Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Member Profiles

Erin Shebish: Sugar Crumbs

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: erin@sugar-crumbs.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:  I'm a crazy cat lady with a yarn obsession. It kind of makes sense. I love creating amigurumi for young and young at heart. Nothing makes me happier than making someone's day a little sweeter with my work!

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?   Yarn. Felt. Cotton. Wool. All the fun stuff!

Q: Who inspires you?  I'm inspired by the older generations of crocheters... You know the ones. The contented women, just relaxing in their rocking chair with their yarn and their hook. Creating to just to create. THEY inspire me.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:  Must I choose just three? The movie Xanadu {don't judge!}, Hot Cocoa flavored Milky Ways and miniatures. I just love tiny things!

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers?  I love being able to turn the creatures in my head into tangible characters! Not only do I get to really bring them to life but I get to share them with the world! How awesome is that?

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult?  Balance. I'm a wife. A mom. A maker. A blogger. And there just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes to balance it all.

Q: What drives your creative process?  Lots of things. I'll find myself meandering about, feeling less that creative and I'll spot a certain shape in the clouds... or I'll notice that reflectors on the back of a vehicle look like a face. And just like that, I'm ready to start creating!

Q: Where can people find your stuff?  You can find me on storenvy! SugarCrumbs.storenvy.com

Shelly Zhang: Nerdy But Still Girly

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: mizzshellz@gmail.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:  My cousin taught me how to make jewelry and from there I made everything that I could not find in stores. My jewelry are for nerds who love being girly.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?   Plastic shrinks and a pink glue gun. It has to be pink. The pink gives it special powers.

Q: Who inspires you?  All things that is cute and weird, mostly the weird.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:  Netflix, boba and sweets.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers?  I don't have to wear pants.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult?  Dealing with customers that refuse to read. We both end up unhappy.

Q: What drives your creative process?   Whatever I am into at the moment. I usually put on Netflix while working, and what I watch will suddenly inspire me to draw.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? 
On my main website: www.NerdyButStillGirly.com

Rachel Potucek: People's Soap Company

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: Hello@PeoplesSoap.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:  Hi! I make soap by hand from scratch using pure oils, botanicals and other great stuff. My soaps are deeply moisturizing...no more after-shower dry itchy skin. Yay!

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?  Essential oils. Nature packs a punch in those little vials.

Q: Who inspires you?  Creatives and makers. Small business owners. My family.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:  Fresh-roasted Sumatra coffees, Netflix, Facebook stalking

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers?  Running my own small business forces me to confront my weaknesses and embrace my strengths. It has taught me more than I could have imagined. I feel more alive than ever.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult?  PACKING/SHIPPING is drudgery incarnate. And....At first I found it exciting, but nowadays, I loathe social media upkeep and email communications. Eats up so much of my day.

Q: What drives your creative process?  Instagram! So much inspiration on there every day.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? 
PeoplesSoap.com
Etsy: Etsy.com/shop/PeoplesSoap
StorEnvy: http://www.storenvy.com/stores/608244-the-people-s-soap-company
Downtown LA: Articulum Design General Store
Laguna Beach: Sourced California Collective
Long Beach (Belmont Shore): Fern's Garden
Long Beach (Downtown): MADE in Long Beach
Old Town Orange: Movement
Costa Mesa (LAB Anti-Mall): May/Martin Inc
New Orleans, Louisiana: LA46 (Coming soon!) 
Madiera Beach, Florida: Dizzy Lizzy's Boutique

Nancy Newsom: Botanic Organic

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: nancy@botanicorganic.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I'm Nancy Newsom, founder of Botanic Organic. We create a holistic line of organic facial care products crafted with unrefined, whole plant-based ingredients to restore skin to optimal glowing health.

I initially created these formulas for personal use to stop doing harm to both my body and to the wider environment, however, the improvements to my skin from using raw, plant-based oils and traditional herbal remedies, convinced me that these natural gifts from nature do a better job of caring for my skin than the mainstream products I had been using my entire life, and so began my journey. Our line works equally well to balance young, blemish prone skin, sensitive and reactive skin and to nourish and repair mature, environmentally damaged skin.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?  I love to work with the finest oils, extracts and plant distillates that I can source. There are a great many fabulous and natural ingredients that can be used in skincare products in place of the harsh, chemical ingredients that are so commonly used. Nature offers us complex and powerful botanicals that deliver their beneficial effects when the plant is used in its entirety.

