Posts Tagged ‘gioconda padovan’

in early September, i headed down to D.C. to spend a day with the ladies of Hellocraft, a non-profit “dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement.” the  annual event is held in a different city each year and i was fortunate enough to be a) available that day and b) living close enough that i could drive there!

this year’s Summit of Awesome  was a one day event held at Fab Lab DC, a small studio/fabrication lab space with the perfect amount of space for all who attended 🙂 i arrived with enough time to enjoy the community craft table. actually, i think everyone who attended spent every free moment at the community craft table making buttons, sewing plush, playing with Washi tape, and more. here’s what i came home with:

. . . so now i’m basically dying for a button maker at home and stocked myself up on Washi tape. they also gave out little Moleskins to jot notes during each session. the stamped house on the front of my notebook was created by none other than my neighbor at this year’s Art Star Craft Bazaar- small world! check out Gioconda Padovan’s etsy shop here!

anyhow, after a brief intro, we split into groups to spend the day listening to 4 different topical sessions, as well as a keynote speaker at lunch. i’ll summarize some of the helpful information i took away from each session:

Own Your Awesome with Kelly Rand

Kelly is one of the founders of Hellocraft and also just became a published author with the release of the book Handmade to Sell. her session was basically a pep-talk for female crafters (not to diss you male makers out there, but the Summit was comprised of mostly women). she made a lot of good points- ideas that should be common sense, but when you’re stuck, they’re not so obvious. here’s a couple of phrases/notes i jotted down to pump me up and remind me why i’m plugging along and doing what i do:

every interaction is an opportunity.

– don’t be afraid to ask for help!

– don’t downplay your craft- think about all that goes into your work! what about the choices, schooling, organization, time, and everything else that goes in to everything you do?

– “success” is different for everyone; also, there is always more to an overnight success story than meets the eye.

Craftnote Speaker: Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower

Stephen came armed with a powerpoint presentation about the humble beginnings of the website spoonflower. it really was an interesting story- the founders really knew nothing about fabric, but had experience with online platforms from their jobs at lulu.com. they discovered there was a demand for custom printed fabric and voila! they built a site to meet that demand. he spoke about their history, their current products, and future ventures. he also showcased some popular designers on the site and how social the site can be with weekly themed contests. pretty cool stuff! i came home with a great spoonflower swatch sample- i can’t wait to place an order!

Finance 101: The Basics for Crafts with Jennifer Dunn of Outright

outright.com– i am SO glad i found out about this site. it seriously came at the exact time i needed to- i’d been tossing around the idea of buying Quickbooks, but really wasn’t sure how to use it. Excel was getting too jumbled and difficult for me to keep up. along came the information about this site and i am PUMPED. it is a free bookkeeping website that syncs with your etsy, ebay, paypal, etc. and compiles all your information in one easy to use dashboard. Jennifer’s talk was exactly what i was hoping to find at the Summit and it really made the entire trip worth it for me. i have her contact info if anyone is looking for more information about the site. i also received a tip that this website is great for tax advice for small business. outright is really just the software to organize it all, not your personal accountant.

What’s the Deal? New Wholesale Opportunities with Tina Seamonster

another interesting and relevant talk- i had just received an email from uncovet.com two weeks prior and i wasn’t sure how to approach it. i knew i wanted to participate, but thought i needed more time. after listening to Tina’s talk, i said to myself “wtf am i waiting for?” and got rolling on my uncovet sale- i am so glad i did! anyhow, one piece of advice she had was- if the opportunity is worth it, say yes, then figure out how to get it done! seriously though- the opportunity (or one like it) may never surface again. she also gave a thorough and honest depiction of how to calculate proper costs for items. i really appreciated her candid talk about her trials and tribulations. check out her work on her fab website!

Email Me, Maybe? with Amy Ellis of MailChimp

i’ve never been a fan of email lists, so this session wasn’t my first choice. however, after seeing all that MailChimp is capable of with statistics and email layouts, i’m a convert and can’t wait to send my first newsletter to my humble, but growing, email list! Amy not only works for MailChimp, but runs her own newsletter for a club she belongs to, so she had plenty of insight on how to read your stats and keep customers engaged with your content.

the class of 2012

it was a challenge getting there (oh yeah, did i mention my car’s transmission died in Baltimore on the Friday night before the Summit?) but it was worth it to me. i talk to many vendors at shows, but rarely do i get to chat with anyone about these nitty-gritty details. i feel more confident with my business and the Summit really helped me get excited again about what i’m doing! here’s hoping i’ll be able to make my art/craft business my full-time career one day. thanks so much to Kelly, Sara, & Christine for the post-Summit drinks at Meridian Pint! here’s hoping i see you ladies either at next year’s Summit or at Crafty Bastards!

i’ll leave you with two photos- here’s my Escort, dead on the U-Haul we towed it home with:

 . . . and me with my new-to-me ride! so much more room- i love it!



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On Mother’s Day weekend of this year, I was a third time participant with Philadelphia’s famous independent craft fair, Art Star Craft Bazaar. Held every year at Penn’s Landing, the show is curated and run by the ladies of Art Star Gallery & Boutique, on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties. Also every year, it gets more awesome! This year, my booth was in a cluster next to the Seaport Museum.

It was super sunny on Saturday, so Katy and I soaked up the rays.

I also debuted my new plush kitty cats! They come in three colors and each is slightly different. Each color of kitty has a name tag with a little description about its personality. The orange cat is “Big Tig,” the purple cat is “Dr. Fuzz,” and the grey cat is “Kasey.” If you’re interested in picking one up, here’s a link to my plush kitty cat etsy listing.

On Sunday the 13th, I got to roam around the show, take photos, say hi to friends, and pick up some great items! Here are some of my favorites:

My booth neighbor was gioconda padovan, an artist who creates her own children’s stamp sets from original illustrations. Her products are super cute and whimsical- you can see from one child’s example, they’re easy to layer as well. She had a table set up for kids to test them out, which was cute entertainment all day long.

I’m psyched about this purchase, a print by Shawn Hileman of Philadelphia’s Masthead Print Studio fame. It’s currently living in my studio, naturally.

Just down the way from me was Laura of The Wind and the Sail, my booth neighbor from last year! She hails from Indiana and I cannot say enough how much I adore her work- last year, I picked up a kitty cat with a mole (just like my own cat) and a cute plush beaver friend. It was great to see you again this year, Laura!

One day . . . one day, I will buy something from Bubbledog. I love all of their colorful goods, so I can honestly never decide what I want to bring home!

I had seen a preview from Art Star about Betsy Olmsted’s work and I couldn’t wait to see it in the flesh . . . holy moly is it beautiful (and very inspiring). Who would ever want to actually use one of these hand towels?? They’re way too pretty to ruin in the kitchen!

To continue with artists from PA Dutch country (Betsy Olmsted resides in Lancaster), I picked up this sweet, springy thank you card from Ready the House, a design team based out of Lititz. Check out their etsy for some bright, locally influenced designs.

I’m so into this new coaster set by my friend Bryan of yardsale press– it’s the perfect housewarming gift!

At every show I see her at, I drool over Namoo‘s fabric goodies. This time was no exception.

Neogranny had such a colorful setup, packed with laser cut wooden embellishments.

As mentioned before, Heidi Kenney’s plushies are some of my all-time favorites. How hilarious (and well crafted) are these dirty bananas? Too much cuteness.

Courtney and Justin of Wider Awake Print & Design did such a stellar job with their first setup as Art Star vendors! I am a huge fan of their work and you should be too- make sure to check out their site and etsy storefront for colorful and quirky silkscreen goodies.

I’m a big fan of these new Overdue Industries bunting necklaces- a fresh departure from their other necklace styles.

To continue with necklaces, these chevron ceramic necklaces by Tasha McKelvey are really hip. I didn’t pick one up, but I did get this beachy ceramic dish from her, pictured below:

In the dish is a “surf and turf” pin set from yardsale press. Underneath is a silkscreen print on a wooden postcard by Melanie Linder of Spread the Love.

I always love work by Phil Barbato! Check out these new baby octopus plush- look at that rotten tooth on the back one! Too funny 🙂

Holland Cox featured a great assortment of bold, patterned clutch bags and wristlets.

Sun in my Chest’s booth made me so happy (just like their prints say) thanks to their assortment of mono-printed goodies. As I mentioned last week, as much as I love silkscreen printing, it’s always exciting for me to see older, more traditional printmaking processes at these kinds of shows.

I wish this ceramicist had a website, but alas I only found an art center profile on Tabitha Trolli, the girl who crafted these gorgeous vases. I seriously went back to her booth four times before I decided on what I wanted to purchase:

Sarah Lee Parker Textiles’ booth was near mine last year and I adored her designs just as much as I do this year. How fun are these tea towels?

It was such a pleasure to meet Becki and Chris, the creative duo behind Everyday Balloons. The pair from Pittsburgh are also silkscreen printers who do everything by hand – very admirable and very time consuming. I fell for their suite of owl prints and am so happy that I got to bring them home with me! I already have the hooties framed and ready to rock for a print/photo salon style wall I’m planning to hang soon. Not only are their prints awesome, but how cute are these business cards? I kind of want to frame these too:

Anyhow, the Craft Bazaar was a great success and I’m so lucky to have been able to participate again this year. A big THANK YOU goes out to Megan and Erin of Art Star, to my faithful helpers, my mamadukes, and to everyone who stopped in! Including the doggies who came for a drink:

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