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ABOUT DEZIGNKIDZ


DezignKidz has been nurturing budding creative talent in the Bay Area since 2009. Partners and co-founders Durga Kalavagunta and Kathy Bonte began their endeavor out of a love and respect for all aspects of design and a desire to empower young minds to bring their ideas from design to fruition.  Beginning with their first summer camp in fashion design, they have since applied the same high standards to creating innovative age-appropriate programs in an ever-increasing number of design-related areas. Since DezignKidz began, the program has taught and inspired over 1,200 creative Bay Area kids, many who return faithfully year after year.


As an incubator for young design talent,  DezignKidz' core values include fostering a sense of global awareness through exposure to ideas and textiles from other cultures, and an eco-friendly mindset that encourages repurposing, recycling and the use of earth-friendly materials. The goal of every DezignKidz offering, from summer camps to after school programs, merit badge programs and birthday parties, is to provide a fun and stimulating environment that encourages creative visioning, self-expression and embodies true "design thinking" while laying a foundation of practical skills that last a lifetime.


Durga Kalavagunta is a former designer, currently an entrepreneur whose expertise is at the intersection of education and design. She brings a global aesthetic to her designs through her extensive travels around the world and experiences managing costumes for ballet and theater productions. She uses apparel/textile medium as a means to develop innovative non-traditional teaching methods and nurturing creativity in young minds. Schooled in the East and the West, she brings the best of both to the programs she creates. She holds a MS in apparel business analysis from Virginia Tech, Virginia and an MS in Textiles from MSU, India. Durga, a mother of two teenagers has been active in the local public schools for the past decade often supporting enrichment programs both in Arts and STEM. Durga’s passion for all things creative, academia and a deep desire to make a change when program cuts in schools were the norm, was and continues to be the inspiration for DezignKidz. She enjoys bringing innovative programs and products to children in the community and engaging learners of all kinds in the creative process.


Kathy Bonte is a design professional and a former New York City art director/creative director who has worked extensively with prominent apparel, consumer and B2B clients across a variety of traditional and new media. She holds a BFA in design from Syracuse University and has studied at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Having always enjoyed nurturing kids’ creativity, Kathy was an original co-founder of Almond School’s popular BookWave program, dedicated to inspiring young authors and illustrators. She is an active member and former President of the Los Altos Art Docents, and teaches art regularly in the district’s K-6 classrooms. An avid DIY-er, rabid Project Runway fan and self-proclaimed “re-fashionista”,  Kathy is a big supporter of the local non-profit Fabmo and recently launched a line of accessories utilizing recycled materials which she sells at varios Bay Area artisan fairs and will eventually be available online (if she can ever find the time to put them there!)