it is now. Showing how you can make something big out of something small.”

Hot Swash is partnering with Girls Inc., Oct. 2015 (KOIN)

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