Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Minne Walker




Minne Walker creates and sells adorable and practical Baby Shoes and Hair Bows – the unique design and magnetic closure make them the best of all worlds, great looking adorable footwear that is affordable and highly functional!

 

 

 

What do your customers love most about your products?

• Unique wrap design provides wide opening for easy slip-on
• Magnetic Closure
• Environmentally Friendly! Made from upcycled garments
• Stay on all-day design
• Soft Soles – able to feel/grip floors, essential for growth, development, and balance

 

 

 

How did you get started in your business?

I had been doing a lot of sewing work recently, and when my daughter started having problems finding shoes that looked nice with neutral colors, were easy to put on, and didn’t cost an arm and a leg, I was challenged to come up with a design that was unique and solved these problems for my daughter and granddaughter. After several iterations, we came up with something that worked – and before we knew it, all of her friends were wanting them too, so we decided to go all in on the business!

 

 

 

What do you love most about craft show vending?

We love the energy and enthusiasm of our fellow crafters and creators. Having a chance to meet with them and learn from them is always a great opportunity. And it is also great to interact with customers and see their reaction when seeing our products for the first time. It gives me a sense of accomplishment knowing that we have created a product that fulfills a real need and brings joy to mothers and grandmothers. Their support encourages me to keep pushing and growing!

 

 


What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

We did a lot of research on what is available in stores and online for baby shoes. We came up with a design that allows the shoes to open wide to make it easy to get on the baby’s squirmy feet. The wrap design with magnetic closure makes it easy to close the shoe securely on the foot and attach it with the magnet in an easy step. We also found that most of the shoes out there were brightly colored and not easy to match with many baby outfits. We we’ve created neutral colored shoes that will go well with just about anything. Our use of recycled materials also sets us apart from others. Lastly, the soft sole. Minne Walkers are made with soft leather or suede soles that are light-weight and allow baby's feet to feel and grip the floor with her entire foot, almost as if she is barefoot. Experts say this is important for new walkers in order to develop strong ankles and flexible foot bones, leading to a solid foundation for the growth and development of the rest of the body, and may help baby learn to balance. Suede and leather are durable and naturally non-skidding, which reduces slipping and falling on smooth, hard surfaces. These materials are also comfortable, flexible, and, with regular wearing, they can mold and stretch to fit perfectly to baby's little feet, allowing her to wear them longer than stiff, hard-soled shoes.

 

 

www.minnewalker.com

@minnewalkerbaby on instagram

 

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Posted by Admin at 10:44 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Shoppy Chic




Cyndi Ritger makes trendy re-usable shopping bags from found materials, reducing waste while creating something useful and beautiful!




Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Cyndi Ritger and my company is Shoppy Chic. I make Tote bags and purses from fabrics that I have saved from the landfill over the last 30 years. I also make purses out of one long piece of zipper in every color of the rainbow. I recently started making a small charm that can attach to any zipper pull on any of the bags.


How did you get started in your business?

The company started ten years ago when I decided to make grocery bags for my two daughters for Christmas. I had been hoarding fabric for 20 years (along with raising 4 kids) and had accumulated enough to make approximately 40,000 tote bags. (I'll get into that whole story next). My younger daughter Jen was living in California at the time and went home after Christmas with her new heavy duty attractive fabric grocery bags. On her first stop to the store someone wanted to buy them. She asked if I could make 50 more as all her friends wanted them and people she didn't even know stopped her to ask where they could get them. This was all happening just as the public was being told that plastic would be banned soon. The demand for our bags was growing fast. Jen was selling at farmers markets all over southern California and I was cranking them out as fast as I could. But I still had a full time job and two young boys at home. So needless to say my time was stretched very thin. She eventually married and now has three kids at home and two step children. So she is a very busy mother and has had little time to sell the bags. I kept Shoppy Chic alive here in River Falls, Wisconsin by selling to local shops and occasionally doing a show or two. But my main focus was my boys who were still in Middle School. Time passes quickly and my boys are now 17 and 18. I am finding time to get out there and sell my bags. I am doing a lot of shows this year and feel like this is just the beginning for Shoppy Chic. My daughter is also looking forward to all the kids getting back to school and is excited to help with Shoppy Chic.




