Friday, December 4, 2015

Less than 24 Hours to Go!

Meet Capri Wisniewski from Craftinista Girl...
I’m Capri and I’m the ‘girl’ behind Craftinista Girl. Crafts have long been a BIG part of my life. I’m fairly certain that the ‘gene’ was passed along to me through my Grandma and my Mom (both of which are incredibly talented ladies). Growing up I spent a lot of time making all sorts of different things with the two of them. Additionally, my grandmother is the master of new-uses. I definitely inherited her repurposeful spirit and try to use that in each and every item I create. So technically, I've been doing this all my life! 

Like a lot of other creatives, my business started in an unknowing-kind-of-way. Just after I had finished my graduate degree, one of my closest friends found out she would be having a baby girl. In true-Capri-fashion, I made her a gift for the shower; a baby outfit from an old tshirt that we loved in high school. Making my own pattern, figuring out how to piece it together, and the overall end result got me hooked! In addition, I wasn’t having much success finding a “real-job” so I started selling on Etsy to make a little extra cash on the side.
Making, marketing, and selling my handmade items has turned out to be the perfect way for me to use my business degree in a way that makes me feel more fulfilled than I could have ever imagined. Over the summer I decided to quit everything and focus on taking my handmade business to the next level. I love the Midwest, and Columbus being the mother-of-all-creative-goodness seemed like the perfect place to pursue this journey. I've been selling on Etsy for three years, and just started doing shows in person at the beginning of 2015. All in all, I'm pretty new to the craft scene, but I'm loving every moment!

The great thing about my 'craft' is that I thoroughly enjoy every part of the process. I would say it all begins with thrifting. Some of the shirts I use do come from family, friends, and sometimes my own wardrobe, but a lot of them come from the thrift store. To me, it's like a treasure hunt! Once I get my hands on the best shirts I dissect them into many different pieces. The primary products that some from the shirts are baby outfits and scarves. There are almost always leftovers, and I make a number of different bi-products from these pieces. You wouldn't believe all of the different things that can come from a single t-shirt! Since I have a bit of craft-A.D.D. it's nice that I can work on a variety of projects from that one shirt.
In five years, I would love my business to be sustainable enough to fully support me so that I can focus on some other business ideas I have. No matter what, making is in my bones and I will always continue to do it whether it is full-time, part-time, or just for fun. I am very excited to participate in my first Avant Garde Craft Show on December 5th at St. Agatha Church, hope to see you there! 

Meet Shauna Burton from Scented Essentials...
My name is Shauna Burton and I am from Youngstown, Ohio. I'm a title clerk at a local dealership by day, candle maker by night! I have been making my own products for a few years now. I just recently started to sell my candles about four months ago. I have been selling my lip balm for over a year.

How I got started.. All of my products started out as a DIY projects for myself. I wanted to know how to make my own products so I truly know all of the ingredients and to make sure they are safe with no harsh chemicals. Candles, Lip Balm & Room Spray may be the only items I make and sell now, but I am always working on others. Inspired by my own needs or what others have suggested.
There's is something about making your own products that is very rewarding. Knowing that I made a quality product that not only I myself love and use, but others love as well. That I must say is the best feeling. 

How I discovered my talent.. After giving my products as gifts to friends and family and hearing their responses, I soon started ScentedEssentials. It's a job I love to do!

My creative process... I really put the customer first. Whatever the case may be, whichever season we are in, the customer comes first. I take all comments, suggestions, seasonal trends, etc. and make sure I have exactly what the consumer wants to see and have. 
In five years it will be 2020. I would love to see myself doing this full time. To have my own boutique selling all of my products and also featuring other makers products as well would be amazing. Hard work pays off. 

Every single product I sell is all natural and made with high quality ingredients. No additives, no preservatives, no harsh chemicals. I strive to make only quality products at affordable prices with a handmade personal touch. 

Instagram: @_scentedessentials
Facebook: scentedessentials1

Meet Robbie Hay from Creative Arts Center...
Suzanne “Robbie” Hay lives in Columbus, Ohio and has owned and operated, with the help of her family, a full service entertainment agency since 1994. She stays busy facepainting at birthday parties, corporate events and festivals. Hubby, David, turns into Santa Claus at Christmas time.  Jason, her older son is a caricature artist, and also is the artist for her book cover, ”Facepainting for Fun and Profit”. Younger son, Aaron, or Dizzy Doc is a nationally known balloon artist.
Robbie, a former public school teacher, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Ohio State University and continues to teach in the field of face and body painting. She has received awards and placed in face and body painting competitions in Florida, in Seeboden, Austria, and in New Mexico.
Robbie is a facepainting instructor in her hometown and teaches at various facepainting conventions around the country. Robbie also authored a facepainting board game called “Gazebo”.
She has recently created a line of pen and ink drawings.

Meet Amanda Lovell from Center Street Candles...
I'm a "sidepreneur" who balances a successful career in corporate HR with a growing, and very FUN, candle business!  I learned candle making from my Mom about 15 years ago, and it's been a hobby since then. 
What inspires me to create? - I've always been obsessed with aromas, so I decided to channel that energy into a fabulous product. I could be inspired by a meal, a book, or the outdoors (to name a few)
How I describe my creative process? - Impulsive! I think of fragrance possibilities at the strangest times, and then go through as much R&D as I need to perfect the fragrance blend. 

My five year goal - I'd love to own my own boutique specializing in hand made goods for the home.

2014 Columbus Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, December 5, 2015

St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holiday Shopping, Handmade Happiness!

Meet Marsha and Nancy from Granny's Candy...
My business partner, Nancy, is a wife, mom of 2 daughters and grandma of 2 young boys. Nancy is a florist and still works in the industry. Marsha is a wife, mom of 2 daughters and gram to 2 young boys, as well. Marsha is a retired dental professional..... Yes, she really does make candy!

Our business, Your Granny's Candy started in January 2014. This is our first Avant-Garde show. We're so excited to be a part of this organization!
The thing that inspires us is the appreciation of all things handmade. To offer a gift made from your heart is so satisfying. Nancy and Marsha, besides being business partners, are sisters-in-law. Making old fashioned hard tack candy was a Christmas tradition we did as a family with our mom and daughters.
How we got started in our business.. More than discovering hard tack candy-making as a talent, we missed the tradition when our mother passed away. We found this type of candy impossible to purchase. We wanted to fill the void of enjoying hard tack for all who had the fond memories without time to make it themselves.
We are always thinking of ways to streamline the process, introduce new flavors and best ways to market our product. Nancy always has the creative juices flowing; Marsha's forte is more towards the business aspects.

In five years our goal.... We would love to be a part of a large gourmet gift basket business.

The message behind our work is to stop and enjoy the sweetness of life. It is our hope that while you are enjoying our delicious candy, you experience fond memories of your past and pay tribute to those who showed love by the gifts of their hands.

Meet Becky Rodriguez from Wreath Envy...
I’ve always liked textiles, and have enjoyed sewing, doing macramé when that was trendy, weaving, and making yarn from my own Angora rabbits. In my twenties, I was working toward the Mother Earth self-sufficiency homesteading, and made as much as I could by hand, from clothing to goat cheese.
Burlap ribbon has the natural feel and look I like.  I enjoy searching for just the right combination of design and accents to create a unique wreath that will compliment someone’s home decor. I listen carefully to people’s comments when they’re choosing one of my wreaths for their door or inside their home, so that I can continually improve my craft.  I try to make wreaths that are exactly what someone was looking for, and if that means swapping out one ornament for another I’ll do that. I come prepared with tools! I’ll do custom orders, too.  It is important to me that my wreaths have the right balance of fun and elegance without becoming gaudy.

I recently retired from 23 years of public school teaching as a bilingual and ESL teacher and now have more time to spend on making wreaths. I had been making spring and summer floral grapevine wreaths for friends and family. I still add floral components to some burlap wreaths. 
My plan is to offer additional specialized themed wreaths in the future-dogs, cats, weddings, babies, OSU, etc. I have been collecting materials to hand stamp and stencil burlap for a Golden Retriever wreath and a “Congratulations Mr. and Mrs.!” wreath. In the summer I hope to have my inventory of hand stamped and stenciled burlap tote bags ready!

This is my first holiday season participating in craft shows and my first Avant-Garde show. I am very excited to be a part of this event! I am making new friends and seeing some wonderful church venues.

Meet Cathy Baker from Baker's Buttons and Bows...
I am a retired executive administrative assistant.  Worked for Nationwide Insurance for 36 years and retired in January 2015. I have been married for 36 years, have two children and three grandchildren. Love to read, scrapbook and, of course, craft making. 

I have even making crafts for 20 years for family and friends. Decided to make it a part-time hobby/career after I retired.
About my crafting style.. I love the primitive look and feel. My motto is if I create it, would it fit into the theme and look of my home and will others who love the primitives love them!! I like creating and designing items. Makes me feel challenged and a sense of accomplishment when I see the finished product.
When it comes to my creative process if I see something I like, I tweak it to fit my decor and colors. That may mean changing the entire design!  

My five year goal is to continue to do shows, as I enjoy meeting and talking to people.

The message behind my work is love what you do, and do what you love.

Meet Michael Lutz from Handcrafted by Michael Lutz...
I was born and grew up mostly in Ohio, graduating from Ohio State with a degree in Psychology. So I spent 25 years in construction. I've always had a creative, hands on side. I've only been serious about making stuff to make stuff for the last 7 years. 

I enjoy the creative process as much as the final result. Most of the things I make are spontaneous, with very few drawings, which can lead to unexpected results, both good and bad! I'm OK with that. 
Every piece is practice and a learning experience for the next piece, so its hard to see where that may lead me in the future. I have so many untapped ideas currently, I had to quit my day job to explore them, and I have just been getting into CNC and 3D printing. 
As for future goals with the business... my intent is to begin to merge the many media that I work in into larger scale multi-media projects! I'm just so excited to see what comes next! 

Meet Jesse Potts from Houndstooth Maille...
My name is Jesse Potts, I'm 26 and I was born and raised in Ohio. I moved to Columbus in 2009 and currently work for a company that has me travel around to other cities in Ohio as well as other states. I went to CCAD for a couple of years in the illustration program. I make chainmaille jewelry and accessories in my spare time. I've been making chainmaille for about 2 and a half years now.

What inspires me.. I follow a bunch of other artists on social networking sites and am a member of a few groups that specialize in chainmaille. Seeing others trying new things and posting their works in progress as well as their finished products really helps me to keep going and trying new things. I like surrounding myself will all kinds of art and drawing inspiration from the world around me.

How I got into my hobby... Honestly, I don't remember. I think I saw a blog post where someone posted some pictures of some chainmaille items they made and I thought to myself that it was a really interesting hobby that you don't see very often. The fact that you could make almost anything with it, including clothing/armor and even intricate pieces of art was interesting to me as well. I picked up some cheap supplies to see what it was like and fell in love with learning all the different ways to link my metal rings together.

I have always loved making things with my hands. I have tried knitting, crochet, sewing, sculpting, painting, drawing, and many many other crafts and arts. I still come back to these other things every once in a while but I think I found my niche in chainmaille, it is definitely the thing I have stuck with the longest. 
My creative process... When I'm trying new weaves I like to research the one I'm learning thoroughly and try it out a few times before committing it to memory. I use leftover materials that might not necessarily be used or sold later for practice, and then when I have the hang of it I work on making finished, polished pieces. 

My five year plan... I would really like to be able to attend more shows in a year. Currently I'm busy with other things so I don't get to create nearly as much as I would like. So I think being able to focus more on my craft and getting out and seeing others at shows would be my goal.
The message behind my work.. My aesthetic has always be casual but almost elegant. I like things that look intricate but are fun or deceptively plain enough to be worn casually. Sort of like a paradox, I suppose. It's the opposite of what you might expect.

I work typically in a light weight but strong aluminum alloy. I also have access to other metals and often used anodized metals to add color to my pieces. I try hard to limit my pieces to metals that are non-reactive and hypoallergenic. This includes all my earrings, the ear hooks are all hypoallergenic stainless steel or niobium. You can find some of my jewelry on my etsy!

2014 Columbus Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, December 5, 2015
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: