Thursday, August 24, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: On Q Designs




On Q Designs boasts beautiful statement jewelry with a twist... Kate Qualley Peterson sculpts them by hand using a unique metallic clay. Each beautiful piece is like wearing a bronze sculpture, and we love that no two pieces are exactly alike. Her colorful compositions are truly wearable works of art!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

Kate Qualley Peterson, I make bronze jewelry from a relatively new technique known as powdered metallurgy. Aka, metal clay.

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

Every year I pick a leaf motif, but this year I’m making pendants of a ladies face I call Katasha—a character from the “Mikado”. She’s not beautiful, but, “she has an elbow that people come miles to see.”
 
 
 

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

My jewelry is quite organic, colorful and unique. I know of no other artist working in bronze whose work resembles mine. In a world where jewelry makes up a good percentage of the booths in a show, this is very important. I like working large and the bronze allows me to do this and still keep the price reasonable.

Have you always been passionate about art and design?

Yes. I’ve been a maker all my life. I remember staying after school to draw a portrait of my first grade teacher. Whether making my own clothes from my designs or sewing stall curtains for horse shows, designing the house my late husband and I built together or drawing our horses, I always have to be creating something in some form.
 
 
 

Is this a full-time business for you?

Yes, but I’m a retired school teacher. I didn’t start making to sell until I was 55. Like many, I started making jewelry. Then someone would ask me to make one for them, then I started buying materials wholesale and I had all this inventory—I had to find a way to market it and—voila, I was in business.

Why did you start working in this particular craft?

Traditional jewelry techniques left me a little cold—sawing and soldering. But I loved hand built pottery and this is a little like that only in miniature. I like the direct, get my hands dirty, contact of the clay. Mind you, it’s not really clay. It’s only called that because of the texture. It’s really pure metal.
 
 
 

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

I kiln fire many times to get “raku-like” color. The Midwest is also not a hotbed for metal clay artists. The nature of the material makes the look very different from jewelry made from traditional techniques. One is not better than the other. They are just different.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Kate's designs 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 10:34 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: GoodWood Hockey




Living in the "State of Hockey," we have no shortage of hockey fans here in Minnesota. After having no luck finding hockey themed clothing for their family, Kelly and Jose Meza started GoodWood Hockey. They wanted to share their family's love of the game by creating high quality apparel to showcase your hockey pride. 
 
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?
 
We are GoodWood Hockey (I’m Kelly) and we create and manufacture hockey-inspired casual apparel.

What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
 
We are really excited to launch a new line of shirts that focus on different hockey states across the US and Canada. It will be great to get these and our other shirts into retail outlets in different regions of the US and Canada.

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?
 
We have 2 different holiday shirts available this year. The “Happy Hockey Days” shirts will be sold all season long on www.goodwoodhockey.com as well as the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo. We will also have exclusive holiday sale items and a fun free gift at the Expo!
 
 
 
 
What do your customers love most about your products?
 
The high quality and feel of the garments and the thought that we put behind the designs are what we hear the most often. It was really important to us not just to make graphic T shirt, but to make sure that we used socially responsible garment manufacturers and that the shirts had a great feel to them. We like to say that we won’t sell a garment to your family until it has been worn and approved by ours.
 
 
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
 
It is so hard to pick just one! The Ice Cleaner shirt has a special place in my heart because my sister, who is a Florida based artist, hand sketched the Zamboni that is printed on the shirt. All of our designs are one-of-a-kind, however the Ice Cleaner is truly a piece of hand made art!
 
 
 

How did you get started in your business?
 
I was holiday shopping for hockey T shirts for my kids and a little frustrated with the lack of variety out there. I ordered a few things and when they arrived, the quality was low and the options, especially for girls, were really boxy. My husband casually suggested that I start my own company. Two years later, here we are. The only hockey apparel company out there to offer original designs for everyone in the family!

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
 
We work hard to create unique designs that cater to multiple demographics. We work with all different genders and ages to create designs that are thoughtful toward all types of hockey-lovers and their family members. We love hearing customer feedback and design ideas!
 
 
 

How does the city you live in influence your work?
 