What valuable experience / knowledge did you have before starting your business.

It is crucial to understand where all this scrap fabric came from and why I saved it. In 1987 my sister and I started a company called SIS Enterprises. We were two young mothers that were looking for something to do while our kids were at home. We knew how to sew and had a passion for fabrics. We were in the process of decorating our first homes and spent a lot of time shopping for just the right fabric to make curtains and bedspreads and pillows and everything else that one would need to have the perfect house. We also did custom sewing and met someone that asked if we could make a cover for this new type of furniture called a futon. This was just when futons were getting started. There weren't many companies making covers and there wasn't much of a selection. We recognized that there needed to be a variety of fabrics for covers and pillows, not just black, khaki and red. After contacting many different fabric mills we finally found one that would sell us three different patterns. We ordered one 50 yard roll of each pattern and started our little cut and sew operation in my basement in Eden Prairie. We made up Futon Covers and Pillows in these three awesome patterns. We named them Green Mist, Lost Paradise and California Cool. We took our first line to a trade show in Montreal Canada where we picked up our first four customers. Every year we double our sales. Our fabrics were always the latest trends and our displays at the shows were fantastic. Soon we moved out of my basement and into a bigger space. Then two more moves in the next seven years to accommodate our rapid growth. Our line grew to over 500 fabrics adding new patterns every season and they all have names. The one thing that we didn't ever really deal with was the amount of scrap that was accumulating as we grew. I started a plan with our cutting department to have them cut the scraps into either an 18" pillow or a 20" pillow. Then they would pack it in a box and put it in a back room. I was planning to sort it out and use the current fabrics for pillows but there just was never time to deal with it. So for 15 years it just accumulated. I eventually started taking it home rather than throw it in the dumpster. It was taking to much space at the factory and our new production supervisor was throwing it out. I eventually sold all my shares of that company but continued to take the scrap. As I look back it's pretty insane how much time and energy I spent on keeping it sorted and saved. But I did it and it's done and now it's time to make Tote Bags and sell them. So you see I have a warehouse full of cut pillows. All sorted by color and size. A small pillow is a small tote bag. A large pillow is a large tote bag. I don't ever have to cut the fabric as it was all done over the last 30 years. All I have to do is find the two pieces of fabric that coordinate. (one for the outside of the bag and one for the inside of the bag as they are all reversible). When a futon cover came off of the production line and the fabric was flawed I would have them rip the zipper out and salvage what they could of the fabric. But there was no use for the 5 yard piece of zipper. I saved a lot of it and eventually started using it for the handles on the totes. My sister and her husband still own that company and have done an amazing job with it. It's been a long slow process developing Shoppy Chic but rome wasn't built in a day. I have had to wear many hats, mainly mother. But I have never doubted (well maybe a couple of times) that this company can make it. I have to live by the motto I always taught my kids. Never Give Up.




Where did your business name come from?

The first bags I made were just for the grocery store with short handles just like a real grocery bag. The name is a take off on "Shabby Chic” but Shoppy Chic for shopping. Get it? It's a little dorky but it stuck. Now the line has morphed into so many more products than just grocery bags. I design and make crossbody purses, travel totes with pockets, beauty bags with wrap around pockets, small clutch with pockets, and many other ideas floating around in my head that are coming soon.


Where do you see your business in three years?

My main goal now is to get my products onto my Etsy Shop. I have started but it will be a process, if I can get that done in three years I will be thrilled. I am doing a show every weekend until mid December and that alone takes half my week. So finding time to sew enough product for all the shows and then take the time to photograph is a challenge. My new motto is: Wherever I am is exactly where I'm supposed to be.  




Be sure to stop by Cyndi's booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

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Posted by Admin at 2:25 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Hopelark




Lauren Elisa makes amazing clay figurines, fairy houses, and all kinds of clay embellished products.  Her work is full of vibrant colors and joy!

 


Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Lauren Elisa, and I work with polymer clays to make all kinds of gifts and home décor. I love the versatility and bright colors of polymer clays. I’ve used clay to bring color and joy to pens, glassware, crochet hooks, keychains, wall art, and candleholders. My favorite products are my cuties, little cartoon-style figurines that bring delight to kids and grown-ups alike. I also love the fairy houses, these intricately detailed houses sculpted around a 4oz jam jar, so the roof twists off for a secret hiding place.



What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?

I’m currently working on a large mosaic of individually sculpted square inch tiles. I’m utilizing some of the concepts I’ve learned in zentangle, using many different small patterns to create a larger picture. I can’t wait to be able to exhibit the piece at a show!



Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

One of my most popular pieces is my nativity set. I originally made it just for my daughter. I think a nativity set that is safe for kids to play with is a great way for them to become familiar with the Christmas story, so I intended to buy one for my little one. I was disappointed that all the sets I could find had a baby Jesus with blue eyes and blonde hair. My set features six different skin tones, including a black angel and brown Jesus. Adults love the rich colors and intricate details; kids love that the set is sturdy enough for enthusiastic play.




What do your customers love most about your products?

I try to put joy into everything that I make, and I think my customers really respond to that. My pieces are full of color, and combine geometric and organic patterns to create a feeling of stability. The images I use are intricate and easily accessible. When customers see my work, they respond with delighted surprise. I love hearing children call to their parents to “come look at this!”


 

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

A lot of artwork is about making sense of pain, and that is an awesome way to deal with pain and communicate to others that they aren’t alone. I’ve done that kind of artwork in other mediums like drawing and poetry, but my clay work is about joy and fun. It’s about reconnecting with the playful imagination we remember from childhood. I want my work to go into people’s homes as a source of joy, a reminder that life can be simple and lovely.




What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?

A woman at a show once asked me if I would make a clay-embellished goblet in the style of her mother’s porcelain urn. I guess the urn had somehow become lost to her, but she had a picture of it. Working from that picture, I tried to get as close to the original as I could using blending and caning techniques. After I shipped it, I got a message from the woman that she’d cried when she opened my box. She said, “It’s like I have a little bit of my mother back.”




What advice do you have for other creators?  

Make lots of things.  Make as many things as you possibly can.  Pretend everything you make is amazing until everything you make is amazing.  Is it important?  Is it great?  Will anyone buy it?  It doesn't matter, just keep making things.  Keep making things like crazy and you'll find your voice, and what you have to say is important.  Keep making things and you'll hone your skills until what you make is great.  If you end up making something important and great, people will want to buy it.  


 

Check out more Hopelark products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

www.hopelark.com

 

 

 

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Posted by Admin at 3:24 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Monday, September 9, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Eye Candy Gone Green




Candy Becker makes upcycled bags, shirts, hats, and other accessories, finding inspiration in discarded objects like shirts, bags, belts, and jewelry!

 

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?


My name is Candy Becker and I own and operate Eye Candy Gone Green. Everything I make is upcycled; I repurpose clothing, jewelry, and belts. If I see something and I think I can upcyle it into a purse or a bag or a shirt, that’s what I do. I really enjoy making hats, sports hats, bomber hats, bucket hats. I use a lot of denim, sweaters, jackets. I also make bags and purses, and I’m especially proud of the lovely lining I use in the bags. They all have a zipper on the inside of the bag as well as the outside 

 

What do you like most about craft vending?


My vending friends! Craft shows are very social for me, I get to connect with other vendors that I see at all the shows, with my customers, and wonderful show managers like Tammie from L&L. She got me involved in the Gift & Art Show!
 

 

What are you working on right now?


One of my special orders recently was a Viking hat. I made it out of a jersey, and I’m really excited about that. This time of year I’m mostly busy with special orders.

 

 

How do you prepare for the holidays?


I make specialty items for all the shows I do. For the holidays, I do themed bags, each one is different every item is unique. All my holiday items has something everything has something red and sparkly on it.

 

 

What’s your first memory of making something?


Probably my first memory was making barbie doll clothes. I’ve been sewing my whole life. One Christmas my parents got me a little hand crank sewing machine. In high school I spent my life savings, $600-$700 on a brand new Bernina and I’ve been a Bernina girl ever since. I used to sell at the horse shows, I was a cowgirl. I quit when I was raising my family and now I’m back at it.

 

 

What are some inspirations for my work?


My family always inspires me with their likes and dislikes. I appreciate their constructive criticism and their wonderful praise. If there’s a certain way that they like something I try to lean in that direction. My way of doing things is constantly changing with every new idea that I get. My daughter strongly encouraged me to start vending and sell my wares.

 

How did you choose your company name?


My business name is Eye Candy Gone Green. This name comes from my own first name Candy. And because everything I make is up cycled, it’s a green business.
 

Be sure to stop by Ellen's booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

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Posted by Admin at 8:26 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Ellen Hanson-ZeVan




 

Ellen Hanson-ZeVan creates beautiful homey touches for your home with her hand-embroidered towels, table runners, table cloths, and much more!

 

 


 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

 

My name is Ellen Hanson-ZeVan, and I embroider and cross stitch table linens. My handmade items include table toppers and runners, table cloths, aprons, towels and other linen items. All my products are hand sewn and designed for home use and decoration. Each pieces is individually made and while there may be similarities in style and design, there are no two that are identical.

 


 

Is this a full-time business for you?

 

As with many other crafters, I started as a hobby as I worked full-time. I began participating in craft shows approximately 5 years ago at the encouragement of friends who had received my product as gifts. My first shows were very successful and my product received good reviews from those who bought from me. As craft shows continued, I experienced repeat business and satisfied customers referred me to others. At this point, I am not looking for this to become a full-time business - but being retired gives me more time towork on my craft and gives me additional product for shows.

 


 


 


 

Why this particular craft?

 

When I was very little, I had an aunt who was disabled and who did lovely embroidery. She was very special in my life and I loved spending time with her. She taught me to embroider - I think I actually picked up my first needle before I started school. I’m a creative person and as with others, I’ve pursued other arts over the years, but have always returned to embroidery as it fulfills my creative bent and evokes some wonderful memories.

 


 

First memory of making something?

 

My first memory of making something was when I was in grade school. I made the aunt who taught me to embroider a set of pillow cases for her bed. I bought the materials with my allowance, finished them without her knowing and gave them to her for her birthday. She actually cried when she opened the package. They were used by her for many years and she would always show them proudly to those who visited her. Her pride in my work and her encouragement gave me the confidence to make other handmade pieces for family and friends which have been given as gifts over the years.

 


 


 


 

Any special holiday items?

 

Holidays are a time when we invite family and friends into our homes. Our homes become festive and we are looking for pieces that will help us celebrate. And we are looking for those things that will be special gifts. I have concentrated on those holiday items that can provide for both home decoration as well as those things that might provide lovely gifts for family and friends.

 


 


Be sure to stop by Ellen's booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

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Posted by Admin at 8:28 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: My Bit of Wonder




 

Miranda Rosa makes playful, spontaneous quilted products full of whimsy and vibrant colors.  Her company makes bags, coasters, pot holders, and more!


 


 


 

Who are you and what do you do?

 

My name is Miranda Rosa. I make modern quilted home goods and accessories. A lot of what I make is done using an improvisational method, which makes much of my stuff truly one of a kind. And I make a lot of stuff with cats on it, because cats are awesome.

 


 

What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?

 

I just finished a bunch of new pouches for my shop. A lot of them are with hand dyed Indonesian cotton batiks. Some with cats.

 


 

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

 

I’m working on some ideas, but to be honest I get distracted easily and really love just improvisational sewing and seeing where it leads me. I am hoping to have some new ornaments and stockings available.

 


 

How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?

 

I giggled at this one a bit. I make lots and lots of pot holders and mitts and coasters and runners. Then I make lots of pot holders and mitts and coasters and runners. Rinse. Repeat.

 


 

What was your first memory of making something?

 

My mom was an artist. She painted in an impressionist style and did a lot of drawing, pointillism sometimes. I loved to draw with her. I made the tiniest drawings of the most intricate things. The first thing I ever sewed was an ugly yellow outfit for the 4-H fashion show when I was 9. The first quilt I ever made was a batik throw quilt at age 15 when my mom out of the blue decided to open a quilt shop.

 


 

What do your customers love most about your products?

 

Vibrant color. Unique patterns. Something they will not find anywhere else. But also something that is useful. The practical should be pretty. I make stuff for you to use. If you want to hang it, that’s fine. I know at least one person who framed one of my runners. That’s cool. But if you use and abuse it, that’s cool too.

