Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Style to Dye For: Kids In Color makes a family business out of tie-dyeing one-of-a-kind pieces

Raina Yates never considered herself an artsy person.

But when she saw someone wearing a cool tie-dyed shirt, she thought, “I could do that.”

Raina bought a craft store tie-dye kit and gave it a shot. That’s when she knew she had found something she loved.

“I tie-dyed everything I could get my hands on,” she said.

Soon, her whole family was involved. Her husband Quincey began watching YouTube videos on tie-dyeing during his breaks at work. And, of course, they got their boys, Cameron, 8, and Julian, 4, in on the action.

“We think it’s the coolest thing—art you can wear,” Raina said.

About two years ago, the family started Kids In Color, a custom tie-dye streetwear business. Since then, they’ve sold their colorful shirts, hats and hoodies all over the city at festivals and pop-ups like the HBG Flea and Small Business Saturday.

Customers have a few options when it comes to getting their hands on a Kids In Color piece. They can purchase clothing that has already been hand-dyed or they can request custom pieces, choosing the colors and style they prefer. People can even bring in their own items, even stained shirts, to be revamped with tie-dye. Kids In Color especially loves upcycling thrifted and vintage clothing, Raina said.

One thing is for sure—whatever you get, it will be one of a kind.

For Raina, creating a unique work of art means splattering, dripping and squirting dye, mostly at random. It’s like therapy for her, she said.

“I try to incorporate what I’m feeling into it,” she said. “I try to put a piece of myself into my art.”

Quincey is often more methodical—scrunching, twisting, folding and rubber-banding shirts to create unique patterns.

The basement of the Yates’ home has become a tie-dye workshop, the kids helping with pieces too. Cameron’s been known to go to school with color-stained fingers, Quincey said.

“The reason this has worked and lasted for us is because we can all do it together,” Raina said.

The positive family aspect of the business is part of why Andrea Grove, owner of Elementary Coffee Co., loves working with Kids In Color.

For the past year, Kids In Color has dyed and bleached Elementary’s logo T-shirts.

“People love the tie-dye and the fact that they’re all distinctly different,” Grove said. “It’s been really tough to keep them in stock.”

She added that Raina and Quincey are some of the most passionate people she has ever met and that it’s been wonderful partnering with another small Harrisburg business.

“They would have to decide they didn’t want to tie-dye anymore for us to not work with them,” Grove said.

But according to Raina, she doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.

“Even if I never sold another piece, I would probably still keep tie-dying,” she said.

In addition to pop-up shops, Kids In Color has attended events and visited schools to hold workshops for kids on tie-dyeing. They also teach kids about entrepreneurship and making money through art. It’s a huge part of their mission—introducing kids to an art form that allows them to express themselves. They teach them a lesson they learned themselves—that art is more than just drawing or painting.

This all ties into the name of their business: Kids In Color. It’s a nod to their boys, who they refer to as the face of their brand, but it also refers to the childlike creativity that tie-dying requires.

“It’s that freedom of when you weren’t afraid to express yourself in whatever way feels right,” Quincey said.

To purchase or view Kids In Color’s custom tie-dyed pieces, visit For more information on upcoming pop-up sales, find them on Facebook. Photos courtesy of Cody Rager.

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