Our carrier oils are extracted from fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, giving them color and scent and packing them full of phytonutrients that can deliver wonderful benefits to our skin. Our organic plant distillates are are artisan distilled from fresh, organic plant materials rather than dried, giving them these wonderful floral and herbal aromas. It is terrifically satisfying to work with these amazing ingredients and my workshop always smells divine!

Q: Who inspires you?  Anyone who makes beautiful and creative objects that make the world a more interesting and pleasing place to live in. Amazing creativity is such a gift and I'm always in awe of it.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:

1. High quality dark chocolate
2. Playing solitaire (it's such an utterly unproductive thing to do and yet I find it relaxing)
3. Spending more than I should on other maker's offerings at maker events! At least this makes me feel good about supporting the maker community. ;-)

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers?  Wow, such an interesting community to mix with and I also love meeting the people who come to these events. It's all very social.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Documenting my processes, hand's down! There's so much paperwork to do but it's very important to keep excellent records when you're making skincare products. It's not the most satisfying part of the job but it's very necessary.

Q: What drives your creative process?  My own skin's needs and also the needs of my customers. I love to research and learn about herbal remedies that have been used to heal skin over long periods of time and across cultures and then to find ways to incorporate these remedies into my skincare products. I know that "technically" we're not allowed to call skincare products "healing" unless we want the FDA knocking at our door, but I am constantly amazed and excited by the potency of seemingly simple plant-based oils for skin care.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?  http://botanicorganic.com/

Rita Colimon: RitaYMA Jewelry

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: rcolimon@gmail.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I make custom fine silver (precious metal clayy/99.9% silver) jewelry along with wire wrapped necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I started doing jewelry a number of years ago, when I was 11, and I started selling about 2.5 years ago. I like to make a lot of bold, statement pieces, that are all handmade and a little bit different.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Precious Metal Clay/Fine Silver/.999

Q: Who inspires you? My mom, she's always inspired me to follow my heart wherever that leads.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Vegan chocolate anything, barbeque soy chips, Project Runway.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? I like it when I make something for someone and they are happy with it and really enjoy the piece.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Marketing, Pricing.

Q: What drives your creative process? Everyday things, things from nature, just seeing an object or a shape that looks interesting and different.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?: www.ritaymajewelery.etsy.com

Please include a link to a photo of you that we can use for your profile spotlight:

 

Leanna Lin: Leanna Lin's Wonderland

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: leanna@leannalin.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: Leanna Lin’s Wonderland is a playful jewelry studio/shop/art gallery inspired by modern and retro designs, where you can use your imagination to create your own beaded jewelry. I carry vintage and handmade jewelry, accessories, gifts, home decor, and art.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I love making beaded jewelry using vintage candy-like beads!

Q: Who inspires you? Successful, creative women entrepreneurs!

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Eating desserts, staying at boutique hotels, and watching girlie TV like Sex & The City

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Connecting with others who understand the culture.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Trying to balance being creative, along with running the day to day business and marketing.

Q: What drives your creative process? Seeing my customers happy when they find a unique purchase at my shop!

Q: Where can people find your stuff? 
Leanna Lin's Wonderland
5024 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Amy Jo Pedone: Valenza Chocolatier

Academy Of Handmade

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: VALENZA CHOCOLATIER® is an authentic Italian Inspired Artisan Chocolate and Confections business based in Costa Mesa, CA. Our award winning gourmet BONBONS, BARS and CONFECTIONS are handmade from the finest local and Italian imported ingredients paired with the purest single bean origin, fair trade chocolate and no added preservatives. We aspire to create a brief escape from “life” with each savory taste of the TRUE AMORE infused into our decadent creations. 

Certified Master Chocolatier Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone made a 180-degree change from a successful thirteen-year career in commercial real estate lending into the confections and food industry without any prior formal training, experience, business relationships or product line. She developed a passion for chocolate over the course of her life while making various confections during the holidays with her mother. Shortly after the passing of her cousin to Ovarian cancer, she was inspired to live life with no regret and subsequently pursued her dream of becoming a certified chocolatier to then form her own company, Valenza Chocolatier.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Finding a unique blend/pairing of traditional italian ingredients and fine chocolate.

Q: Who inspires you? Three strong women are my inspiration to pursue my passion for Valenza Chocolatier. My Italian Grandmother. My Mother. My Cousin who lost her fight to Ovarian Cancer at 37. All there are the driving force in the decision to remove myself from a corporate desk and live life with no regret.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: WINE. CHEESE. CHOCOLATE. PIZZA.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? The moment someone takes their first bite! They have the "OMG" moment and then a big smile comes across their face. In that moment of bliss, all the hard works, late nights, sore hands make it ALL worth it!

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Keeping my artisan business authentic as it grows, delegates, and hires new employees.

Q: What drives your creative process? My creative process is driven by taking Italian traditional chocolates and adding my twist!

Q: Where can people find your stuff? Valenza Chocolatier is an online chocolate shop. Place an order online for local delivery or shipping (months October - June) or pick up at the market at my commercial kitchen rental, The Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa. A limited collection line is at The Hood and a few speciality markets in Orange Count...and growing!

Amelia Bland Waller

Academy Of Handmade

What makes you happy? Spending time with children makes me happy.

What does the handmade movement mean to you? The handmade movement promotes self-sufficiency and creativity, both of which I highly value.

What inspires you? I'm inspired by those who strive to serve others, regardless of their station in life (that of those who serve, or that of those they serve).

Who do you look up to? I look up to these people (those who strive to serve others).

Susan Kuhn: Sleeping Bear Quilts

Academy Of Handmade

Bio:  Chemist turned mom turned quilter. Ten years ago, I couldn't thread a needle let alone a sewing machine. Now I can't sit still with some kind of handwork project and the garage is my sewing studio.

What makes you happy? Running, sewing, working in my garden, and spending time with my family keep me happy.

What does the handmade movement mean to you? The handmade movement encourages me to think uniquely and step away from the 'big box' stores. Also to leave my comfort zone and try something new.

What inspires you? Colors and textures inspire me to keep creating.

Who do you look up to? I look up to Jennie Love, owner of Love n' Fresh Flowers. She started her own sustainable flower farming business outside of Philadelphia and has become a highly sought after floral designer.

Anything else you want to tell us? I like trying new things and meeting new people. Everyone has a story and you never know with whom you might cross paths.

www.etsy.com/people/sleepingbearquilts

Isaac Watson: Maker's Nation

Academy Of Handmade

What makes you happy?

I love connecting people together, helping them learn something new, and seeing a thriving creative economy.

What does the handmade movement mean to you?

When people make something by hand, whether it’s throwing clay, typing code, brewing beer, or opening a shop, they put a piece of themselves into it, and that can’t be replicated. The handmade movement calls for a shared experience, a stronger sense of self and community, and sense of equality in a way of life.

What inspires you?

Hearing other perspectives and opening my mind up to new possibilities and things I’ve never thought of.

Who do you look up to?

Anyone who is willing to put themselves out there, take a plunge, forge a path, or strike out on their own to do something that they believe in.

Anything else you want to tell us?

In the maker community, there should be no sense of true competition—only collaboration.

 

Website: makersnation.org
Twitter: @makersnation
Facebook: facebook.com/makersnation

April Laird: Smithy Jewelry

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: april@smithyjewelry.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I am a vintage inspired handmade jewelry maker by night; a union art department worker for network television shows by day. I have a strong love for handmade gifting & diy projects, but I have always been most passionate about making jewelry.

The designs for Smithy Jewelry are based on my favorite periods from the early 20th century. Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles are timeless, and I strive to create simple wearable emulations of those styles that will attract other sophisticated romantics like myself.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I am a nut for brass and bronze finishes, fresh water pearls, and semi precious stones like crystal, amethyst, turquoise, and garnet. Many of my designs are wire wrapped because I love the movement wire wrapping allows in jewelry. I plan to fabricate full designs in the future using brass, copper, and sterling silver, but I will always employ wire wrapping in my work, in some fashion.

Q: Who inspires you? I am constantly inspired by classic designers in production, fashion, architecture, graphic design, illustration, gemology and metalsmithing. I also look to fellow makers and Etsy-based crafters everyday for inspiration. I feel that the best inspiration comes from collaboration.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Costume parties (Gatsby balls are always my weakness!)
Fruity cocktails
80s karaoke

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? The process of creating a new piece is thrilling, stimulating, and a labor of love. Regardless of how pleased I might be with a new idea on my own, the process is never complete until the moment a customer falls in love with something I've made and cherishes it for their own. That is the most gratifying part of being a maker, for me.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? I have exactly zero academic background in marketing or business and there is a gigantic learning curve. It is the most difficult part of my business for me, so when I succeed in those areas, I am 100 times more excited!

Q: What drives your creative process? My creative process is driven by the sheer thrill of manipulating raw materials into solid working pieces of art.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?
www.smithyjewelry.com
www.etsy.com/shop/smithyjewelry
www.facebook.com/smithyjewelry
www.instagram.com/smithyjewelry
www.twitter.com/smithyjewelry
www.pinterest.com/smithyjewelry

Hovey Lee: Hovey Lee Eco Jewelry

Academy Of Handmade

Email Hovey: info@hoveylee.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: In 2006 Hovey launched her first jewelry line and captured the attention of the fashion and art communities. Since then her jewelry has been selected by fashion shows, museums and specialty boutiques around the nation and overseas. Hovey Lee Eco Jewelry is an eco-chic brand incorporating vintage, recycled and fair trade elements. Collections designed and made in USA.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? As artisan jewelry maker, we use both classic and modern wiring, beading, and metalsmithing techniques to create jewelry that features the beauty of the materials used. A wide variety of textures, patinas and finishing techniques are used to bring the pieces to life. Semi-precious stones, natural and sometimes man-made materials accent and compliment the designs. We work in a range of materials including standard and Argentium sterling silver, karat golds, gold-filled, vermeil, brass and copper to produce jewelry that is meant to be tough and beautiful.

Q: Who inspires you? Coco Chanel, Alexis Bittar

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Ice-cream of all flavors, massage at a korean spa, cute shoes and handbags (that's 4 lol)

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Get to be creative every single day.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Made in LA is still really expensive.

Q: What drives your creative process? Being inspired by art and beautiful fashion.

Q: Where can people find your stuff: hoveylee.com, you can find our stocklist there too.

Maddie Spoto: Folk Dreams

Academy Of Handmade

Email Maddie: maddiespoto@gmail.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I am a maker, designer, and traveler creating everyday copper and silver jewelry. While beautiful in its simplicity, my jewelry evokes adventure and inspiration to follow dreams and live freely. With texture, oxidization and organic colors I translate nature into wearable pieces of art for taking the road less traveled.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Copper! I love copper, it is not as popular as silver (which I also do love and work with), but it is so gorgeous in its own right. Copper responds so well to oxidization and creates a gorgeous color range. Turquoise is all the rage right now, and I am loving it. The color and uniqueness in every piece is seriously cool and it looks so good with copper!

Q: Who inspires you? My family. We are all so creative and we love going out there and getting stuff done, plus we make sure it is done right. I look at my family and I see so many entrepreneurs, and more specifically, artists. It is no wonder, it became my dream to peruse my own passions and to dare to hope that one day I would be my own boss. Being your own boss is normal in my family, and I love that! 

I am also inspired by artists such as Sally Mann, Richard Serra and Monet. Talk about evoking an emotion. All three of these artists have mastered the feelings they want their viewer to feel when they see their work. It is truly something to strive for in any art or craft.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Only three! Okay...
1. So bad it is good TV and reading - We don't have cable, so I get my fix on Hulu or through a pretty easy-to-read book. When I do have time to sit down I usually just want to decompress and let my mind go. Even though these are pretty mindless endeavors, I am very emotionally attached.
2. Pinterest...well, duh, who doesn't love Pinterest?!
3. My pillow. I find it difficult to sleep without it and in the morning I am usually so comfortable that I can't get out of bed (it is a serious problem, I am not a morning person).