 


 


 


 

Have you always been passionate about art and design?

 

Absolutely. I used to help people pick colors in my mom’s quilt shop when I was a teenager. I used to run drug courts and I was constantly doodling and coming up with ideas during meetings and court sessions. I’ve been to museums across the country and in Paris. I sure hope to go to more soon. Buy my stuff and fund my trips!

 


 

What do you love most about craft show vending?

 

I’m an introvert. That does not mean I’m shy but it does mean I’m drained by human contact. Sewing is very amenable to introverts. However, it is nice to occasionally get out and talk to human beings. I might be even weirder if I didn’t. Plus, you get instant feedback you can use.


 

What’s your favorite item that you sell?

 

Patchwork coasters are my favorite. Each are a little piece of art that you can look at and use every day. Or little patchwork pouches. They’re so cute and useful.

 


 

How did you get started in your business?

 

I was burned out in my day job. I had the opportunity to do it on a part time basis and took advantage of that while I worked on the business. I’ve always sewed but saw expanding what I do into a real business as the chance to take a break. I joked for a while I semi-retired. I work harder than ever, truthfully, and I love it.

 


 

Why did you start working in this particular craft?

 

I’ve sewed for more than 30 years if you count my debut at the 4-H fashion show. I can’t imagine doing anything else creative. My drawing and painting are really terrifying. Sewing brings me a peace I get nowhere else. Plus everyone in my life really had enough quilts by this point, it was time to share with the world.

 


 


 


 

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

 

I’m not afraid of color. I go with the flow. I don’t plan anywhere near as much as people think I do. I overthink plenty in life, but this is one place I really don’t.

 


 

What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?

 

The day I quit my day job! It was terrifying but so freeing.

 


 

How does the city you live in influence your work?

 

Truthfully I’m not sure that it does. I’m in a suburb of the Twin Cities. If nothing else I can get everything I need delivered here and can stay home and keep sewing! Why grocery shop when you can sew?

 


 

What are some inspirations for your work?

 

The work of the Gee’s Bend women is absolutely inspiring for me. No one makes quilts like they do. They are so fearless.

 


 

What motivates you to create?

 

Improving my mood probably the most. If I’m feeling anxious, all I need to do is sit down and sew something. Money helps too!

 


 

Where do you see your business in 3 years?

 

Hah I don’t know. You’re funny. You think I plan this.

 


 


 


 

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?

 

Oh it’s a long and kind of silly story. When my mom opened her shop, I wanted her to name it Seven Day Wonder. It didn’t make any sense as it really is about fleeting interest. But I was a silly teenager with purple hair and didn’t care about making sense. So for my shop I used the word, Wonder, in homage to that, plus I kept the name generic in case I changed the direction of my business. It kept my options open.

 


 

Have you had any major failures?

 

Sure, baby quilts. I clearly don’t know what people like in baby quilts. So, I quit making them!

 


 

If so, what were some important insights gained?

 

I learned I was glad I didn’t call my business I Love Baby Quilts. I eventually sold most of them. Not everything is going to work. You need to throw a bunch of balls up in the air and see what sticks. And mix your metaphors…

 


 

What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?

 

My parents had a few forays into self-employment, so I’ve seen how much work it takes. I knew how much fun it was to do the books and pay quarterly taxes. I knew that there were some really boring parts of the business you need to deal with.

 


 

What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

 

Why not? It’s not very fun to have someone else be your boss! I can take a day off and take my son to the museum on a Tuesday. That’s kind of fun.

 


 

What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

 

Do you. Don’t copy anyone else, it won’t be authentic. Keep a side gig until you are more settled.

 


 


 

 

Check out more Embellish by Sandra products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

mybitofwonder.patternbyetsy.com/

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Posted by Admin at 10:59 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Monday, August 19, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Vandalia Glassworks




 

Bryce Borkhuis creates one-of-a-kind blown glass works of art, and has created space for other artists to learn and practice this ancient artform.  

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 Who are you and what do you do?

 

 

My name is Bryce Borkhuis and I am one of the owners of Vandalia Glassworks. My business partner and I operate a public glass  blowing studio located in South Saint Paul, MN. We currently offer bench time to local glass artists in the metro to create and sell their own work. Along with providing space to those local artists we have recently started focusing more on our own product line.