Living in the “State of Hockey” has an obvious influence on our company. Living in the Twin Cities drives a lot of our ideas as our customers, and even just the hockey culture here, are at the core of our business and inspiration.

What are some inspirations for your work?
 
Our biggest inspirations are our own kids! We also feature several designs each year in which we donate a portion of the profits to a featured charity. Right now, our Live.Love.Hockey. design is helping provide clean water to those in need through the global organization charity:water.
 
 
 

Where did your business name come from?
 
“Good wood” is a hockey term used to describe solid contact with the puck on the ice. My husband was very enthusiastic about naming our company GoodWood Hockey, and it works on many levels. It resonates with those in the hockey community who are familiar with the term. Through GoodWood Hockey, we want to provide high quality products, and getting “good wood” on the puck usually results in a high-quality shot. Additionally, it works well with our mission to do good in the community through our “Hockey for Good” program.
 

 

Check out more of GoodWood Hockey's designs 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 Admin at 10:49 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Friday, August 11, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Olivia's Kloset




These fun, whimsical fleece products are the work of Jennifer Karas, mother of two and the designer behind Olivia's Kloset. Jennifer sews her puppets, hats, and bags by hand, and each piece seems to have it's own personality. We love the way her bright colored fabrics bring the characters to life. Monster enthusiasts and kiddos alike will find something special from Olivia's Kloset!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

The business is called Olivia's Kloset. My mother, father, my children Olivia and Oskar and myself all work together to run the business. My mother and I sew, create, and design together. My father keeps our paperwork in order and offers love and support. My children are a constant source of inspiration, love, and are my reason for everything. 
We create fleece monster hats, puppets, dolls, gloves, purses, bags, dresses, and much much more.

What do customers love about your products?

We make items that make people laugh. When people are in our booth it is next to impossible to have a bad day. We bring emotion whimsy imagination and the child out in everyone. For a brief moment you can step into the closet and play no matter how young or old no matter how good or bad your day might be. We try to bring a piece of magic and laughter to everyone we meet.
 
 
 

Why did I start working in this craft?

When I got pregnant I was a bronze sculptor and that didn't really work with being pregnant. So about a year after my daughter was born I asked my mom to teach me to sew. I knew I wouldn't be able to be a stay at home forever so one thing led to another of me and my mom spending time together and we made a hat, then another, then we just really fell in love with it and decided to take a chance. I liked that I could work from home and be with my children at the same time. I wouldn't change it for the world and feel so lucky to be able to wake up everyday and say this is what I do.
 
 
 

What has been my favorite moment since creating your business?
 
Every moment is my favorite even the bad ones the cranky, the hard, the emotional, the difficult and the moments that are absolutely perfect and beautiful because they have made the entire journey and path that I have found. I suppose the best moment is seeing my mom, dad and my kids proud of me and seeing the way people light up when they see our work.
 
 
 

Where did your business name come from?

Olivia is my daughters name Oskar is my sons name and Karas is my married name. When I was pregnant I was a very nervous pregnant woman and me and my ex husband liked the idea that their initials we OK. It felt like no matter what thinks would be OK. So it only seemed natural to name it after my kids. Kloset came from the idea that anything can be found in a closet and in the beginning we were not sure at all what we were making if it would sell so we wanted to keep our options open to all possibilities.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Jennifer's designs 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 11:23 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Turned Write Handcrafted Art




Colin Schroeder of Turned Write Handcrafted Art creates stunning, high quality writing utensils that are sure to become an heirloom in your family. His wide variety of styles and patterns will appeal to anyone on your list. It is Colin's goal to bring more beauty to the products and utensils that we use every day, and we think he's definitely accomplished that!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Colin Schroeder, I am a woodworker located in Southeastern Minnesota and I specialize in functional art pieces you can use in your everyday life.

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

Recently I’ve been developing a pen using vintage postage stamps cast in acrylic resin. I use actual stamps from the 1930’s through the 1960’s to create a truly unique pen.
 
 
 

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

They appreciate the idea that an item you use in your everyday life can be a beautiful work of art. The fact that all of the pens and other items I use can be refilled also appeals as it gets away form a disposable lifestyle.

