TK2.Designs opens main street location

Shayne Mazur

Talysa Klein never anticipated that painting a fly fishing lure on a wall in her house would lead to opening a retail space in downtown Greybull.

“It is so random where things go,” Klein said. “I’m a mechanical engineer, and now I do art.”

A Greybull native, Klein holds a degree in mechanical engineering with a specialty in energy systems and engineering. She moved to Golden, Colorado after an internship at National Renewable Energy Lab turned into full time staff science position. 

Klein always considered art a hobby, but her scientific and artistic interests intersected in an unexpected way.

“The graphic design started while I was still in that (research) job. That’s where I really started doing a lot of graphic design because I was building a lot of graphics for my publications and presentations.” 

Her peers were impressed with her images and Klein became the go-to person for graphic design work. “I was within the scientific field and I understand their processes enough to be able to communicate them really effectively.”

The fly fishing lure Klein painted in her house was the first of what she called “a topic I fell into.”

“I love flyfishing,” she said. “Mr. Tracy in outdoor ed is where I learned how to flyfish, and then I carried that through when moving to Colorado and during college.”

Klein kept sketching fly fishing lures, eventually posting her art on Instagram where she gained a following. Fly fishermen sent her their personal tied flies for her to sketch. Friends and family encouraged her to approach shops about her designs. 

“Next thing I know, I’m in pretty much all of the fly shops down in Colorado. I didn’t set out to do strictly fly fishing art—I draw other things—it just was a niche that I found.”

Klein cut back her hours as a scientist as her art gained momentum. In 2018, she created her business TK2.Designs with a focus on outdoor centered artwork and designs. She has since expanded to cover graphic design and manufacturing services, including custom designs, branding and marketing images, apparel, stickers, pet portraits and 3D printing.

“I like to think that my specialty is ‘Let’s create something really fun and totally unique’ because you and I are making it together.”

Klein chose to make TK2 her full time occupation when she and her husband returned to Greybull last November.

“I never imagined this to be a retail space because that’s not really what I ever did. I’ve always been online,” she said.

The majority of Klein’s business remains online but her new residence didn’t offer the space she needed. She went to work acquiring a building with the idea of setting up a manufacturing shop.

By May she had her store front on main street. She fondly recalled a group of youngsters who came by regularly to see her dog, who previously slept in one of the display windows.

“People were coming in basically in July. But I think that’s one of the things I didn’t anticipate is once word of mouth started getting around, which I’m so, so thankful for. The community response right now, it almost became overwhelming. I’m still at the point where it’s like, I have so many projects going on right now.”

Klein’s workload hasn’t allowed her to hold a grand opening yet, something she wanted to do in October because she loves Halloween. She’s currently printing Halloween decorations, including glow-in-the-dark skulls to fill with candy and pass out during Greybull’s Main Street Trick of Treat event.

Klein’s research background continues to play a valuable role in her business, from optimizing her construction process to utilizing the Instagram algorithm.

“I have an obsession with learning how things work. I got sick of paying someone else to make all the stickers, and I was like ‘I can figure out how to do this.’ I went through, I think, eighth iterations of trying to figure out how to make stickers, how to optimize the process, and eventually came up with this.”

Though TK2 is Klein’s full time job, she still contracts with research institutions and has an engineering division within her business.

“People ask me what I do and, to be honest, every day is different. I kind of do whatever anyone has an idea for. It’s fun. I do this because I love it,” Klein said.

TK2.Designs is located at 627 Greybull Ave. and is open 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.