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Being a maker and supporting other makers makes me extremely proud. I love wearing art, and representing fellow makers that are doing awesome things. Being a maker myself, I know how much heart goes into the the things I make, so it easy to support others doing the same. I believe there is room for everyone in this world to share themselves. We just got to find our tribe, and the only way to do that is to support one another!

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? The thing I find most difficult is, in fact, finding your tribe. There is so much out there - so much to do and see, that it is either overwhelming or intimidating. It takes a long time to find a network of support, and to find your customer base. They are out there, but reaching them is the difficult part. This is where I struggle most, because I know what I am offering is valuable.

Q: What drives your creative process? (supporters have creativity too!): My creative process is very organic. I am all about the moment and doing what I am feeling at the moment. I know not very scientific, and maybe, not even the most productive, but moments are fleeting and if I don't pursue them right away then they are gone. I also have the habit of creating this master plan for things and then I rarely ever stick to it, but I still achieve the goal I set out to do in the first place. I also like to work in stages. If I am going to start a piece, I usually start a bulk of pieces to get the process moving, I find I get a lot more pieces done that way then doing one at a time.

Q: Where can people find your stuff: That is easy y'all! My jewels can be found on Etsy at www.folkdreamsjewelry.etsy.com. You can also find more photos of my work at www.folkdreams.com!

Faheema Chaudhury: Unicorn Crafts

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: faheema@unicorncraftsart.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I make adorable Shrinky Dink jewelry that is so cute, you might just get a cavity. All the designs are my own illustrations and every piece is handmade with love by me at Unicorn Crafts Headquarters. It's here that my trusty sidekick, Tali, keeps me company while I make playful jewelry for the kid at heart.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Shrinky Dinks of course! Lately I started to dabble into other materials like resin and wood but still keeping my very colorful and bubbly style so there is no doubt that it's a Unicorn Crafts item.

Q: Who inspires you? Oh my goodness, what doesn't inspire me?! Cartoons, movies, fashion, pop culture, food, and this may sound cheesy but I'm inspired by my very creative friends. When I see them at craft fairs and art shows it's great to look at what they've created since the last time we did a show together. I love bouncing ideas off them and even letting a conversation trigger a new sketch.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: Anything sweet! I really don't feel bad eating sweets though because it fuels my creative juices. No one wants a grumpy gal to design jewelry so I have to make sure I'm filled with sweets so I can create sweet designs. 

Watching Gilmore GIrls over and over and over again. No joke - I think I'm on my 7th cycle of watching the entire series. As soon as I'm finished with the show, I start right back up from the beginning. 

I love love love going to Joann or Michael's and walking through the entire store, even if I don't need anything.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Meeting creative people of all sorts and forming friendships and bonds that aren't superficial. When I first started Unicorn Crafts and did my first craft show, I didn't know anyone around me. I seriously felt like an awkward teenager at a new school. During that show, I met some of the most lovely people that I am honored to call my friends.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? I love what I do but I wish I could eliminate the numbers part of the job. Taxes and finances are the worst for me because all I want to focus on is the fun, creative part. I have to force myself to be good about all the responsible adult portions of running a business.

Q: What drives your creative process? It's a matter of inspiration. When I'm inspired, the designs just flow out of me. Usually I take into account what I'm am interested in - TV shows, characters, animals, foods, etc. and that is the source of my new designs. I try not to follow trends too much because I want to genuinely like all my designs and plus I know not everyone will necessarily be into Unicorn Crafts and that's alright. For the kids at heart on the other hand; I have so many goodies to choose from.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? Besides my online presence at www.unicorncraftsart.com and faheema.etsy.com, I am thankful that there are stores all over the states that carry my line. A list can be found at www.unicorncraftsart.com/about

Cree Kelley: Backwoods Beds

Academy Of Handmade

Email Address: backwoodbeds@gmail.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: We make solid wood handcrafted beds and other furniture items. It started out of necessity, needing a bunk bed - quickly grew to a hobby and now it is my life. We only purchase our materials locally in Southern California from Mom and Pop small hardware stores (Ganahl - being the largest) - we also highly stress that fixing the economy starts within your own community first. We sell to anyone who wants something made for themselves that they had a huge part in designing.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Wood - obviously. I love to use Fir - it is the misfit of wood. Fir is not quite known for furniture like Oak or Maple. I get really excited when I find reclaimed wood that I can use. I also make my own milk paints and paste waxes to finish the beds off with, as well as offer the traditional stains that can be purchased at the hardware stores.