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

What was your first memory of making something?

 

 

My first memory of making something out of glass was actually at our old location located in the Midway area. I remember watching these artists work with sheer amazement and fluidity and wondering how in the world they weren’t burning themselves. Then it was my turn. Ha. I was tripping over my own two feet trying desperately not to let the glass fall off the end of the blow pipe.

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?

 

 

I think my customers love the fact that the piece is 100% made from scratch and no one piece is made to be duplicated. Glass has been around for 1000’s of years and it is often times a forgotten art form lost in history.

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

Is this a full-time business for you?

 

 

This is a full time business for me. Vandalia Glassworks started off more of a hobby, but quickly became something much bigger. I think every maker can relate to that. I think we quickly realized the potential that we had and hope to share the knowledge of glassblowing with everyone willing to listen.

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

What motivates you to create?

 

 

Honestly, I think what motivates me to create is the challenge of working with the medium. Of coarse there are other factors, but the challenge of working with molten glass when temperatures are exceeding 2,000 degrees and using heat and gravity to create specific shapes, is a huge factor. It is also extremely rewarding creating a custom piece for someone’s home and seeing it displayed for the owners or their guests to see.

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

 

 

Obviously creating and selling your work is important but I think it is crucial to never over extend yourself. When you first start out your general mindset is to make everything for everyone but that adds even more stress to the already stressful job. It’s okay to say no or to extend your timeframe to get jobs done.

 

 


 


 

Check out more Embellish by Sandra products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

vandaliaglassworks.com/

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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Friday, August 16, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Embellish by Sandra




 

Embellish by Sandra creates inventive and beautiful items for parties and dinners, utilizing wood-burning and engraving techniques.   

 

  

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

 

 

 

My name is Sandra Pohle and I own Embellish by Sandra. When I first started my business, just over 2 years ago, I was making wine stoppers. I still make the wine stoppers and now I also wood burn and engrave unique designs on all types of products. I have mostly worked on wooden spoons, wine glass toppers, coasters and cheese boards. I love adding fun and creativity to items we use every day.

   

 

 

 

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

 

Many of my items make great stocking stuffers. I will also incorporate some holiday themes into a few of my items, in particular the wine glass toppers. I have some ideas of fun holiday sayings that will be perfect for those holiday gatherings.

  

 

  

 

 

What do you love most about craft show vending?

  

I love that I get to be creative and make products that people can utilize. It makes me so happy when my items put a smile on someone’s face. It’s such a great feeling knowing that I make something that people can take home and enjoy.

 

 

What’s your favorite item that you sell?

 

My favorite item would be the wood burned wine glass toppers. They’re unique and they serve many purposes. They are great for keeping the bugs and bees out of your wine while sipping outside. You can also use them as a mini plate on your wine glass for snacks and appetizers. Perfect for those holiday parties so you’re not holding a separate plate and your wine glass.

  

 

 


How does the city you live in influence your work?

 

My husband, Rick, and I have lived in the Twin Cities area for about 4 years. I have been so grateful for the opportunities that are offered for local makers and artisans. There are so many local shops and people who put on events and markets that give businesses like mine the chance to sell our items and gain exposure. It’s pretty amazing!

  

 

 

What motivates you to create?

 

I’m in my happy place when I’m creating. I find it therapeutic, if I’m not under any tight deadlines. I try to come up with new designs or products frequently to keep it exciting.

  

 

 

 


What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

 

My husband and I left the corporate world 3 years ago. We started a business in an industry with my husband’s background and I started Embellish shortly after. While we learned a lot over the years in our corporate jobs and we probably wouldn’t have been able to start our own business without that experience, I’m very grateful to be self-employed. Like the saying goes, ‘Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid a 40 hour work week’.

  

 

 

What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

 

Believe in yourself. As many of us do, I often struggle with self-doubt. Take compliments to heart and be grateful for the small wins.

  

 

  

 

 

Check out more Embellish by Sandra products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

www.etsy.com/shop/EmbellishBySandra

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Posted by Admin at 7:14 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Jam's and More




Jam's & More works closely with both Amish and Mennonite families to bring their home made Jam's, Salsa's and Pickles to your kitchen!