 
 
 
 
Is this a full-time business for you?

Yes, My wife and I started doing this full time a little over 4 years ago, prior to that this had been a part time business but we decided it was time to increase the number of shows I do and see if I can make a living at this.
 
How did you get started in your business?

I was always a woodworker but in 2009 I decided to start turning on a lathe and after gifting things I made to people it was suggested that I try my hand at a few art shows. One thing led to another and the demand for the things I make kept increasing so I started doing this full time and bought a building to work out of to move the business out of the garage.
 
 
 
 
What are some inspirations for your work?

I find the unique possibilities in different materials is a great catalyst to creation. Each piece of wood or acrylic is unique even those from the same source have a different look depending on where it came from and how it is finished. I also find the challenge of finding new ways to use different materials can spur me on to develop new ways of looking at something.
 
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

Keep trying, You never know where something you try will lead you. I like to say there are no mistakes, just design opportunities!
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Colin's beautiful 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 11:36 AM  ⁙  1 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Friday, August 4, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Taki Watches




We are totally in love with the sleek, modern design and bold colors of Taki Watches! St. Paul, MN native David Spencer creates his designs inspired by the Scandinavian architecture of his hometown. With their clean lines and endless color combinations, there's a Taki watch for everyone on your list!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

Taki and TOKYObay! We are a small, family-oriented company that prides itself on providing our customers with high-quality, inexpensive watches and accessories bursting with color and fresh designs.

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

The focus of Taki Watches is pure design and a diverse color palette, allowing everyone to match a beautiful timepiece to any chosen outfit. Our sister company TOKYObay blends modern design with classic style, providing a wide selection of luxury, neo-vintage watches and accessories at an affordable price. Genuine leather straps perfectly compliment the stainless steel bezels, and Japanese movements make for accurate timekeeping.
 
 
 

Have you always been passionate about art and design?

As an eyeglass designer for close to 20 years, our owner and designer David Spencer always looked for a watch that connected to his own design style, which means a clean, simple design with a lot of color. Growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, David has always been influenced by the surrounding Scandinavian architecture: the pure simple lines that define the design comes from that part of the world.
 
 
 

What do you love most about craft show vending?

We love the magnetic energy that surrounds the experience, and being able to meet our customers in person and help them find the perfect gift!

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

Yes! We have something very special for this holiday season, a new product we are super excited about. But it’s a secret! You will have to come by our booth and see for yourself
 
 
 
 
Check out Taki Watches' 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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CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Will Western




 With a background as a freelance graphic designer, Will Western has created his own style, drawing inspiration from graffiti art and classic portraiture. His detailed athletic portraits have even captured the attention of local sports celebrities with a commission by Twins player Dan Gladden. We love Will's expressive line work and color technique!
 
 
 
 
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Will Western, I am inspired by creativity and the appreciation of sharing my work with everyone. My portfolio consist of exclusive urban apparel, graffiti, exquisite illustrations, and sport celebrity portraits on found paper, fabrics, and panels.

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

Recently finished a commissioned oil painting for Minnesota Twin's, Dan Gladden. This art piece was inspired by the "World Series" Championship win in 1987.
 
 
 

What was your first memory of making something?

I remember my father hand-drawing fighting ninja characters, and I began practicing by re-drawing my father's characters, then eventually began creating my own fighting characters from imagination. I remember I was in the 1st grade.

How does the city you live in influence your work?

Minnesota has influenced my work tremendously. The art community of Minnesota supports the fellow artists here and can be very lucrative all year round.
 
 
 

What are some inspirations for your work?

I have always been intrigued by art that can relate to an audience of many on different levels. When I’m creating art I try to relate to my audience in the best way I know how to. I want to make that connection.

Where did your business name come from? 

The meaning of GULLY is to be street, gritty, or gangsta. The movement "Keep it Gutter" represents graffiti style artwork and hand-made apparel.

What do you love most about craft show vending?

Vending allows me the opportunity to give live demonstration of my craft and the ability to network with artist and potential buyers.
 
 
 
 
Check out more of Will'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 4:06 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS



CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors