Meet Our Family

The Didion Family

Karen-Headshot

Karen Didion

President/Designer

 

Christmas has always been the holiday Karen Didion has treasured most in her heart, and therefore the one that she holds as a keepsake each day. It was the love of this season that inspired Karen, a self-taught artist, to plunge into the world of design in the legendary form of Santa Claus. Her career started over 25 years ago in the basement of her home creating Christmas gifts for family and friends and selling her work at craft shows. In 1996, after the hard work of her home crafts paid off with popularity, one of her designs was selected for the cover of Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Catalog. The company, Karen Didion Originals, was created. The inspiration for her one-of-a-kind Santa’s continued from her basement to a studio. So close your eyes and imagine a room filled with 25 years of collecting vintage toys, sleds, dolls, trains, jacks, marbles, books, glasses, jewelry, fabric, trims, and fur; then open them to see her beautiful Santa creations. Who can forget those magical nights hanging up garland, tinsel, and ornaments around the Christmas tree with family while the best holiday tunes are playing alongside the crackle of a warm, toasty fire? These are the kind of memories that inspire Karen and bring families and loved ones together in beautiful harmony.

 

Karen currently resides in the St. Louis area and is married to Rick Didion. Together, they have four children, Matt, Jennifer, Jake and Kyle. She is thankful to her family for being there with her every step of the way, helping with every aspect of her business and making it 100% family operated. Not a single design leaves KDO without being personally examined by a Didion. She considers her collectibles as pieces of art, and therefore they should be treated as such before being placed in the homes of her beloved collectors.


The Christmas season is the one that always seems to bring out what she loves most in the world: hope, joy, love, and family. These aspects make up how people come together in this blessed season, keeping spirits alive for the upcoming year. COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! Karen Didion Originals can take you there.

 

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Jill-Headshot

Jill Blackford

VP of Sales and Marketing

 

Jill Blackford is Karen’s sister and has been with her since the very beginning. She is proud to have been a part of building the successful company that Karen Didion Originals is today. Jill is Vice President of Sales and Marketing and attends market events in Atlanta and Dallas. She holds a position of customer service specialist where she works directly with our store owners and catalog companies.


While the KDO industry was growing, Jill worked for Gold’s Gym as a personal trainer and helped many women achieve new healthy lifestyles. Jill currently resides in Lake St. Louis and is the mother to three children; Lauren, Jessica, and A.J.

 

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Matt-Headshot

Matt Didion

VP of Operations

 

Matt Didion is the eldest son of Karen Didion. He has seen the company grow first hand since its start in the basement of his parents’ house. He started working at Karen Didion Originals as summer help while in high school at St. Dominic and in College at Missouri State University – where he graduated in 2008 with a Degree in Marketing & Sales. He has since traveled the world and married the love of his life Ashley, who also works at KDO.


He and Ashley reside in Wentzville, Missouri and have 2 children Olivia and Cash and their dog Sir Archibald who serves as “watch dog” for the distribution warehouse. Matt’s interests include water and snow skiing, soccer, auto racing, and hot glue guns. Matt is currently the Vice President of Operations and attends market events in Atlanta and Dallas. He is your go-to KDO shipping guy!

 

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Ashley-Headshot

Ashley Didion

VP of Administration

 

Ashley Didion is from southwest Missouri, she graduated from Missouri State University with her degree in Entrepreneurship. It was there that she met Karen’s son, Matthew Didion. The two were wed on June 4, 2011 and soon after, Ashley began helping part time around the KDO office. It wasn’t long until Ashley came on board full time to help promote and grow the Karen Didion Originals industry.

 

She currently holds the position of Vice President of Administration where she manages the day to day activities within the Karen Didion Originals offices and attends the January and July markets in Atlanta. Some of Ashley’s interests, outside of the Christmas festivities, include traveling with Matt, snowboarding, acting, reading, and outdoor activities. Ashley and Matt have 2 wild and fun children Olivia and Cash and the Karen Didion Originals “watch dog,” Sir Archibald.

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Cliff-Headshot

Cliff Kammermeyer

Sales Representative

 

Cliff Kammermeyer is the proud patriarch of Karen Didion Originals. He has been involved in her business almost from its beginning (and her Dad since her beginning).

 

Initially, when Karen became involved in local craft shows; Cliff’s jobs included, but were not limited to, setting up the booth, selling her creations (despite scorching sun and pelting rain), and finally breaking down and packing up. His job description remained basically the same (without the sun and rain) when Karen’s business moved to permanent and temporary show rooms at market events in Atlanta and Dallas. Cliff currently holds the position of “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” – ready, willing and able to tackle anything that needs attention.

 

Prior to being involved with his daughter’s business; and after attending two years of college and serving in the U.S. Navy, Cliff pursued a career as successful salesman.


Cliff believes that Karen’s creative genes were passed on from her Grandmother who always had a project in progress. He feels that the best thing about being associated with Karen’s business is the quality time he is able to spend with his family and the opportunity to contribute to the successful business. Cliff currently resides in the St. Louis area with his wife, Barb (Karen’s mom), and is the proud parent and grandparent of seven children and 18 grandchildren.

 

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Archie-Headshot

Archie

VP of Security

 

Sir Archibald Cogswald Didion (Archie) is the esteemed “watch dog” of the Karen Didion Originals distribution center. He joined the team in January of 2011 and prides himself in his safely run and operated warehouse. Archie enjoys long runs in order to maintain his masculine physique, afternoon siestas (with one eye open of course), going on occasional patrols to secure perimeters, and puppy pepperonis as a reward for his high efficiency in the work place. Many have commented that Archie’s “sheer ferociousness” and intimidation can only be matched by his ability to sleep 17 hours in a day and his love for his Serta padded bed. One thing is certain; the Karen Didion Originals work place is a much safer and comical place thanks to this lovable pooch.

 

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