Category Archives: handmade community

Small Business Saturday

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Hi guys! I don’t usually like to make excuses for lapses in blogging–I’d rather continue on with good content when it exists to be shared–but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the grand jury decision in the Mike Brown case pretty much zapped any desire I had to share happy thoughts online last week. Blog posts and instagram photos seemed pretty fucking silly and even insensitive at the time, so I just sat back and tried to be a good ally. Listened. Grieved. Shared the smartest opinions and insights I could find and most importantly, spoke up in situations where victims wouldn’t feel safe to.

While I’m reserving my anger for the corrupt police system and the real victims in this situation, I still mourn the losses of local businesses to rioters and want to help rebuild any way I can. This year’s Small Business Saturday felt especially important to me, so I wanted to share the little tour I took of my favorite STL shows and shops.

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My first stop was the Rock and Roll Craftshow! This local favorite has been rockin’ for 11 years and is the second biggest handmade shopping event in the area after Strange Folk Festival. The show is curated by organizers department store style, so shoppers collect all their goodies at their leisure and check out at the end all in one stop. It’s always a really fun, inspirational show–I feel like I always discover new makers and artists and am constantly seeing things that make me go “OMG! Why didn’t I think of making that?!” Unique items like swings made from old skateboard decks, tea wallets, handmade cat toys, clever upcycled jewelry… the list is miles long.

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If you’ve been following the protests and riots in the STL area, the second neighborhood you’ve probably been hearing about (besides Ferguson), is South Grand/Shaw. There was a second shooting there in early October that brought similar feelings and desires to protest, so it’s become another hotspot for protesting activity–this also means that sometimes things get out hand, people get angry, and shit goes down.

I have a few friends with shops on South Grand, so that was my next stop. Thankfully, broken windows were the worst they had to deal with–besides fear of the rowdy crowds on their doorsteps. Wonderful volunteers have been painting and beautifying the boarded up windows all week–how cute is the little dress form mural at Parsimonia?! My favorite vintage shop still looked adorable and lively on the inside, just a little more dark and cozy. :)

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Autumn at the Upcycle Exchange is a creative genius always and decided to turn her boarded up, broken windows into a faux food truck! You could buy coffee, warm cookies, or make a $10 donation and get one of each, plus a $5 gift card! Is that not the best?

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My last shopping stop of the day was West County Mall to finally check out the new Foundrie location! You guys. It is so pretty. And sparkly. You’d never know it used to be a Claire’s. UPGRADE!

I hope you guys are using Cyber Monday to not just score some sweet deals at big box stores, but throwing some love to small businesses, too. Plenty of amazing artists are running promos on Etsy–get out there and try to throw some money at some hard-working people who really deserve it!

Also, I tried to throw in lots of helpful links if you’re interested in learning more about the situation in STL and why people are so riled up. It’s weird to live here right now and I’m feeling so many feelings. I’m frustrated at our present but optimistic for our future and happy so many people are sharing my feelings of anger, but also of generosity and hope. Black lives matter. xo

Strange Folk Festival 2014

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St. Louis Overalls Mafia

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Strange Folk Festival honestly gets better and better every year! I had so much fun and met so many amazing customers and vendors. All my Strange Folk merchandise sold out and my inventory is totally wiped out! Definitely a great problem to have.

Thank you so so much to everyone who stopped by to say hi or buy things. I really had the best time and feel so lucky to be able to sell my silly drawings and handmade stuff, not to mention getting the chance to hang out with the coolest kids in town which also happen to be the most generous, welcoming, and fun. Here’s to an even craftier 2015! xo

P.S. How amazing did those Jamberry nails turn out?! They printed so beautifully and the colors are so bright and saturated. You can still order some for yourself here!

You’re Invited! Strange Folk Festival / STLFW Kick-Off Party

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It’s that time of year, folks! My favorite event, Strange Folk Festival, is finally THIS WEEKEND! Haha, are you sick of me talking about it yet? ;)

If you live anywhere close to the STL area, I promise you it’s worth the trip! The weather should be really great, too. It’s the perfect weekend to walk around soaking in the autumn awesomeness with delicious food and drink, listen to fun live music, and shop 150 handmade, vintage, and art vendors in a lovely park. It’s a blast and I’m so excited!

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Before the craziness of Saturday and Sunday, the STL Fashion Week Kick-Off Party and Fashion Blogger Awards is Friday night at Grand Center! This event is also a part of STL Design Week and includes the awards, cocktail celebration, shopping, and DJ Trash Talk spinning tunes. It’s going to be a fabulous time! I can’t wait to dress up and see everyone.

Click here for more info and to buy your STLFW tickets!

Doin’ Work.

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This has been the landscape of my nights and weekends since we got back from vacation. For once in my life, I’m trying to build up a big stockpile of handmade stuff rather than have stressful rushes of work the week before a big show. I’m adding all kind of new goodies to my shop this month–coin purses, tote bags, pillows, and new jewelry! It’s so fun and exciting to try new things and freshen up my displays.

I’m hoping that getting all my sewing and really hands-on work out of the way will give me longer stretches of times to concentrate on adding more paper goods to the shop. More designs for prints, postcards, and greeting cards. Will this be the year I finally get my shit together and make some Christmas cards? I can only hope. 0:) Wish me luck! xo

100 Etsy Sales!

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This week I finally reached the exciting milestone of 100 sales on Etsy! To celebrate and say thanks to everyone who has ever bought anything from my little ol’ shop, you can use the code “YAY100″ through September for 25% off any order! :) Click here to shop!

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In 2008 I opened my Etsy shop with a single postcard on sale for $2. Haha, my shop stayed pretty vacant until 2012, but traffic and sales have been growing steadily over the past year. I’m really proud of my progress and it’s a goal of mine to really ramp up my activity on Etsy in 2015. I’ve never had more than 20 listings at one time and I have a few new prints that I just haven’t gotten around to photographing. Also, it can be difficult for me to stay organized enough to realize which pieces of jewelry I have listed and which I’ve already accidentally sold at a craft show. Oops!

Meet the STL Craft Mafia

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During our last St. Louis Craft Mafia meeting–my first as an official member!–Michelle of Green Wall Studio stopped by to take some classy mug shots for us and they turned out a-ma-zing. Can you tell the mafia has been obsessed with Orange is the New Black? We met at Mad Art Gallery, which is located in an old police station. We got all up in that vintage jail cell!

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We came up with “prison names”… haha, I’m so bad at coming up with witty names! I’ll stick to drawing.

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We did some small group shots–these are the illustrator/photographer folks! Left to right, skipping me (obviously):
Mary of Unicorgi | Evil Little Girls | Jane of Jane Linders Photography | Jeffrey of Handmade Family

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Elizabeth of Just Liv

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April of Riley Construction

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Courtney of My Vintage Addiction

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Courtney of My Vintage Addiction | Stephanie of Ruby Francis Rags | Holly of South City Studio

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Renee of Strung Out and Wired (with bad ass tattoos by yours truly ;))

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Lauren and Renee of Strung Out and Wired | Kara of Irie’ Elements | Shelah of The Foundrie/August Abroad | Melissa of Villa Design

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Melissa of Villa Design

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Cristin of Cristin Rae Knitwear

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Phil of Belle Journee | Kathleen of Buddha Bath and Body | Alecia of Senora Muertos | Beth of Belle Journee | Kayla of Ghost Cat Studios | Amanda of Sprouted Designs

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Not going to try and ID each pretty face here, but shout-outs to all the other members!

 Beqi of Beqi Clothing | Eleanor of Scarlett and Maria | Andrea of Zenbot Design | Mary of Pairabelles | Rachel of Sew Good and Trendy | Suzanne of Suzanne Shenkman Designs | Amy of Stick to Your Knittin’ Kitten

Just a side-note here that ironically just after blogging about how impressed I’ve been with my cycling skills lately, I got into a bike accident on Friday. :( Haha, figures. I’m a mess. It was totally my fault, but I ended up flying over my handlebars and into the street face-first. Not cute. I’ve been laying low and whimpering and hobbling around ever since. I’m okay–just all scratched up and sore. Still ready for my little roadtrip this weekend and looking forward to partying with my favorites girls even more!

Handmade Happy Hour: Summer in the City

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I had more fun at Friday night’s Handmade Happy Hour than I’ve had at a show in ages! The setting was amazing–a cozy side street downtown with trees, lively patios, lights, and a full stage. The weather was lovely and we had a fabulous, energetic crowd that was bustling all night. My booth neighbors on all sides were some of my very favorite ladies and we all just had a blast. :)

I’m trying to get my ass in gear for the rest of the summer and work on revamping my craft show set-up in time for Strange Folk. I got some free hand-me-down photo display walls and I have some jewelry display DIYs to work on finishing up. I want to expand past the traditional table and explore my retail display options! It’s time for an upgrade.

Photos courtesy ALIVE Magazine 

Help The Foundrie Open Location #2!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve heard me showering The Foundrie with praise. It’s a beautifully curated, local, independent shop that sells handmade and vintage goods–I’m always so proud to say that my work is sold there!

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After 5 years in their first storefront at Chesterfield Mall, they recently downsized to a more practical location there and are currently working on opening location #2 in West County Mall! I’m so in love with the idea of this gorgeous little handmade shop in a huge shopping mall in the suburbs, attracting a clientele that might otherwise never think of going to a craft show or to a local boutique in the city.

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The owner, Shelah, has been sharing photos on Facebook of herself, her husband, and daughter Stella working hard giving their two new spaces make-overs and fresh new displays with salvaged materials. This shop is such a labor of love and a total gem in our city. When Shelah announced an indiegogo campaign to help with all the costs of opening new doors(computers, fixtures, displays, flooring, signage, insurance, etc), I knew I had to share it with you guys!

The Foundrie is running a flexible funding project on indiegogo, meaning they receive all donations even if they don’t reach their goal, so each dollar you can spare is so so important and will mean so much. Expanding to West County will broaden their reach and customer base and get independently produced goods into the hands of an even greater number of shoppers!

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The perks for helping fund the project include the chance to get your name on a one of a kind statement wall in the new location as well as limited edition stickers and t-shirts designed and printed exclusively for The Foundrie by local artists. You can proudly say that you played a part in helping a small, independently owned business grow in hopes of becoming a St. Louis institution that creates jobs and opportunities with the ability to give back and make a difference in our community.

Even if you guys aren’t locals, just take this as a plea to at least support your own local entrepreneurs! A couple weeks ago I asked friends on FB where I could buy button-making supplies. I had been calling Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and all the usual big chain craft stores with no luck. Turns out that buttonmakers.net is local and has a brick and mortar! I stopped in and had the best experience–the owners were SO nice and helped me with all my annoying amateur questions, suggested better solutions and the prices were great! Just goes to show that you never know what kind of hidden gems your city can have! :) xo

Photos courtesy Shelah McClymont/The Foundrie

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange

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Tomorrow evening I’m packing up the car and truckin’ it to Indianapolis, IN to sell at the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange on Saturday! I’m really excited to check out this HUGE event. It’s so well curated–I was beyond flattered to even make the cut! You can check out all the vendors ahead of time here.

There will be over 100 artists, crafters and makers on site selling contemporary handmade goods in addition to local craft beer and cider, ice cream, live music, food trucks, a photo booth and food craft demos! This is definitely one of those shows where I almost wish I wasn’t vending just so I could walk around and actually see and enjoy everything!

Here’s some photos from past years, c/o the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange website:

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If any of you guys live around Indy, please come say hi! A few other talented STL crafters are also making the trip and we’re sharing a hotel, but I’ll be by myself at the booth all day, so I’d love to meet people! xo

Drawn: Thirsty Thursday

Last week I was officially invited to join the STL Craft Mafia! The Craft Mafia is an organization of indie crafters and craftepreneurs who work together to support local artists and facilitate awesome local events. If you’re involved in the handmade STL community at all, you know the Craft Mafia as the coolest of the cool kids and I’m super honored to be included! :) 

A month or two ago, April emailed to ask if I’d be interested in making an illustration for the Craft Mafia to use for their Thirsty Thursday pop-up market at Urban Chestnut in August. I was hoping for a drawing of a girl with tattoos wearing sort of bavarian beer-wench clothes and with flowers and a crown of braids and holding a mug or stein of beer.” Umm, you came to right place, girl! Yes, of course I want to draw that!

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My first instincts were to parody a St. Pauli girl or maybe make some art nouveau inspired piece. April and I both loved the art nouveau direction.

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I think the final turned out really fun. I had a blast drawing all the details–tattoos, art nouveau frames, flowers… such a fun project! Here are a couple detail shots:

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Cats and cat-eye glasses are a must in my opinion! ;)