Who are you and what do you do?

 

One of the most unique things about all of our products is everything we do comes from or is taught to us by the Amish! We work with Amish families throughout the year on a variety of items. From Spring Flowers, Fall Mums, Jams, Salsa, Pickles, Rugs, and other specialty items. We truly value their expertise, hard work, and dedication in everything they do!




What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?


We are so excited to have started our Amish Large Glazed Donuts! I was personally invited into a home and was taught first hand from an amazing family in Iowa. She has 17 children and wow could they cook! Working side by side with them, learning and baking with them was something I will never forget. In today’s world, we have equipment that allows us to work faster and easier. This was not the case with baking in the home, everything was done by hand, which really made you appreciate the final product!




What do your customers love most about your products?


I really believe that individuals like our story. So many times we are asked questions about the Amish. We are asked the 5 W’s, Who are they? What are the Amish like? When did you start working with them? Why/How did you start working with them? We love sharing our story with everyone. And of course no matter what product we sell, spring flowers, house rugs, jams, salsa, pickles, and our glazed donuts, the quality is amazing!




How did you get started in your business?


Back in January 2018 we began our story with spring flowers and finding the BEST and most knowledgeable people we know, the Amish families. We talked, visited and learned about their processes for growing flowers. Not only are the Amish families amazing farmers, but their cooking is absolutely fabulous! We began sampling their jams, salsa, and pickles! Now we have begun sharing these products with you! We are attending local craft fairs/shows and we couldn’t be more excited!




What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?


It all goes back to meeting and learning from the Amish families! It reminds us and teaches us what our ancestors did and how in today’s society we take everyday tasks for granted.

 

 

Check out more Jam's & More products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

facebook.com/jamsandmore

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Posted by Admin at 2:29 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Featured Exhibitor: Heavenly Treats




Kathy Leighton Carton of Heavenly Treats handcrafts her toffee thinner, covers both sides in chocolate, and lightly sprinkles walnuts over the top.  Kathy prides herself on the impeccable quality of her toffees, cookies, and caramels.



Who are you and what do you do?

 

I am Kathy Leighton Carton, Founder of Heavenly Treats.  Our company makes excellent tasting products.  We create gourmet toffee (close to 40 years), incredible toffee cookies and creamy caramels.  People are looking for fresh, quality products right here in Central Minnesota and we are able to offer just that. 




What do your customers love most about your products?

 

What our customers love most about our Heavenly Treats Products is the quality.  Our loyal following knows that when they purchase our products they will not be disappointed.  We have refined our toffee to be exceptional.  it's a thin, crips toffee, very easy to bite into and coated with chocolate and nuts on both top and bottom.  We have created many flavors, the two most popular being Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.  We also don't waste anything, so with our toffee tidbits we create wonderful toffee cookies.  The cookies are becoming as popular as our toffee.  




What do you love most about craft show vending?

 

What I love most about craft shows and events is introducing people to our freshly made products.  I especially like seeing the reactions of people when they first bite into our toffee, an experience of what toffee should taste like.  We have reinvented toffee and want as many people to be able to enjoy it as possible.  




How did you get started in your business?

 

I started making toffee back in 1980, while teaching at a Catholic School.  One of the nuns taught a few of us teachers how to make toffee.  Hence the name, Heavenly Treats.  That small events set me on a path that eventually changed my life.  I became passionate about pefecting our toffee making sure it's as thin as possible, making it one batch at a time using fresh, quality ingredients, and continuing to experiment with additional new toffee flavors.  As the years went on people kept asking for our toffee and it's become more year round than just a seasonal business.




What are some tips or suggestions you'd like to offer to fellow makers?

 

I've been working my small business for quite a few years, becoming an official business in 2008.  I've learned much over the many years and have greatly benefitted from networking with other entrepreneurs.  Being and entrepreneur is really a gift we're given.  It's a way to be able to express yourself through your products or art.  It's really important to surround yourself with likeminded people and to realize that you don't have to do it all.  Seek out people that have strengths that you may not possess and feel free to let go of some things.  Build a solid team around you and your business will grow.  


 

Check out more Heavenly Treats products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 1-3, 2019 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

www.myheavenlytreats.com

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Posted by Admin at 11:56 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

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