Friday, July 20, 2018

Featured Exhibitor: Flaranto Jewelry




Inspired by her twin boys and her family history of master jewelers, Myriam Kinde began crafting colorful beaded jewelry. She started Flaranto Jewelry in 2017 after ten years of experience creating one-of-a-kind pieces and learning everything she could about the art of jewelry making. We love her detailed work, and the joy she finds in the selection of her stones and beads is apparent in every adornment she makes.

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?


My name is Myriam Kinde. I'm a handmade Jewelry Designer and maker.


Will you be featuring any special holiday items?


I'll be presenting handmade bracelets with Christmas beads. Because I design and make my own items, I can say they're all special items.


What do your customers love the most about your products?


The uniqueness and my art of matching the colors.I also try to use beads that are of uncommon shapes or tell a particular story.

 


Have you always been passionate about art and design?


I have loved decorating since I was little. My passion for designing jewelry started after I gave birth to my twin boys.


Is this a full-time business for you?


No. I have a full-time job as a Systems Analyst for a bank.


What is your favorite item that you sell?


My handmade stretchy Essential Oil Bracelet

 


Why did you start working in this particular craft?


I got the inspiration from my mother. I'll also admit that both my grandfather and my uncle were goldsmiths, so I can say it runs in the family.


What do you think sets your design apart from others?


The creativity in my design. Plus my aim to always use high quality materials in my design.


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


Flaranto is an anagram of my twin boys' names.


How did you get started in your business?


After a very complicated pregnancy, I was with memory loss issues (like putting car keys in the microwave lol) to which my doctor suggested some craft activities might help. My mom who was helping me with the young kids then, gave me the idea of trying jewelry.

 

 

Check out more of Myriam's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 2-4, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

www.flarantojewelry.etsy.com

 

www.Facebook.com/FlarantoJewelry

 

Instagram: @flarantojewelry

 

 

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Posted by Admin at 2:53 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Featured Exhibitor: Iconic Quilling




These beautiful cards are not only a special way to send a message, they are works of art perfect for framing. Anh and Aaron Furuseth are the owners of Iconic Quilling, where they create stunning keepsakes using the intricate technique of paper quilling. After discovering the art form on a trip to visit Anh's hometown in Vietnam, the couple started their business quilling iconic images inspired by their home in Minnesota. 

 


 

Who are you and what do you do?


Anh works at the business full time and has for the last 5 years. She is the driving creative force behind the cards and everything starts out in her head and then is a drawing before it is quilled. Aaron still maintains a 9-5 job as a distribution manager. The goal for us is to make the business full time for both of us! This would allow us to go to art shows that are further away and bring out products (and the smiles that they bring) to a wider audience!


 

How did you get started in your business?


We got our start buy finding some quilled greeting cards in a book store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Anh is originally from there and when we had just met each other, we traveled there together to meet her family and experience her home town. Initially, we were trying to import the cards and run the business that way, but it quickly became apparent that it would not work. The cards were 6"x6" which made them difficult to mail and display for retail and also tough to find frames for. Additionally, the art work was aimed more at the Asian market. Anh sat down and started designing cards based on our experience camping and hiking and fishing in Minnesota. We changed the size to 5"x7" so that the cards could be used as works of art to hang on the wall and not just standard greeting cards to be thrown away.


 

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


We have actually named the business 3 different times! This most recent one and the one that we will most likely stick with as long as we have it, reflects the iconic nature of our images. Often, the most difficult part of quilling is to convey the sense of an animal or a flower using the medium of rolled paper. Since we have a limit on how many strips we can use (in most cases, 50 strips) we need to be creative in how we present the images. It is both difficult and rewarding and the name Iconic Quilling is simple to understand and really reflects the design choices we make when creating our images.

 


What do you love most about craft show vending?


Our favorite thing about exhibiting at craft shows is the smiles that we see when people realize what they are looking at! Quilling is not a very well-known art form in the states. Those that do know it often had a grandma or aunt that used to do it and are even more excited when they see our work. We always wanted a business that made people smile and we really couldn't have done better than picking quilling to be that business. It even makes us happy to look at the colorful and intricate images! Sharing our work with people and seeing how it connects with them is very rewarding.


