Tuesday, August 26, 2014
What is your business’ name? Redbird Designs for Your Nest and we are Dale and Kimberly Edwards!
What sort of items do you make? Our philosophy is “Handmade Items from Our Nest to Yours.” Kimberly makes flowers from recycled materials, including common kitchen and other household items. She also makes mason jar crafts and beautiful yarn necklaces. Dale does oil paintings and other artwork on Readers Digest book covers.
When and how did you learn your craft? Kimberly, who has always been driven by creativity, taught herself to knit about 12 years ago using the book, “Stitch ‘n Bitch.” She began making soda-can flowers two years ago, and the idea for more elaborate blooms ‘grew’ from there. Dale, who is a graphic designer, took up oil painting about four years ago in the basement of their home.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Kimberly: “I’m inspired by looking outside the box. I like to take everyday and common materials and use them in a unique and creative way.” Dale: “I like to take complicated images and strip away the details, leaving simple, almost stark, graphic images. I’m inspired by wide-open spaces and utilitarian buildings.”
How did you get started doing this as a business? The business side of our arts and crafts passion began when Dale was invited to take part in Art in the Arboretum. His success from that show led to participation in other events. At first, Kimberly would join Dale at the art shows as his companion. However, it was only a matter of time before Kimberly’s talents were recognized and she was also invited to take part in shows. Now, we enjoy doing arts and crafts shows together.
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? Network and build relationships with other artisans and crafters. That has helped us tremendously. Also, learn to pack your vehicle efficiently.
Anything else you would like to share? Don’t be afraid to try different venues. We’ve done church sales, farmers markets, craft shows, art exhibits and other shows, local and out of town. The more you put yourself out there, the more business you’ll attract.
Redbird Designs has a booth at Design Archives in downtown Greensboro. Dale regularly writes on his blog – daleedwardspaintsinhisbasement.blogspot.com – and is on Etsy under the name Tatestreet. You can see Dale’s artwork and Kimberly’s creations on the Redbird Designs Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Redbirddesignsforyournest
Redbird Designs for Your Nest will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on September 5, 2014. The market is located on the corner of MLK and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9 pm.
Monday, August 18, 2014
What is your business’ name? Itty Bitty Animals (AdoptionCenter) and I’m Susan Weimer!
What sort of items do you make? This is a low-tech as you can get. There is no sewing machine involved, but only a needle and a thread. With a pattern, hand-sewn sheep, calves, penguins, birds, reindeer, pigs, flamingos, rabbits, and pandas can be fashioned before your very eyes. Since they are hand sewn, each animal is distinctly different. Each animal is given a name and a fictitious history is created. The history describes where the animal was found, a little bit about its personality, and information on its likes and dislikes.
I also make Itty Bitty Friendship Hearts which can be passed on to friends and relatives or just to keep for yourself.
When and how did you learn your craft? I am a retired school teacher who was looking to develop a crafting hobby during retirement. I did a lot of sewing of garments and even darned socks! I never thought of sewing as a career choice or even as a hobby. I started out when I found a project to make a reindeer in a Better Homes and Garden Christmas book. I had a lot of trouble getting it put together correctly, but I love challenges and kept working at it until I got it right. Then I moved into making birds for the Piedmont Bird Club’s 75th anniversary in April, 2013. I distributed them as table favors and everyone seemed to enjoy them.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I am surrounded by dogs, cats and fish. I love animals and I like to imagine what it would be like to be that animal and picture its story in my mind. Another source of inspiration is Antiques Roadshow. I want my collection to be thought of as “collectibles.” Adopt the animals now, and in 20 – 30 years, they will be worth much more. You can think of it as investment.
How did you get started doing this as a business? My first experience was a December craft fair at St. Pius X School. I literally sold out and was hooked from then on. I gradually signed up for more craft fairs which were not quite as successful but my initial success spurred me on to continue. I also took a business class sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Small Business Center.
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out?Network – network – network. I highly recommend looking into the Business Readiness Certification which is an educational program in collaboration with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and Guilford Technical Community College – Small Business Center. This will provide not only the background you need to be successful in business, but it will enhance your connections with the business people around you. Check the Internet for local craft stores that will support your product and check the availability of craft fair opportunities to promote your product and get exposure.
No matter what your career is, always have some kind of hobby. It doesn’t have to be something you make with your hands; it could just be collecting things. Your hobby doesn’t necessarily need to grow into a business, but it needs to be fulfilling for you.
Itty Bitty Animals (Adoption Center) will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on September 5, 2014. The market is located on the corner of MLK and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9 pm.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
What is your business’ name? Wood Creations by Jerry and I’m Gerald Heins!
What sort of items do you make? Woods bowls, trinket boxes, bud vases, cutting boards, earring trees, and candle holders.
When and how did you learn your craft? I started turning bowls during the summer of 2009. I am self-taught on the wood lathe.
Where do you get your inspiration from? After retiring from Green Bay Packaging in 2006, I needed a hobby and was always interested in wood creations. As I start the turning process, the grain of the wood helps me decide what the outcome will be.
How did you get started doing this as a business? My wife inspired me to take my crafts to a show. Interest was very high in my items and I decided to continue selling my product.
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? Have fun and don’t give up when you get frustrated.
Anything else you would like to share? I really enjoy all the people I meet through the different shows I attend but especially at First Friday.
Wood Creations by Jerry will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on September 5, 2014. The market is located on the corner of MLK and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9 pm.