Q: Who inspires you? Weird architectural things that most people take for granted. Bridges, piers, sidewalks, buildings and anything really old. (Seriously anything odd and old, a handkerchief, a light bulb, phone or a lunch box). I am drawn to the lines of the items.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:
Chocolate
Coffee
Beer - I won't lie, I'm a sucker for a good IPA.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? The customers look and reaction when they receive the product is always the proverbial carrot - but I love that after putting in 14 hour days, your body is dog tired and you still must to do more to make it perfect. The drive and passion is almost as good as the satisfaction and reward you get from your customers. It's a job well done that has no words or comparison that can be explained properly. Other makers naturally get this feeling, I am sure, but it really is very hard to describe.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Being able to turn it off. I can't. The designing aspect, dreaming, sketching - making a U turn so I could get a better picture of something that inspired me. I can't turn it off and just be.

Q: What drives your creative process? The want and need to make something that my customers have only dreamed about, not settled for, but dreamed about. I like to think that I help their "dream" rooms come to life.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?
www.backwoodbeds.com
https://www.goodsmiths.com/backwood-beds
https://www.etsy.com/shop/backwoodbeds

Puno Dostres: Map

Academy Of Handmade

What makes you happy? Building Map with my husband and seeing someone use it in unexpected ways. Also, dancing ALWAYS makes me happy.

What does the handmade movement mean to you?  Man, it's tough going out there and building a business. Not only do you have to build your product, but you have to market and sell it as well. I've always been a big supporter of the lone wolves out there that are making beautiful things with their blood, sweat, and tears. I think this movement is a manifestation of all the supporters and believers out there that are actually building and buying handmade.

What inspires you? Lately, adventurers on instagram. I love that there are people seeking an everyday adventure, not just a 1 week vacation.

Who do you look up to? My man. He's the coolest, smartest, most ambitious person I know.

Anything else you want to tell us? Map is a great way to tell your story through geography. We would love to work with you to see how we can help tell your story.

Website: www.madewithmap.com

Twitter: twitter.com/madewithmap

Instagram: instagram.com/madewithmap

Katie Hunt: Tradeshow Bootcamp

Academy Of Handmade

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: Let's see... I'm a mom, an entrepreneur, wife to the most patient man around and the world's worst house cleaner. I am the founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp, offering educational workshops, 1-1 consulting and an amazing community for small creative businesses. I'm also the owner of Kelp Designs, a Southern California based stationery studio. I hold an MBA in marketing and finance from Loyola Marymount University and have spent the last 13 years coaching small businesses while building Kelp Designs and Tradeshow Bootcamp. I have a passion for creating, a mind for business and a strong desire to help others succeed.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Paper, bold patterns & bright colors!

Q: Who inspires you? My kids and their amazing imaginations and ways of looking at the world with wonder. They remind me that the world is ours -- dream big, work hard, and keep pushing for what you believe in.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: chai tea lattes, designing in the middle of the night when the house is quiet + bad tv.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers: I love strategizing with small businesses and helping them build a road map for success. But, the icing on the cake is watching them execute the plan!

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Juggling the many hats of a small business owner - CEO, creative director, accountant, marketer, shipping manager, customer service, website manager... Challenging, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Q: What drives your creative process? I truly believe that the more independent businesses share with one another, the stronger our individual companies and our creative industry will become. I'm highly driven by the TSBC community and the growth of each company. The sense of camaraderie we've built together and watching others in the community pay it forward really fires me up.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?: www.tradeshowcamp.com

Jennifer Priest: Hydrangea Hippo

Academy Of Handmade

 EMAIL JENNIFER: jenniferppriest@yahoo.com

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: For the last 10 years I have been a professional designer in the craft industry, specializing in papercrafts, scrapbooking, and jewelry. I started an Etsy shop, Hydrangea Hippo, to sell leftover class kits and samples and it has blossomed into its own entity, a place where I offer unique and inspiring supplies for other crafters as well as a smattering of handmade goods. In addition, I operate a social marketing consulting business for other crafty businesses from artisans and handmade vendors to craft product manufacturers.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I love working with paper, Layering it, decoupaging it, painting it, drawing on it, covering 3D shapes or other substrates with it or just working on a flat surface, paper is my best loved supply. Recently, I got into working with ICE Resin and I am loving the effect it has on paper.

Q: Who inspires you? From a business perspective, other designers and creators inspire me. I love to hear their stories, swap tactics, and help one another. That gives me such a high! That is why I love social media marketing consulting and coaching - I can help other designers reach their dreams and that fuels me in the business end and creatively. As far as a mentor or someone to look up to, I have several mentors and friends who have helped inspire me and who lift me up. Jen Cushman (a mixed media metalsmith and jeweler), Joanne Fink (a calligrapher and artist), and Debbie Cole CDA (Decorative Painter & Jeweler) all have inspired me over the years and remain rocks upon which I lean in times of need and from whom I pull inspiration. I hope our relationship is mutually beneficial - we help inspire each other.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:

Banana smoothies and milkshakes - mmmmm!
Instagramming my cats - I really am beginning to embrace that I have become a crazy cat lady.
Pedicures - you gotta treat yourself, even if it takes an hour, it is worth to just sit back and relax every once in a while.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Oh my gosh there are so many parts I love. I would say I have two favorite things. One is being my own person - I am in charge of my schedule, my destiny, of how my day looks. I cannot imagine ever going back to a 9-5 office job but I actually work much longer than 8 hour days. That is how I know I am loving it. You kinda have to beat me with a stick to get me to stop working. I love being in charge and now I can just boss myself around all day long. I listen pretty well. The other favorite part is being able to create something wit my hands and see the actual fruits of my labor. This is so gratifying. And then, taking it to another level, is the joy of sharing that creation with others, through the internet, through craft fairs, and through selling the finished product. There is nothing else like that feeling. I have had lots of "jobs" in retail and government, non-profits and even the Army - nothing is as satisfying as making, in my book.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Managing all of the "stuff". As an online retailer, designer, and maker I have lots of boxes coming to my door each week, be it product to resell, product for classes I am teaching, or product for freelance design work I am doing. On top of that, there is all the inventory of stuff I have already made and need to list for sale. It tends to pile up as listing and shipping items are probably my two least favorite parts of my business. This creates as a challenge as I usually have a backlog consisting of 10 rubbermaid tubs filled with stuff I have to deal with. I am a Type-A personality and like things organized and finished. These tubs drive me bonkers. One day I will get through them all or just stop using tubs to hold my stuff.

Q: What drives your creative process? Anyone can glue pom-poms to a tin can and call it "craft". I like to challenge to myself to go past my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd idea and try to think beyond what is intuitive. I want to bring you something that you wouldn't have thought of on your own. I think that is the difference between "crafter" and a "designer". We have to bring something "more" to the table. I want people to exclaim, "WOW! I never would have thought of that." My creative process always comes back to that - what value can I offer, how can I make this unique, how can I make this interesting? And then, secondarily, how can I make this teachable? Just because something is complex does mean it is advanced - I strive for well-designed, innovative, and teachable or approachable. Do I achieve that every time? No. But with that as my motivation, I achieve it a great deal of the time.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? Much of my handmade art and supplies are for sale on hydrangeaippo.etsy.com. I share ideas on my blogs hydrangeahippo.com and layout-a-week.blogspot.com. And of course you can find me on social media! @hydrangeahippo anywhere and everywhere online. I do some local So Cal craft shows but haven't ventured deeper into those waters yet .... someday. A girl can dream!

ROSALIE GALE: UNANIMOUS CRAFT

Academy Of Handmade

EMAIL ROSALIE: info@unanimouscraft.com

ROSALIE_GALE_UNANIMOUS_CRAFT.png

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I run several businesses: 

Unanimous Craft: I'm organizing the crafty community and sharing resources. Find craft shows in your area, social networking tips and more. 

EtsySaver: A site where Etsy shop owners can promote their discount codes. 

Ugly Baby: My husband and I make Shower Art - waterproof art you can hang in your shower with a suction cup. Or anywhere else. We're no dictators.

Ugly Baby and La Ru: My retail brick n' mortar shop in the Pike Place Market. I run it with Lauren Rudeck from La Ru. We sell our own art work as well as DIY craft kits made by indie artists.

 

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I love glitter most of all.

Q: Who inspires you? Crazies. Mental cases. Weirdos.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours:

Jersey Shore
German Board Games
Glitter

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? I love the indie craft community and have been so inspired watching it grow up these last ten years or so. That said, the freedom of being a maker really can't be beat.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? Working alone. I miss co-workers. I often have groups of friends over who also work for themselves and we just get down to business in the same space. It's nice to have a little company.

Q: What drives your creative process? Much of the work I am most proud of comes from stream of consciousness. I just let my brain go and see where on earth it leads me. Sometimes terrifying... but normally hilarious.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? 

www.showerart.net
www.uglybabyandlaru.com
www.unanimouscraft.com
www.etsysaver.com

Jane Ragasa: Janie XY

Academy Of Handmade

EMAIL JANE: jane@janiexy.com

JANIE_XY.png

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I make cuddly plush animals, fruits, and inanimate objects for children of all ages to enjoy and create memories with. I design, create patterns, and sew the toys and my incredibly supportive boyfriend, Sergio stuffs the toys for me all in our hometown of North Hollywood, CA while watching hours of Netflix movies and TV shows.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I absolutely love working with fabrics (mainly fleece because I don't have to worry about fraying) and paper. They're a blank canvas for me that start 2D and after some tweaking can become 3D! It's always fun seeing the things I make take form and come to life.

Q: Who inspires you? Luckily, I grew up in an incredibly creative family. My dad works in the garment industry as a couture designer/pattern maker, my mom is a kitchen wiz, and my sister was the person that would replicate disneyland tickets so there was some reality to our imaginary trips to disneyland with our toys. My mom's brother is a very successful mixed media artist and my sister and I spent a lot of time with him when we were young. He and my parents were the proof to me growing up that pursuing a career in something you're passionate about was possible and could be even more lucrative than a traditional office job. Then, I met Sergio and he made me realize that art and creativity was an individual trait--I may not be as technically skilled at drawing and painting as dad or uncle, but what I made was my own.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: They are as follows in no particular order: 

Pop Music - I love listening to pop music when I sew. It's the only kind of music that keeps the momentum going. 
Sweets - I don't care what time of day or year it is, ice cream, pie, and any other pastry/sweet is always on my list of things I want right now.
Movie/TV Binging: I love waiting until tv seasons are out on Netflix so I can watch the entire season in a weekend. I do the same with movies. We can watch like 3 or 4 movies in a row and love every minute of it. I try to make myself feel a little better about the binging by working on the toys or other projects during these bouts.

 

Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Two things: I love the community that comes with it. Everyone is always so nice! Ok, I don't like to generalize, so I'll say almost everyone is so nice. (But really, I haven't come across a maker I don't like.) And secondly, I really like the period when I finish the project I'm working on and others get to enjoy it. I like seeing people's reactions to my toys and I really love when they come back and tell me all about the adventures they went on with their toys.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? The most difficult thing I deal with is time management. I love working on the toys, but I have to find time for them since I have a full time job and work on the toys full time as well. Then, on top of that, I try to maintain some level of a social life with Sergio, friends, and family. And of course, time for ice cream.

Q: What drives your creative process? I'm on a constant search for the next toy I'm going to be obsessed with making. I love going out because I really find inspiration in the weirdest places. Sometimes, it's seeing something super cute, but most of the time, it's seeing everyday objects and evaluating it's hug potential or humor potential. I ask myself things like, "What would a baby look really funny shaking as a rattle?" That's how the drumstick rattle was born.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? Oh the choices! You can check out our toys at any of these links:

janiexy.com
janiexy.etsy.com
squareup.com/market/janie-xy