|The Bluebird's Feather|
Friday, December 5, 2014
Let's all get in the Holiday spirit and ready to shop! FIRST FRIDAY INDIE MARKET is December 5, 2014 from 4 pm - 9 pm on the corner of MKL and Elm Streets in Downtown Greensboro.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Steampunk Cellars, jewelry and accessories for the slightly askew and I am Kim Koltzau!
What sort of items do you make?
I make jewelry and accessories, some mixed media, and some sculptured from polymer clay. I make pins, brooches, earrings, hairpins, necklaces, etc. I also make small sculptures. I get bored easily so I am always changing it up.
When and how did you learn your craft?
I have been making jewelry for about ten years and working with polymer for about three years. I always like to try new things, so I had bought a book on polymer clay techniques, and decided to give it a try. I worked my way through the book slowly, trying to find a style that I felt was me. It’s amazing what you can learn from reading a book. Since then I have expanded my knowledge base a bit, and feel like I have found my niche.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ha ha! I am up way too late at night. No, I really love science fiction and fantasy, both book and on the screen. There are a number of artists I follow on Facebook and Tumblr, as well as friends that work with polymer like I do, and we bounce ideas and concepts back and forth between us. My customers also give me a lot of ideas, and I keep a list. If it’s something I think I can make in my style, I give it a try.
How did you get started doing this as a business?
I think it happened the same way it does for most artists and crafters. A lot of encouragement from friends and family, and plenty of persistence.
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out?
If you are looking for an easy or quick way to make money, crafting and artisan work is not it. It takes a lot more time than you would ever imagine, more work than you put in as an employee, and family that is supportive and willing to hear you cry and get upset at failure. Startup costs, supplies, and show entry fees can add up. If you can push past that, join art support groups. Talk to others at shows, listen to their advice on shows and how they have been successful. Develop an online presence. Always be positive with your customers both online and in person. And most importantly, listen to your customers, the good and bad. It will help you shape your product, and figure out what your target market is, and how to reach them.
Anything else you would like to share?
I love the First Friday Indie Market. While I am not always able to be there, I use the opportunity to reconnect with local crafters, buy things I am out of, like soap and coffee and yummy banana pudding, and develop relationships with my repeat customers. I am so excited to be back this year, even if I had to wait until June!
Steampunk Cellars will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on December 5, 2014. The market is located on the corner of MKL and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9 pm.
Want to see more of Steampunk Cellars? Check out Kim’s Etsy shop at: www.steampunkcellars.etsy.com or find her on Facebook at: https://m.facebook.com/
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
What is your business’ name? The Bluebird’s Feather and I’m Jessica Owen
What sort of items do you make? Knit infinity scarves, cowls, headbands, and crochet hats
When and how did you learn your craft? My mom taught me how to knit when I was 12 or 13 (I’m 24 now). She taught me how to make scarves at that time, and has recently taught me how to crochet. She is a major part of my business today and creates some of the designs that you will see at the market.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I get most of my inspiration from nature. I also am a lover of all things whimsical. I love to knit with vibrant colors and to add bows and flowers onto my items.
How did you get started doing this as a business? I work full time during the week, however I have always loved knitting and staying busy. People began to ask for the scarves I was wearing and I decided to create an Etsy shop to share my hobby with others. I think handmade items are extra special and make great gifts. Creating The Bluebird’s Feather has allowed my to continue doing what I love, and it keeps my hands very busy. : )
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? My biggest advice is to stick with craft shows and events that are only featuring handmade and/or vintage items. I also would say to trust your self and to stick with what you enjoy creating.
Anything else you would like to share? I really appreciate the opportunity to be a vendor at the First Friday Indie Market. I also want to thank my mom, Jean Routh for helping me with The Bluebird’s Feather and for of course teaching me how to knit in the first place.
The Bluebird’s Feather will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on December 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, December 2, 2014
What is your business’ name? My name is Laura Thacker and I am the owner/designer of Carolina Quill.
What sort of items do you make? I design stationery and gift items. My products range from greeting cards, art prints, coasters, mugs, recipe cards, and wrapping paper. I also do custom work, so if you are in need of invitations or personalized gifts, I’ve got you covered!
When and how did you learn your craft? I actually went to school for apparel design/retail merchandising so I have taken a variety of design classes – from architecture and fashion to fibers and typography.
Where do you get your inspiration from? A lot of my cards come from things my husband and I say to each other. I also like taking classic greeting card phrases and giving them a twist or turning them into a unique pun.
How did you get started doing this as a business? I’ve always loved design and have been making my own greeting cards for as long as I can remember. I have been doing custom invitation work for a few years, but when my son was born earlier this year, I decided to quit my day job so I could stay home with him while also focusing more on Carolina Quill. Hands down, it was the best decision I ever made!
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? Don’t feel like you have to be all things to all customers. Find your niche and focus on being the best in that area. And be nice to people!
Anything else you would like to share? For behind the scenes photos, you can follow me on Instagram (@CarolinaQuill)!
Carolina Quill will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on December 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, December 1, 2014
What is your business’ name? Warm Wishes and I’m Holly Barrett!
What sort of items do you make? Scented Comfort Wraps that can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer
When and how did you learn your craft? My mother-in-law, who has been a nurse for over 30 years, taught me how to make them about 10 years ago.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I love selecting fabrics, scents, and shapes that look, smell, and feel amazing!
How did you get started doing this as a business? After teaching middle school for 9 years, I became a stay at home mom. I still wanted to help support my family, so I began trying to come up with an idea on how to do that. I had been making my wraps for friends and family and decided to try branching out and selling them to other people. Eventually, I built a steady customer base by vending at local craft fairs and festivals. Next, I began selling my products on a website. My business really took off, however, when I began wholesaling my products to gift shops.
Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? Be patient! It takes time to build a customer base and get the word out about your product. Growing a small business can be very challenging and time consuming but totally worth it. Find a mentor who is already a few years into their journey. You'd be surprised how friendly and willing other business owners are to help out a newcomer. Set goals and work toward them!
Anything else you would like to share? My business was featured on WFMY News 2's Made in the Triad. That was a huge accomplishment for me! Some of my major wholesale clients have been The Biltmore Estate in Asheville and Our State Magazine.
Warm Wishes will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on December 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.