Will you be featuring any special holiday items?


We create cards for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and New Years. Christmas is by far our biggest seller. We have a ton of new designs coming out this year for the holidays. We are very excited to showcase them and give people not only the opportunity to send a unique card to someone but to give them a gift that can help decorate their home for the holidays!

 

 

Check out more of Anh and Aaron's work online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 2-4, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

www.iconicquilling.com

 

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Posted by Admin at 11:32 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Featured Exhibitor: Artful Earth




Denise Johnson is an artist with a tremendous eye and respect for her medium of choice. She turns trash into treasure by using recycled scraps to make her dynamic pieces, and she allows the unruly alcohol inks to assist in the composition; they blend to create the movement that each work possesses. 

 

 

"I'm Denise Johnson. I've been doing artsy things all my life. My earliest crafty memory is taking a wooden cutout of a chicken and gluing dried beans to it. Thankfully, I've picked up a few more creative skills along the way. Chickens are still with me, beans, not so much..

 



I have been painting with alcohol inks almost 7 years now. It is a relatively new medium. I may be the only person on earth that paints on a recycled material called Corian. Corian is usually used for high end countertops. My husband purchases scraps that would otherwise be headed for a landfill and then garage crafts beautiful and functional Corian cutting boards. I scoop up his scraps (sometimes I help myself to non-scraps, don't tell him) and transform them into beautiful works of art.


 

These alcohol-based inks are a very spontaneous, fast moving medium with a mind of their own. I find that if I use my intuition and follow the inks where they lead, my paintings take on a life of their own. When you look at my paintings, I want to grab your heart; draw you in and connect you to the breathtaking colors, textures and movement of the inks. As one lady commented at a recent show "Your work is so uplifting!" and like the Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about!

I hear my soul knocking. I answer with my art."

 

 

Check out more of Denise's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 2-4, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

www.artfulearth.com

 

www.facebook.com/artfulearth

 

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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Featured Exhibitor: Croix Valley Foods




Croix Valley Foods is your one-stop-shop for amazing flavors, fun recipes, and all natural products. Damon and Lu Holter are a competitive cooking duo whose recipes have won them countless awards and features. Their dry rubs, sauces, and marinades are the perfect gifts for the avid grill master and foodie in your life! 

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?


We are husband and wife team, Damon and Lu Holter. We are Croix Valley Foods, producers of the Croix Valley line of sauces, dry rubs, Bloody Mary seasonings, and marinades. We are also a competition cooking team that travels all over the country and have been featured on Food Network, Outside Television, and lots of local Twin Cities stations!


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


Our customers love our unique flavors, fun recipes, and that all of our products are all natural and gluten free. Customers also enjoy our videos, Facebook posts (including lots of Facebook live videos), and our website full of fun recipes, tips, and tricks.

 


What do you love most about craft show vending?


We love vending at craft shows because it gives us the opportunity to share our products and passion for cooking with people in a fun, high energy way! It’s fun to talk to people about the uses of the products as they are trying them. We’ve gotten our most loyal customers from craft shows.


Is this a full-time business for you?


Yes! This is a full time business for both myself and my husband. We are passionate about our products and love what we do! We have our own production facility in River Falls, WI and handcraft all of our products in small batches insuring the quality and consistency.


What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?


We love traveling and competing in food sport, steak competitions, and BBQ competitions (using our products) across the country. My favorite moment was having both my husband and I place in the top ten at the World Food Championships in 2014 and again in 2017. We also travel annually to the American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City and have done very well there, with our best being a 1st place call in sausage!

 

 

Check out more of Croix Valley Food's products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 2-4, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

www.croixvalleyfoods.com

 

 www.facebook.com/CroixValley/

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Posted by Admin at 11:31 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Friday, June 29, 2018

Featured Exhibitor: Chillon Leach




From a distance, Chillon Leach's paintings tell a story of topographical maps, colorful cloud haze, and ink diffusing through water. Up close, those images are suddenly infused with magic as the paint catches light. Chillon's medium of choice is a paint made of crushed gemstones, and her detailed lines create layered dimension as the colors fade into each other. There's no denying that each painting is a special "map" to the viewers' imagination, and we love Chillon's talent and intention that she pours into her beautiful work.

