Crafter Spotlight: Arte Y Chocolate

You know the phrase “that looks good enough to eat”? Well, good news: the chocolates from Austin vendors Arte y Chocolate is art that IS good enough to eat.  With work as beautiful as it is scrumptious, Arte y Chocolate is one booth that’s sure to have a LOT of traffic at the Austin RCF.

Krystal Craig and Lila Browne  started Arte y Chocolate in 2005. They wanted to create healthier choice (organic and natural ingredient products) to produce artisan chocolates. As two creative foodies, their combined backgrounds and talents spur their artistic chocolate making.

It is not like the movie “Chocolat”, with its Johnny Depp and its magic. It is a lot of hard, skilled work that did take some time to develop. They want to make people happy through chocolate, as it makes them happy. (Ed. note: Um, us too. Us too.)

Okay, ready for the seriously mouth-watering part? For the RCF Austin, Krystal + Lila are making these flavors…

blackberry | salted caramel | gianduja | dark chocolate & cacao nib | salted peanut butter & honey | caramel pink peppercorn | coffee crunch | salted toffee almond | spicy walnut caramel clusters | chocolate dipped mexican snickerdoodle | chocolate-covered kettle corn

For real, good enough to eat.

Crafter Spotlight: Miss Natalie + Canoe


Miss Natalie Design + Canoe

What sparked you to start your own business(s)?

I launched Miss Natalie as an outlet for my pattern design work. I wanted to get back to working with my hands and away from the computer. I had been working on larger wallpaper designs, but wanted something smaller and more practical to produce, so I started with handkerchiefs.

Canoe is a new venture that was born out of necessity–my husband’s closets were overflowing with vintage American workwear. We kept finding beautiful old boots and heritage flannels that we couldn’t pass up. Before we knew it, we have a guest room filled with clothing and boots, so Canoe was hatched.

a selection of our hand tooled leather key chains for Canoe


What local folks inspire you right now?

So many people, really. Austin is full of folks following their passions, be it design, music, or farming. I’ve been lucky enough to become good friends with a ton of talented people–Leah Duncan, Abby Powell of Abby Try Again, Caroline Colom Vasquez of Paloma’s Nest, and Mary Kathryn Paynter of Loretta Flower, just to name a few. I also teach graphic design, so I’m constantly inspired by my students as well.

Teacher’s Pet apple box


What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?

Wood and leather. I started wood burning a while ago, but just last year began working with leather. From cowboy boots to horse saddles, people here are really serious about their leather work. I’m still just learning, which makes it really exciting. Mistakes often turn into happy accidents.

Process shots of tooling leather

What’s been the biggest challenge for you with your business?
Time! Isn’t this everyone’s biggest challenge? I wish there were more days in the week to get everything done I want to do. I’m learning to delegate and bring in help for production work, which has freed me up to design and experiment more in the studio.

Thank-You Natalie! You’re super cool!

We carry some of Miss Natalie’s lovely work in our Brick + Mortar shop and our Online Store! Expect to see more this Summer!



Theme ~ DIY

the misanthrope specialty co. ~ Unflattering Portraits

sublime stitching ~ Craftopia Embroidery Patterns

medium control ~ Wood Camera Coasters

sweetie pie press ~ City of Craft Pins

the weekend store ~ Letterpress Necklace

viva greetings ~ Wrapping Paper

sunshine and carousels ~ Let’s Get Crafty Necklace

make shop live ~ Pin Cushion Ring

paste shirts ~ Shadow Rabbit Tee

melissa borrell design ~ Pop-Out Earrings

McCheeks Mayhem ~ Ceramic Planter

christine sharp-crowe ~ I Heart Handmade Book Print

paloma’s nest ~ Custom Ceramic Letters

petite pensieri ~ Crayon Roll-Up Case

my zoetrope ~ Paper Art Doll

nepenthe’s bathtime ~ Knitty Gritty Soap

vrooooom press ~ Make Some Damn… Print

hello-lucky ~ Hay Pitchfork Tee

twinkie chan ~ Sticker Pack

the button florist ~ Handmade Button Packs

corky ~ Wood Camera Necklace

loyalty and blood ~ Tool Necklace

reigrüche studio ~ Sewing Machine Painting

handmade julz ~ Button Accessory