Friday, August 20, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Butter Luv Aromatics




 

Who are you and what do you do?
Butter Luv is a line of sustainably-crafted self-care items. We value creating products that are nourishing for the skin. We here at Butter Luv hope that the products we make help you to create your very own peaceful experience so that you may Relax, Renew and Revitalize.

 

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
My main item is body BUTTER and it’s made with LUV

 

How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?
I start in July by researching the most popular holiday scents and décor.

 

What was your first memory of making something?
I would say it was the first week I made body butter which is my number one seller, the handle broke on my mixer and product went everywhere! I wanted to quit but I did not give up!!

 

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
They are all natural, made with LUV and a wide variety of scents.

 

 

What do you love most about craft show vending?
Meeting new people and the expression on their face when they sample my products.

 

Is this a full-time business for you?
Yes

 

What is your favorite item that you sell?
Body butter and body whip.

 

What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?
My return customer

 

 

How does the city you live in influence your work?
My city loves to shop local.

 

What motivates you to create?
When someone ask me if I have a certain item, if I don’t, I will work on trying to create it.

 

Where do you see your business in 3 years?
In Target stores

 

What are some tips or suggestions you would like to offer to fellow makers?
Be patient and advertise!! 

 

 

 

 

Butter Luv Aromatics
www.butterluv.com
www.facebook.com/butterluv1
www.instagram.com/butterluvaromatics

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Your Crafts & Collectibles Source




 

 

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
My customers love the creativity, material usage, and the fact that I take the time to add the little things.


Have you always been passionate about art and design?
Yes, ever since my early childhood days, I have always been passionate and tinkering with different wood/material designs, learning early on from my Dad as we built stuff using a variety of tools. I continue experimenting with different projects using unusual materials!



 

 

What do you love most about craft show vending?
I love the interaction with each individual client, including other Vendors, getting to know their wants/likes/dislikes before we proceed with their custom project.


Is this a full-time business for you?
It has now become a more fun “full-time” hobby since I took early retirement 3 years ago from my full-time job, loving every moment!



 

 

What is your favorite item that you sell?
One of my favorite continuing items that I create are Miniatures, simply put, a client will send me photos of the family cabin and I then create a miniature of that, which may be utilized outside as a functional Birdhouse or as an indoor display piece.


What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
I take the time to design each piece, sometimes on the fly, to what materials to utilize, whether repurposed, new, or very unique materials.


 

 

Your Crafts & Collectibles Source
www.facebook.com/YourCraftsCollectiblesSource/
Les Rivkin - custombirdhse@gmail.com

 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Nikkolette’s Macarons




 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nikkolette Krumheuer, owner of Nikkolette’s Macarons. We focus exclusively on the French Macaron. These lovely French cookies are naturally gluten free since they are made with almond flour.

 

Is this a full-time business for you?
Yes, I quit my Corporate America job in finance 3 years ago to pursue Nikkolette’s Macarons full time!

 

What is your favorite item that you sell?
My favorite macaron flavor is the Orange Dark Chocolate. Yummy!

 

 

What do you love most about craft show vending?
It’s really great to get in front of customers. I love seeing how happy people are around the holidays!!

 

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?
Yes! Since the event is early November, we will have a fall holiday box that will include Pumpkin Cheesecake, Caramel Apple and White Cranberry.

 

 

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
Our customers really love that we use high quality ingredients. We do not have any preservatives and use only the best Belgium chocolate for our ganache fillings. We have lots of macaron flavors to choose from…. we always have at least 16 flavors.

 

 

Nikkolette's Macarons
www.nikkolettesmacarons.com
www.facebook.com/NikkolettesMacarons
www.instagram.com/nikkolettesmacarons

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Sota Cracklers




 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Laura, and I’m the founder and maker behind Sota Cracklers candles. I create soy candles with crackling wooden wicks, inspired by places and things that are uniquely Minnesotan. All our candles are poured by hand in my White Bear Lake studio, using 100% pure Midwest grown soy wax and sustainably sourced wooden wicks.

 

 

Is this a full-time business for you?
Nearly! My real full-time gig is this unpaid thing called being a mama. Sota Cracklers is how I relax and unwind after tearing it up with two little kiddos all day! Making candles satisfies my creative side, and running the business satisfies my intellectual side.

 

 

Have you always been passionate about art and design?
For sure! As a little kid I would always say, when I grow up I want to be “an artist”. I basically took every art and design course I could get my hands on from grade school through college. I’ve dabbled in just about every artist medium there is, and I also adore art history.