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

 

My name is Chillon Leach. I’m a self-employed visual artist from St. Paul, MN, specializing in painted textiles, mixed media paintings, and illustration. Currently, I’m focusing on creating watercolor and ink paintings on paper. The paints I use have been manufactured from genuine gemstones and minerals which have been mined from around the world. (over 37 different ones) The entire series is entitled: “Gem Islands”. These sparkling and detailed paintings appear as topographical maps, as seen from above, of mythical islands. The carbon black ink areas of pointillism dots and lines emphasize geographical features of mountains, plains, bayous, rivers, and other bodies of water.


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

 

These “Gem Island” paintings. I’ve never felt so passionate and solid about a body of work! I’ve been working on them for 2 years and now earnestly starting to show them.


What was your first memory of making something?

 

When I was about 4 years old, my mom taught me how to color, create detailed shaded areas, and outline in coloring books. I have my original drawing of a stick person, complete in body, head, appendages, and features from when I was 2 1/2.

 


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

 

The sparkle of the paints! The fact that genuine gemstones with gum Arabic as the binder makes up the paint itself; the extensive detail work of black ink pointillism dots throughout the entire painting; the sensation of becoming “lost” during viewing. I’ve been told viewing the paintings has a meditative and positive affect; a sense of the infinite or the cosmos; the magical possibilities of an island actually existing like this. That the stones themselves could have ancient healing properties, for those who are interested in alternative healing practices.


Is this a full-time business for you?

 

Yes, it is. I also continually look for opportunities of turning my many interests into additional revenue streams, be it teaching, speaking engagements, or new art making experiences that have niche markets. I also take chances and say ‘yes’ to bigger jobs that allow me to grow in new and often times unexpected but appreciated ways!


What’s your favorite item that you sell?

 

All of these paintings! I also offer commission work if someone would like their own personal “Gem Island” done in colors they prefer or gemstones that are meaningful or healing to them. I would sit with them while placing the base colors; after the paints have dried at home, I would then do the finishing black dot work while alone, and yet, thinking of the client while doing so. These paintings are very meditative and engrossing to create, both in the actual painting and in the pointillism dot work.

 


Why did you start working in this particular craft?

 

I wanted to treat myself to some new watercolors after having taking an unsatisfying class. I have always loved jewelry, rocks, minerals, and gemstones and discovered this line of paints….this was the perfect combination for me! As I played with my various sheets of cold press 100% cotton watercolor papers, many of them handmade from various countries, the painted areas took on a topographical appearance as the paints moved and settled in the grooves and bumps of the papers. The black ink work emphasizes certain areas and gives an almost 3D affect in sections.


What are some inspirations for your work?

 

I’m revisiting the part of me that wants to travel and explore and to write the back story for these Gem Islands. I’m inspired by my love of color and sparkle, and the contrast of black with it --- maybe this goes back to my early coloring book days with my mom! Both of my parents have always been very supportive of my art and craft making.

 

 

Check out more of Chillon Leach's beautiful paintings online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 2-4, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

 

www.chillonleach.com

 

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Posted by Admin at 2:20 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: PartlyCloudy Collective




PartlyCloudy Collective was started by creators Sara Hammerstad and Jessica Newton, classmates from St. Cloud State who love making things by hand. Their creativity knows no bounds; they make home decor, practical goods, jewelry, and special holiday ornaments. Sara and Jessica's collaboration has produced the sweetest stocking stuffers, and their variety of handmade treasures will make everyone on your holiday shopping list happy!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

Jessica Newton and Sara Hammerstad make up the duo of PartlyCloudy Collective. We are two friends that are both graphic designers by day, but enjoy spending some time away from our computers and making something with our hands. In some shape or form, everything is handmade by the two of us at our kitchen table.
 
 
 

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

Around the holidays we both create various holiday ornaments. Some are made from felt and vintage buttons while others are small pieces of wood burned by hand.

What do your customers love most about your products?

Everything we make is handmade with love, and we make items that we would want to purchase ourselves.
 
 
 

Have you always been passionate about art and design?

We both have been makers of sorts since our childhood. The two of us met in art school at St. Cloud State University and both work as graphic designers, so a lot of our lives are spent dedicated to creative pursuits. I don’t know what I would do without the many creative outlets in my life. I (Jessica) remember entering every coloring or poster contest I could as a kid including winning a safety poster contest for my mom’s work at a young age.
 
 
 

What do you love most about craft show vending?

We love meeting the customers and talking to them about our craft. It’s fun to see how people react and relate to our products and how different items strike a chord with each individual customer. Our conversations often help us see the products in a different light and often spark an idea of what to
make next.
 
 
 

How did you get started in your business?

PartlyCloudy started in the summer of 2014. We had always wanted to start our own craft business, so after a few afternoons spent crafting with friends, we met at a local diner to discuss the logistics of making it happen. Our free time is spent working with new materials and building our inventory.

Where did your business name come from?

The two of us met in college at St. Cloud State University. We shared a Fundamentals of Drawing class and quickly bonded over the in-class assignments and became fast friends. When we decided to start the business we knew we wanted the name to somehow reference our days at St. Cloud
State and PartlyCloudy Collective was born.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of PartlyCloudy's products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Jonathan at 9:15 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Whatknots & Tangents




Stacy Bifulk is a second generation woodworker who creates custom keepsake boxes. Whatknots & Tangents became her full time business this fall, and the keepsake wine boxes for couples to open on their wedding anniversary have quickly become her favorite item to make. We think these boxes are the perfect special gift to mark any special occasion, from anniversaries to holidays. Stacy's work is not only beautiful, we love that she brings people together with her craft.
 
 
 
 
Is this a full-time business for you?

I just took the leap this fall. I’ve spent the past few years straddling two worlds – one as a marketer for a local medical device company and, well… this. I’ve always had a passion for art and this is my creative outlet. This fall I decided to pursue my dreams fulltime. I couldn’t be more excited about the journey… and learning curve… ahead of me as I work to build Whatknots and Tangents. And I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to participate in the Minneapolis Gift Expo.
 
 
 

What’s your favorite item that you sell?

I build anniversary wine boxes, which is a beautiful tradition I first witnessed at a dear friend’s wedding. Couples place a bottle of their favorite wine in the anniversary box along with two sealed letters. On their anniversary, they open the letters and enjoy them over the bottle of wine. Then, they repeat the tradition for the next year. These projects are often built custom for the couple, which gives me the chance to explore new designs and take on new challenges. I just love the idea and adore sharing it with folks.
 
 
 

How did you get started in your business?

My father is a longtime woodworker. I learned everything I know from him. When I first expressed interest, I would come to him with complex designs. I remember him laughing and suggesting we start with a box. My complex designs are now infused into the pieces I build today… and it gives me great pleasure to see him smile at my work.
 
 
 

How does the city you live in influence your work?

Stillwater has a strong community of artists. You never know who you’ll meet on Main Street or what conversation you’ll strike up. Different folks. Different mediums. Different perspectives. I find myself learning tricks, discovering resources… and enjoying the camaraderie from others that are following their passion. I consider myself quite lucky to call Stillwater home.

What are some other inspirations for your work?

People. Although I am a textbook introvert, I often get my best ideas while in conversation with others. I can overthink things… just ask my friends and family. And I’m a recovering perfectionist. So my friends and family ground me and help me get out of my own head. They’re an essential component to my creative process and I’m forever grateful to have each one of them in my life.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Stacy's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!
 
 
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Posted by Jonathan at 8:17 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Friday, October 27, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Teesdale Studios




Teesdale Studios boasts beautiful porcelain ceramics that reflect nature. Artist Katie Teesdale is inspired by her surroundings, bringing life into her pieces with colors of frozen lakes, textures of leaves, and raw organic edges. Katie's ceramics are both stunning and functional for every day life. Her work seems to be a reflection on the beauty of Minnesota, and we love her interpretation. 
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Katie Teesdale and I am the artist behind Teesdale Studios. I create wheel thrown and altered porcelain ceramics. My artwork’s focus is on creating collectable functional artwork for the home.

What's the latest thing you have been working on?

I’ve really been focusing on how to create new vases and flower bricks (a vase designed to hold floppy flowers like tulips). I like how different styles really resonate with different people, and how I can really create a variety of things without drifting too far from “my style”.
 
 
 

Will you be featuring any holiday items?

Yes! This year I will have a new line of holiday ornaments that I will be unveiling in late October.

Why did you start working in this particular craft?

I didn’t have access to a pottery studio until I went to college. I ended up in a ceramics class as a part of my Art Education requirements. I immediately fell in love, switched my major from painting and never looked back.
 
 
 

How does the city you live in influence your work?

The colors of Hutchinson, MN really drive what I look for in my pieces. Especially as the seasons change, I find myself wanting to develop the colors of the world outside my studio window. How do we grab that sunset, or that frozen lake?

What motivates you to create?

Ceramics can be a very repetitive process, so I take that time to medatate on habits both of my mind and body. I find that clay can help a person find that state of “mental flow”, which is incredibly restorative.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Katie's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Admin at 3:22 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Friday, October 27, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Big Oak Press




Big Oak Press is the work of Eric A. Johnson, an artist who has been printmaking for nearly 20 years. His experience spans all types of printmaking, but his focus has been on creating block prints with a single block for all the colors in the image. His work is colorful and intricate, and the imagery is both organic and full of energy. We are amazed by the amount of color and detail in each print, and his process of creating is an art form in itself.
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?
 
My name is Eric A. Johnson, I am an artist/ printmaker from the Fargo, ND area.
Although I create with and teach different areas of art, my primary focus has been printmaking for the last nearly 20 years. There are four main areas of printmaking; relief, screen print, intaglio, and lithography. I work mostly in relief focusing in on something called the reduction or reductive process of creating color images. The process uses one block to print all the colors instead of a block for each color being printed.
 
 
 

What was your first memory of making something?
 
My first memories of making something was as a child drawing on the floor with one of our cats on my back. I was probably about four or five years old.

What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?
 
I don’t know if I have one specific moment! In general something I’ve found to be great is having people come back years later and commenting on how much they still like something they’ve purchased from me.
 
 
 

Where do you see your business in 3 years?
 
Well my five year goal was to have a home studio set up; and while this was a great thing to shoot for, it didn’t quite happen so I would love to make it happen between now and three years from now!

Where did your business name come from?
 
“Big Oak” Press comes from a print I made of a tree (the sketch for it is now my logo and chop mark) in which I wanted to include something in Norwegian. My Mother came to North Dakota when she was 16 and we still have a lot of family there. I had just planted some Bur Oak trees on the family farm so I was thinking of Oak trees and thought it would be a cool name for my press (even though at the time it was still a long term goal to have my own press). So in this print I included “Stor Eik” (Big Oak) at the top.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Eric's work online, and be sure to stop by his booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!
 
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Admin at 1:30 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: YB Urban?




Angie and Chris Whelan made the big move from urban life in Las Vegas to rural Wisconsin, and their homestead became a place to explore every facet of their creativity. They started a line of bath and beauty products called YB Urban? and Angie designs textiles for her line "Breed Fashion." They work to create products that are natural and sourced from their own farm, and they have big plans to expand in the future with even more locally sourced ingredients. We admire their mission to provide a space for community and growth, and their care in creating products to promote joy and wellness.
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

We are Angie & Chris Whelan from Ellsworth, WI! We have a creative homestead called YB Urban? on 5 beautiful acres in the El Paso township where we currently grow food, raise chickens, cats & kids, and create 2 handcrafted product lines. Breed Fashion is a textile art endeavor created by Angie. It started with kids clothing and is ever-expanding into artfully inspired accessories, jewelry, and home décor. Our YB line is a collection of natural personal care products made with very high quality ingredients, creative essential oil pairings, modern design, and clever names!
 
 
 

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

We quietly tested 2 special holiday YB Chapped? lip balm flavors last year and they were such a huge hit, we will be offering them at the Gift Expo this year! "Cranilla" is a sweet, creamy mix of cranberry and vanilla, while "Santa's Revenge" is a mix of all the sweet tastes of Christmas for all the nice, but just enough spicy "bite" to make up for the little bit of naughty in all of us. They make perfect stocking stuffers! We also always put out a great mix of gift sets. Since our goal is to create a very boutique line of products, we avoid making every product in every scent, but we always make a point to have items in different categories that pair well together. These make great gifts for family, friends, teachers, caregivers, and party hosts. Don't forget the kids! Our building block soaps come in packs of 7 (one of each color) at the holidays, each individually wrapped, so every grandkid can have their favorite scent!
 
 
 

What do you love most about craft show vending?

So many things! I remember as a kid whenever I would go to a festival in Duluth and see all the tents with artists and food vendors I thought I would love to be out in the sun, with all the energy of the crowds, selling something I made! And it is ALL of that and meeting so many great people...people who appreciate the beauty of handmade things and the artists who spend their time doing something they love. It's a beautiful collection of minds and hearts at craft shows, from the vendors to the attendees. Everyone who comes to a craft fair shares a mutual respect of art, entrepreneurship, and originality. My least favorite thing is how much money I always end up wanting to spend on all the amazing stuff! Pair an amazing piece of handcrafted art with a memorable conversation, and it's pretty hard to resist taking something home!
 
 
 

How did you get started in your business?

We were living in Vegas 4 years ago when we started talking about homesteading. One of the most appealing things to the multipotentialite in me is the idea of having multiple jobs, businesses, or just income streams in general. I decided to start with a handmade kid's clothing line since I was already obsessed with making dresses for my nieces and daughter! I had started selling my clothes at events in Vegas and on Etsy when we decided to make our move in 2012. Coming here put me all in, and I made a full time job of doing festivals and working on our website. Though the first few shows I did here were better than Vegas, I knew if this was going to be lucrative I needed a product that everyone wants. Chris and I discussed how we could expend and he let me know he's always wanted to make soap and call it "YB Stinky?". After exploring all the products we could come up with (YB Dry? lotion, YB Chapped? Lip Balm, etc) we had to name our new company. YB Urban? ties together our movement from inner-city Las Vegas to rural Wisconsin and starts telling our story for us.
 
 
 

Where do you see your business in 3 years?

On our homestead, interconnected with all aspects of our lives. I see us raising bees and using that beeswax and honey in our products. Next spring we would like to get a couple of sheep so we can use the wool for our wool-wrapped soaps. We'll plant luffa seeds in hopes we can self-supply luffa for our scrubs . We'll continue to use what our land can provide in new products or completely new endeavors. We are planning the addition of an outbuilding on our property that can serve as a creative kitchen production space as well as a classroom to gather people from our community together, teach each other new skills, and have a place where we can all self-sustain. And my biggest goal, my only true requirement for success, is that every person (or animal) who comes to YB Urban?, whether to visit or to stay, experiences kindness, eats plenty, and never leaves empty handed.
 
 
 

What's your favorite item that you sell?

All my textile creations are near and dear to my heart. Anybody who has made clothing can attest to the time and effort it takes when you are making the entire thing from start to finish. With our bath and body items, I personally love our YB Tense? body oil blends. We put so much thought and research into the formulas, choosing every oil carefully to bring about the right texture so it feels good, the right blend of essential oils so it smells fabulous, and the right mix of everything to bring about all the benefits of the oils for the body, mind, and spirit. They are versatile and can be used everyday as a full body moisturizer, in massage, as a bath oil, or even a hair and scalp treatment. We have 4 different scents to choose from and I love them all!
 
 
 

Why did you start working in this particular craft?

I (Angie) had an awesome job in Vegas. Before we moved I was the creative director for a non-profit company where part of my job was to come up with handmade items we could teach adults with disabilities in a supported work environment how to make and sell. It was a very entrepreneurial company that centered around creating work based on individual interests. 2 of the skills we were able to introduce were sewing and creating bath products. I loved learning from the staff and clients in the company, we had so many talented people! I was able to gain a lot of new skills through experimentation and research, as well. I loved watching things I created to pass along morph into something new based on the individuals who were making it, but I also yearned as an artist to be a part of that end result. When we moved to Wisconsin I knew it was our turn to see how people would react to the creations as we envisioned them. I have been sewing since about the age of 12 and I have been studying and using essential oils for almost 20 years. I love taking traditional, age-old homestead crafts and bringing a minimalist-modern flair. I think we as a family are a mix of modern and vintage, and I think all of our creations reflect that.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Chris and Angie's products online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!
 
 
 
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