Monday, October 25, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Rockin' Octopus




 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Betsey Giles, a serial entrepreneur in arts, fashion, and music. My newest venture is an eclectic mash-up of all three! Rockin’ Octopus is sprouting its first tentacle with my line of fabulous luxe faux fur hats for big “kids”. I have been making and selling hundreds of them for the past 5 years, so they get to start the Octopus rockin’! More tentacles to come including crazy knits, a line of lingerie and courses in Creative Thinking.


Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
I am the Rockin’ Octopus, or as I call her “Octavia Octopus - The Mischievous Mistress of the Creative Mindset”

 

 

 

 

Why did you start working in this craft?
In 2016 I kept happening across really wild fun faux furs online. Due to a lot of tragedies in the world that year, I figured folks could really use a crazy fun hat to cheer things up. My simple design for wild-but-winter-practical hats was an instant winner. I sold them out of a backpack, everywhere I went, sold at local rock shows, and then opened an Etsy store.


What is the latest thing you have been working on?
Finally developing a brand! I hired a friend of mine to design the artwork and I have an official logo which I’m putting on all kinds of merchandise in addition to getting beautiful labels in my hats. I hired another friend to handle my website and all my social media so I can focus on what I do.

 

 

 

 

 

What was your first memory of making something?
I was lucky to be born into a family of designers and sewers, got my first sewing machine at age 6 (Mom was tired of me messing with hers!) My first designs were mostly lingerie and evening wear for my Barbies.


Have you always been passionate about art and design?
My whole life has been about art and design and Rock and Roll! If there is a form of art, fashion, or music I have probably done it. I owned an art gallery for local artists and fashion designers and put in a stage to host live local bands. I even wrote music and played drums in a band for a bit!

 

 

 

 

 

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
They are pure simple fun to wear, comfortable, classic, plus nice and toasty warm. My customers always leave reviews about how much attention they get while wearing them - instant icebreakers wherever you go! Put on one of my hats and it’s only a matter of time before you get asked “Where did you get that hat?”


What do you love most about craft show vending?
One on one feedback, that helps me decide on new furs to add. Plus, the joy on people’s faces when they fond “The One”!


What are some tips or suggestions you would like to offer to fellow makers?
Never compromise on your prices, get paid what you are worth! People who will appreciate your things will gladly pay what they’re worth.

 

 

www.rockinoctopus.com
www.instagram.com/rockin_octopus
www.facebook.com/RockinOctopus

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Friday, October 22, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Design & Flourish





 

 

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
Randi Roloff is a simplistic, yet elegant designer and Mixed Media painter who resides in Minnesota. Her desire for the beauty of the beach has inspired her to be a self-taught resin artist to share the ocean with others. Simple beauty in textures is her greatest inspiration: the foam of an ocean wave, the spirals of a shell, the sparkles of glitter, the smoothness of modeling paste, the sheen of a resin finish, and so much more. The elegant composition of a matte, metallic finish on canvas with accents of texture and shimmer is stunning in her eyes.

 

 

 

 

What is the latest thing you have been working on?
She is currently working on Triptych [trip-tik] Resin paintings. Triptych is a picture/painting that is composed of 3 separate panels to create one large piece.

 


What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
Her customer’s favorite artwork is from her collections “Ocean’s Touch” and “Shattered Reflection”. The “Ocean’s Touch” collection are multi-layered, 3D resin wave Mixed Media paintings on wood panels with a lacing effect and stunning shells that appear to have drifted on the shoreline. The “Shattered Reflection” collection are satin, metallic acrylic Mixed Media paintings on stretched canvas with crushed mirrored tempered glass and glitter accents.

 

 

 

 


Have you always been passionate about art and design?
She has always been on the artistic path since she was a child; venturing in various mediums, such as, watercolor, acrylics, pencil drawing, charcoal, pastels, pen & ink, photography, and various forms of mixed mediums. She has earned herself a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design; and while she has a degree in Graphic Design, her love for painting has flourished.

 

 

 

 


How did you get started in your business?
This business started as a hobby at the end of 2019 when her friend purchased a painting from her and a few other friends saw that painting and they wanted one too. This inspired her to invest in more painting supplies, build a large wall display and sign up for art shows. She made connections during these shows and was blessed with opportunities in having her artwork displayed in local gift shops.

 


What is your mission and vision in your business?
Her mission is to glorify God through her artwork, spread some beauty, and use proceeds to help reach, rescue, and restore as many children from human trafficking as she can. With your support, we can make a larger impact in these children's lives. When you choose to purchase a piece of artwork by Design & Flourish, you are actively helping rescue a precious child from the hands of their traffickers and positively changing the course of their life. Become a part of a great cause today and the proceeds from your purchase will directly benefit the rescue of an abused child. Currently, every month, proceeds from Design & Flourish are sent to 2 organizations: Life Outreach International | RescueLIFE, and Operation Underground Railroad.

 

 

 

 

Design & Flourish

www.designandflourish.com
www.instagram.com/design_and_flourish
www.facebook.com/designandflourish

 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Twice Baked Pottery




 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
Twice Baked Pottery’s mission will always be to provide high quality pottery at a reasonable price. Our Pottery is meant to be used and enjoyed. It is functional art, not just to be placed on a shelf, but on your table -- a tool for you to use when breaking bread with friends or enjoying some quiet time curled up with a good book and a mug of coffee, hot cocoa, or tea. Pottery is meant to enhance, not take over. We offer a personal touch so that everyone’s shopping experience brings back memories of a simpler time — when people greeted each other warmly, service was a priority, and you knew not just where something was made, but the person who actually made it.

 

 

 

 

How did you get started in your business?
I have been working with clay for more than ten years, initially it was just a hobby to escape from the grind of the "day job”. I practiced law for more than 18 years…my focus for the first half of my life had always been in areas where I used my analytical skills -- from being a Politics major at The Catholic University of America to representing thousands of clients in court and running my own litigation practice in Milwaukee. Thanks to the encouragement of family and friends, I began taking classes at both local pottery studios and in North Carolina at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Eventually opening the store and studio to the public in 2015.

 

 

 

 

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
I make all of the functional pottery in the shop in front of our customers. They get to see all the love and labor that goes into each and every piece that I make whether it is throwing at the wheel, putting handles on mugs, glazing, or loading kilns. From a customer - “We love shopping there to see all of the beautiful works of art. Always fun to pick out gifts for friends and family.”

 

 

 

 

What motivates you to keep creating?
Taking up pottery as a hobbyist was an incredible change in how I both thought and saw the world. Art opens your mind and lets you see things that we miss in everyday life. Art creates possibilities we don't always see or that we take for granted. There is so much more that I want to accomplish in clay. It is an art form that allows for constant change and experimentation. It is the artistic marriage of control and chaos -- you never know what you'll have until it's done. I don't know yet where this journey will take me, but I am excited to find out.

  

www.twicebakedpottery.com

www.instagram.com/twicebakedpotteryllc

www.facebook.com/twicebakedpottery


 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Monday, October 18, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Big Stick Studio




 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Mom, an Artist, an Art Teacher, a friend, a dog lover, and forever inspired by nature. I create wooden puzzles and boxes.

 

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

When I started Big Stick Studio back in 2018, I searched and searched for the perfect name for my business. Something that would be memorable, that involved something dear to me, and that wasn’t too serious (as it is a puzzle business after all). I kept circling back to Big Stick Studio because my yellow lab, Beyla encompassed all these things. At the time, Beyla would carry gigantic sticks around Staring Lake on our daily walks nearly knee-capping our friends who traveled the opposite way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

My customers love the challenge of the puzzles. I get a lot of feedback about how they love the quirky shapes and that they aren’t as easy as they seem. However, the real question I’d like to answer is, "What do I love about my product?" The “Mom” in me loves the fact that the puzzles are something that can be done while the real work of connecting with family and friends is happening.



Have you always been passionate about art and design?

I’m a former Art Teacher. So, I just love the process of creating, I always have!

 

 

 

 

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

My most recent puzzle is a bike puzzle. I was inspired by Fulton Brewing and their 100K bike race.

 

 


What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

As a Nature lover, I have been feeling pretty defeated with all of the horrible news about climate change, species extinction, wildfires, drought, oil spills, urban sprawl… I’ve been struggling with how/what I can do as a small business owner. As a WOODEN puzzle business, I drew from our most recent family vacation to the US national parks of Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon. I've launched an initiative with the US Forest Service. I’m excited to announce that BIG STICK STUDIO will be donating a tree for each puzzle sold! The trees will be planted by Forest Service volunteers around the country.

 

 

 

 

Big Stick Studio
www.bigstickstudio.com
www.instagram.com/bigstick.studio
www.facebook.com/laserpuzzle

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Stefania Pirari Ludford




 

 

 

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Stefania, I'm Italian, but I've been living in the United States for 3 years. Moving here and therefore radically changing my life, I thought that my passion for creativity had left it in Italy, but it wasn't like that. I always had a thousand ideas on my mind and so I decided to get back into the game in my new life with the passion of creativity and imagination. 

 

 

What was your first memory of making something?

I discovered my creativity about 15 years ago. At the time I didn't think I had any, but one summer, before going on a beach holiday in the Mediterranean I had to buy a bikini, I chose the white color of a famous brand. When I arrived at the beach, I realized that most of the women present had my own bikini and so I decided to modify it. I went to buy some colored crystals, needle, and thread. after two hours of sewing, I realized that I had created a jewel bikini, full of many colors and with floral motifs, so I took a pair of shoes I had, they were very simple, and I applied a large satin bow on the side and so on .......... with costume jewelry and Christmas decorations, and since then my creativity has exploded.

 

 

 

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

More for passion than for business and for those who have this passion I always recommend not to abandon it because something very beautiful comes out of nothing. Try try and try, of course, it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience, but never give up because in the end the satisfactions arrive, from friends, family, or a stranger.

 

 

What are some inspirations for your work?

I use a lot of materials for restoration and fine arts, macrame laces that make the object in the ancient style, which sometimes I have to get here from Italy, my homeland. I like to create unique pieces, different from each other and I always try to identify myself with the person who looks at my article.

 

 

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

Many items that I produce always have many hours of work behind them, sometimes even 5 days that the materials, layer by layer, must have time to dry. When I create one, I already think about how the next one could be, I am not enthusiastic about making many copies, I only create original and unique objects.

 

 


www.etsy.com/shop/ItalyStyleByStefania

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: TownsvilleArt




 

 

 

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Josh Seubert and I started TownsvilleArt in 2015 in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I create designs that incorporate major city landmark/attraction in a collage that is outlined by the home state. I use photos to develop an industrial style sketch of selected landmarks with clean straight lines. Using the same process as described, I create and offer many designs of various colleges and universities around the US.

 

 

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

My customers love the unique designs I create for several reasons. For starters, they are a tangible reminder of a home city/state or an alma mater. We get a lot of purchases from people who have moved away from home or have graduated from a school. Customers appreciate the art as well because of the simplistic and realistic design. It is often easy to see pictorial maps done in a more caricature fashion, but my designs are more clean and that is often appreciated.

 

 


Have you always been passionate about art and design?

I have always been interested in creating. I did not think about art and design for a long time. I was unsure of what I wanted to do when I was younger and then I started dabbling in design and I found my passion in this art form.

 

 

 

Is this a full-time business for you?

Townsville is a full-time business for me. Since starting the business in 2015 I have been juggling being a stay-at-home father to my two boys as well as manage and grow Townsville. I have recently moved into a wonderful studio space in Downtown Milwaukee and that has been a very exciting opportunity. With the help of my staff we have been able to continually grow!

 

 

What motivates you to create?

I am inspired by many things, but the most important would be my family, and more specifically, my children. I want to teach them and model that it is possible to follow your passions and follow a “non-traditional” route in life and still be successful and happy.

 

 

 

www.townsvilleart.com

www.instagram.com/townsvilleart

www.etsy.com/shop/townsvilleart
 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Soderberg's Floral




 

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
Soderberg’s Floral & Gift we are a full-service flower and gift shop and we have been open and in the same location for 98 years. A south Minneapolis institution with exceptional selection of fresh flowers, green plants and unique home goods and gifts.

 

 


Will you be featuring any special holiday items?
GNOMES! Everyone loves gnomes – so we will be featuring a huge selection of Holiday Gnomes. We also will have a selection of holiday ornaments, LED Statues and Spheres and Home décor items.

 

How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?
We start basically in February the year prior with purchasing and watching the trends coming for the next year.

 

www.soderbergsflorist.com

www.instagram.com/soderbergsflorist

www.facebook.com/soderbergsflorist

 


 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Friday, September 24, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: Moon Dog Studio




 

 

Who are you & what do you do?
My name is Nina, I am the potter behind Moon Dog Studio. I create functional, handmade pottery made to transform the everyday into memorable moments.

 

 

 

What has been your favorite moment?
I love that pottery isn't one-size-fits-all. Some of my favorite moments are when a customer picks up several mugs, testing out how they feel, and then seeing the moment they find the one that feels just right. You can see it in their face and the way they grasp the mug. I love the idea that something I made becomes a part of another person's daily life and maybe even a favorite item.

 

 

 

What is the latest thing you've been working on?
My fall/winter line is focused on cozy moments and the season of gathering. You'll find big bowls to fill with hearty soups. Mugs to enjoy your favorite hot drink. Mixing bowls for creating and serving dishes to share your creations. And to enhance the warm, cozy atmosphere around your whole home, handmade luminaries and ornaments.

 

 

 

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
My business name comes from a rare celestial occurrence where the moon appears to have a halo encircling it or often looking like two dimples of light on either side, called a moon dog. Because of my love of the outdoors and taking personal trips into the wilderness, as well as my previous career in experiential education, I have been lucky enough to see moon dogs. The name was chosen to remember those long nights spent gathered around a fire, or a camping stove, enjoying life's simple pleasures.

 

 

 

www.moondogceramicstudio.com

www.instagram.com/moondogstudio

 

 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Featured Exhibitor: GiftyWrap




 

 

Why did you start working in this craft?

GiftyWrap was born out of the passion and love I have for celebrating my family and friends. I struggled myself finding wrapping paper and event décor products that were inclusive of my diverse community, our varied hobbies, and the moments and holidays that we hold dear. Prompted by the pandemic and with a little bit of sugar, spice and everything nice, this millennial girl created a company where she could live her passions every day. Wrapping gifts and decorating for special occasions where she is able to create and spread joy is the best job anyone can ever have. That's why GiftyWrap uses the motto "Gift Joy, Get Joy", because we believe you get as much joy from giving as you do from getting.
GiftyWrap specializes in stationary that not only brings joy but reflects the diverse community we live in! Through specialty wrapping paper we work to ensure that everyone feels seen and represented in the products used to celebrate them. At GiftyWrap we specialize in joy, come shop our unique wrapping paper rolls, sheets, accessories and diy balloon kits so you can spread a little joy.

 

 

 

What is the latest thing you have been working on?

GiftyWrap is beyond excited to finally offer wrapping paper ROLLS and BAGS for our second year in business. When we launched in Sept of 2020 we sold specialty wrapping paper sheets which allowed our customers to mix and match patterns. However we heard the requests for rolls for the bigger gifts and bags for those who are still perfecting their wrapping skills.
Have you always been passionate about art and design?

I have always been passionate about ensuring there is diversity and representation in the art and products that are presented to the community. This business has allowed be to help merge art that is inclusive into a product that is generally very generic with designs that are less than original. Working with artists to create patterns that inspire them and putting those designs on gifts for people who inspire our customers is the best part of being in the wrapping paper business. Your gift is unique to your recipient, the paper its wrapped in should be unique too.

 


What do you love most about craft show vending?

I LOVE meeting new people and sharing the GiftyWrap brand. I have the best conversations with people who come through craft shows, they are our best audience and give amazing product and presentation feedback. The growth in our brand, our new products and designs are all a reflection of the experiences we have at craft shows.

 

 


What motivates you to create?

I am deeply motivated by the lack of inclusive and unique art printed on paper products in the market. Or maybe I should say the lack of these products in large commercial retail/box stores. In our second year we continue to push the amount of inclusive in our paper, and I am motivated every day to continue to increase our representation and the diversity in our prints.

The positive feedback from customers, the reactions I see in person at craft events are all moments I keep on repeat in my mind, it reminds me that I am not alone in wanting there to be more beauty and more inclusion in the world.

 

 

 

www.giftywrap.com
www.instagram.com/giftywrap
www.facebook.com/giftywrapmn

 

 

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CATEGORY:  FEATURED EXHIBITORS

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

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