 

 

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?
Absolutely! In addition to bringing back our classic three holiday fragrances (fan favorites!), we’ll also be creating new and unique holiday scents. We love to stand apart from other candle companies, so we always create our own recipes and fragrance blends. You won’t find our scents anywhere else!

 

 

How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?
We actually start preparing for holiday season in July! At that time, I’m starting to stock up on supplies in a big way, planning our holiday show schedule, as well as dreaming up new candle scents & product offerings. I even start pouring some of our holiday candles to build up inventory of customer favorites, which tend to sell out fast. There’s so much to do, and because fall is also a very busy time for candles, I need to start preparing early!

 

 

What are some inspirations for your work?
My candles are all inspired by the Minnesota experience. I’ve lived here all my life, and Minnesota is such a special place to call home, from our nature, to our wildlife, and even our seasonal extremes. I want Sota Cracklers fragrances to reflect how wonderful life can be here in Minnesota.

 

 

'Sota Cracklers!
www.sotacracklers.com
www.instagram.com/sotacracklers

 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Ink 'N Flower




 

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi. My name is Sophie, and I am a florist with 17 years of experience who immigrated from South Korea to Minnesota. My encounter with the nature of Minnesota, especially the prairies, was such an inspiration that I developed a style trying to honorably model the wild beauty of the prairies in my floral design. That also branched off to other art forms such as macramé, candles, diffusers and greeting cards - and I infuse all of these art forms with my love for flowers whether it be illustrations, dried or preserved flowers. I live in Columbia Heights with my husband who is a Pastor and an IT professional and other beautiful housemates in a community house.


What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
My designs are meant to be enjoyed together to give life to our life. Like the complex inter-connectedness of the prairies of Minnesota, they are meant to be bring that inter-connectedness to our homes. That is why our customers keep coming back as each art is not an art on its own but together with the others.

 

 

What are some inspirations for your work?
The primary inspiration for my recent work has been the Minnesota prairie. The more I learn about them I am more inspired about the life-giving ecosystem it was and also grieve that they have been destroyed mostly. I try to take walks to many of the restored prairies and if allowed forage in it both for food and materials for my works. The complex web of life that the prairie represents inspires my work to be life-giving to others.


Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
My Korean name is ‘In Kyung’ and when I was brainstorming names with a friend, she gave the idea of ‘Ink Young’ to cover my stationary arts as a word play of dual meaning with ‘ink’ for stationary prints and my name. Then I decided to brand my floral art and others together and decided tweak it to ‘Ink and Flower’ as in ‘me’ with flowers. That’s how our name ‘Ink ’N Flower’ was born. It expresses my love for flowers and honors my heritage.

 

 

What is the latest thing you have been working on?
I have been working on utilizing rattan as a medium to express my love for plants and flowers. I have used it to decorate wedding centerpieces and decorate diffuser bottles. Natural materials inspire me as art is about shaping our desires - desires to be closer to the wild we left behind and start to live more harmoniously with all around us. I hope I can shape your desires and give life in your homes through my heart.

 

 

Ink 'N Flower
www.inknflower.com
www.facebook.com/InkNFlower
www.instagram.com/inknflower

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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: The Human Of Color




 

Who are you and what do you do?

We are The Human Of Color Haircare. We are a high-quality haircare at a affordable price that caters to the textured and curly headed community. Our products are natural, sulfate and parable free products. We range from by our washing needs to styling. Our mission to be a part of everybody daily life and encourage woman and men to embrace one’s true self every curl and kink. 

 

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

I am set apart because of a few things; All-natural products that are sulfate and parable free. My line has a product range from 2~4 type hair which can help all type of curly headed men and woman. As well as everything is Black owned sourced (labels, product, marketing, ingredients).

 

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

The Human Of Color, is my personal IG name and I came about that a few years ago because I wanted to HUMANIZE the phrase “people of color”. I see each culture as individual, with individual needs, individual struggles, and experiences, so why group us as something so “open as people” but see me as the HUMAN I am that has color.

 

 

 

What motivates you to create?

The need for products that work and created by somebody in the Black Community. Many products in stores at this moment say they support the textured band curly headed community but do not have the key ingredients that we need such as oils, sulfate free and natural ingredients.

 

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

Create from a passion. Start a business or creating something is easier when you wake up thinking about it. Hair care is not a job or a hassle because it’s something I been playing in since I can remember. I feel my whole life I have been training to build a Haircare line because I was always researching about natural products to make my hair grow, hold moisture and shine.

 

 

 

The Human Of Color
www.thehumanofcolor.com
www.instagram.com/Humanofcolorproducts
www.facebook.com/HumanOfColorProducts

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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

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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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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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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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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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

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