Meet Our 3 OC Chapter Leaders!

This Thursday night we officially launch or Orange County Chapter. As someone who was born in OC and has so many good memories of living there, this is super exciting! Often people don't associate Orange County with a maker culture, but there definitely is a thriving one. The team of women who has stepped up to lead this chapter is incredible and I could not be more proud to introduce them to you today. Please say hello to these awesome ladies!

Shana of Sucré au Lait

Q: Introduce yourself. What do you make and how did you get started?
A: My name is Shana and I am the owner of Sucré au Lait, a hot chocolate and whole-leaf tea company. I have always loved working with food and knew that in one way or another I would be in the food industry and I am really happy I was able to make that into a reality.

Q: Tell us about ways you've been working with makers already?
A: Since others have seen what I've created, I have had many people ask me for advice and feedback. It's been rewarding to be able to share what I have learned with others. I love the idea that I can help people avoid spending the 1000's of hours of research I did and helping them to avoid the same mistakes I have made in my journey.

Q: Why are you excited to start the Academy of Handmade chapter in OC?
A: I see the maker community in OC growing but we do not seem to have an environment that is about supporting that. I see a lot of focus on networking but not on education and support. I am honored and proud to be a part of this movement. A huge bonus is that I get to learn from others as well. There is always room for growth and to be a part of this organization is a win-win for me.

Q: What's your favorite thing about Orange County?
A: OC has a big city type feel but with small town charm. I love that we have just about everything from beautiful beaches, yummy mom and pop eateries, fine dining, touristy places and local only known spots. OC has something for everyone and honestly I could not imagine living anywhere else! 

Q: Where can people find you online?
A: You can find me online at www.sucreaulait.com and at 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana.

Rachel of The People's Soap Co.

Q: Introduce yourself. What do you make and how did you get started?
A: I'm Rachel Potucek. I make soaps and beard oils from scratch in a workshop in Santa Ana. I work with my hands all day, so I listen to a lot of podcasts and music (sometimes old Netflix movies). I’m a self-taught soap maker. It started when I decided to make soaps for my family for the holidays — I didn’t expect it to turn into an enterprise! They loved the soaps, and I loved making them, and I loved running a small business. I started selling at farmer’s markets and online, and later switched to mostly wholesale.

Q: Tell us about ways you've been working with makers already?
A: I love collaborating through my products: I source reclaimed coffee grounds from a Long Beach-area pop-up coffee shop, and locally-roasted coffee from a roaster in Long Beach. I’ve used locally-grown herbs and honey and am always open to partnerships! A very special thing, to me, is to talk shop: the ups and downs of running your own crazy weird handmade thing and the scene of shows, shops, etc. Commiserating, sharing knowledge, forwarding opportunities: those things make my day.

Q: Why are you excited to start the Academy of Handmade chapter in OC?
A: OC is a HUGE county and the scene just keeps growing! I think this is a wonderful time to create this forum for our local network. OC has more local business opportunities and resources coming up all the time. Creating this forum for local businesses eases our transition to handmade and inspires  everyone involved, both newcomers and old hats alike.

Q: Share a little about what you love about the handmade community in Orange County.
A: Getting to know other OC makers and my Chapter Co-Leaders Shana and Lisa, I’m more and more excited by our openness, integrity, compassion, and down-to-earth attitude. We’re here to support one another and share.

Q: What's your favorite thing about Orange County?
A: My favorite thing about OC is that a “non-OC” person like me can find eclectic and inspiring people and places. We have a dedicated tribe of makers and supporters: workshop spaces, coworking spaces, natural enclaves, and maker shows, and I love that so many OCers travel out of the county and constantly bring new ideas and energy to share.

Q: Where can people find you online?
A: I’m @PeoplesSoap on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. My website is PeoplesSoap.com.

Lisa of The Pink Bustle

What do you do and how did you get started?
A: Hello I am Lisa Cookston and I am a handmade supporter and enthusiast! I was not gifted with the creativity to make but I am inspired by creative people and love working with them. For the last 10 years I have organized craft fairs and markets. I have a large network of crafters that I work with and keep connected to upcoming opportunities.

Q: Tell us about ways you've been working with makers already?
A: I am excited to start the Academy of Handmade chapter in OC because I believe OC has potential to be the next big marketplace for crafters and I look forward to propelling that growth!

Q: What's your favorite thing about Orange County?
My favorite thing about Orange County is the diversity, especially between northern and southern Orange County. My goal is to have both of these areas come together creatively

Q: Where can people find you online?
You can find me on Instagram @thepinkbustle.