And now for Brooklyn! We’ll see you there June 11th + 12th.
Gentlemen first this time!
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.
We are off to Texas, The Lone Star State, where the state motto is friendship, the state flying mammal is the free-tailed bat, and the state insect is the monarch! Feast your eyes on this showcase representing state symbols!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Your booth is a pop-up shop for your work. Make sure your booth display(s) are sturdy, your signage is visible, and please don’t creep into your neighbor’s space. If youre outdoors and youve brought your own tent, be sure its weighted down to prevent wind from carrying your canopy to an off-the-map location (how will anybody find you that way?).
Thanks for reading! Were so excited to see you all at the fairs!
About Homako’s Inspiration –>
My inspiration comes from simple things. Candy, cartoons, umbrellas, clouds, forests, and old ladies in vintage clothes. I usually watch Japanese cartoons while i work and snack on candy to give me energy! I work from my apartment where i personally stitch, sew, cut, and ship every one of my creations all over the world. My dream would be to visit some faraway country and happen to see someone wearing my jewelry. I am also known to wear a rabbit mask a lot.
What do Chili, Chief, Bullet, Dream-Bot, and Your Mom all have in common? Names of our Austin vendor’s fictional horses, of course! We polled our local vendors about what they would name their trusty steeds, in addition to where to find the greatest music, food, and all-around fun in the city – feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below!
Regarding the city they call home, the crew from MAKEatx says “toplessness is legal, some of our favorite food comes from trailer parks, and our lovable and sassy homeless cross-dresser captured a large percentage of the vote in three Austin mayoral elections.” Sounds like a Renegade kind of town! Read on for the best of the best, courtesy of our Austin Experts!
Our friends at orangeheat, and several Austin Experts, demanded that one “must go swimming at Barton Springs to fully experience Austin at its finest.”
Why a must-do? BDJ Craft Works explains that Barton Springs is “One of the best swimming holes in the country – an immense natural spring pool surrounded by trees and sloping grassy hillsides where you can relax on a blanket with friends or a good book in between dips in the pool.” The Renegade Gang has already made a note to remember to pack our towels.
If you need a break from the Fair (and we hope you don’t!), BDJ Craft Works also suggests the hiking & biking trail surrounding Lady Bird Lake as a great way to relax – it’s located a quick walk away from the Palmer Events Center.
If you are interested in a shopping excursion while you are in town, our friends at Nakatomi think Austin Books and Comics can’t be beat. Tim says “no shop can compare to this Austin landmark – it’s been in business for over 25 years!”
“I could spend hours looking at all of the weird stuff inside,” Pommes Frites tells us of browsing the antiques at another local favorite, uncommon OBJECTS. The goods are “hypnotically color coded,” she adds, and “it’s where I draw some major booth display inspiration.”
Squid Ink Kollective also recommends a trip to Domy Books to check out the handmade zines. We can’t get enough of Domy either, and we are looking forward to browsing their pop-up shop at the Austin Fair!
Our local vendors all agreed that one should not leave Austin without seeing the bats flying from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. Show up around dusk to see swarms of these fuzzy creatures flying about. Who needs a sunset, when you have bats? This is why we love you, Austin.
From SXSW to Willie Nelson, Austin has established itself as a mecca for great music. Melissa, of Katastrophic, enjoys the “sweet, heartbreaking, grungy-folk tunes” of local indie musician John Roy Jenkins, while Melissa Borrell is a big fan of listening to Monarchs.
Kristen and Eve from MAKEatx reiterate, “the entire city is a great venue!” and they suggest the lawn at Shady Grove, blues on the green at Zilker Park, and the East Side Show Room for other live music options.”
If you want to add to your music collection while in town, Waterloo Records has a vast selection of tunes that can’t be beat – keep your ears peeled for their DJ’s at the Fair!
One thing is for certain: y’all are opinionated about your BBQ!
We heard about Rudy’s (not to be confused with another favorite, Ruby’s), as well as Franklin Barbecue, but when asking where to get the best in town the same answer came out on top: “The Salt Lick! Hands down!”
Leah Duncan’s exclamation, echoed by numerous Fair vendors, got us excited to head to Driftwood for, as she puts it: “the best bbq, beef ribs, and mustard based sauce.” Yum. If you are up for a Texas road trip, check out Lockhart for more BBQ options.
If you prefer the meat-free lifestyle, like a few of the Renegade Gang, Squid Ink Kollective recommends “veggie BBQ at Iggi’s Texatarian, a food trailer on the east side with great vegan southern fare.” Our experts also suggest Mr. Natural, and The Blue Dahlia Bistro for other vegetarian fixin’s.
Interested in food trailer dining? Torchy’s Tacos, Me So Hungry, and East Side King were favorites mentioned by our experts. Other much-loved Austin restaurants included Justine’s, Home Slice Pizza, Corazon, and Tomodachi Sushi, which has Courtney, from Sublime Stitching raving: “they have special dishes that are so delicious, I dream about them!”
A huge thank you to all of our Austin Experts for their help – we could not be more excited to bring the Renegade Craft Fair back to your city! Be sure to visit our artist’s page to check out our vendors, from Texas and beyond. See you soon, Austin!
Tens of thousands of people will see your handmade delights at each Renegade Craft Fair, making it a pretty stellar way to get the word out about your excellent handmade business. But helping people remember you and keeping interested in what you’re doing is another huge component of being a successful crafter. Here are some tips for starting, building, and keeping up the momentum with effective marketing.
Cheesy but true: some of the best marketing is simply you, doing what you do and doing it with a smile. Have fun, be kind, and people will remember you.
Please tell us how you started Millions of People Happy – what sparked you to start your own business? Also, what is the significance of the name? It’s so awesome + unusual!
I have always been drawing and making things, and the older I get, the more comfortable I feel with the notion that making things is what I do best. Although I find great satisfaction in making work, sharing the things I create is equally satisfying and motivating, and therefore seems like something I should keep doing, right?
“Millions of People Happy” is a quote from one of my all time favorite movies, the original Muppet Movie from 1979. The possibility of making millions of people happy is suggested to Kermit-the-Frog by Bernie-the-Agent, prompting Kermit to leave his swamp and move to Hollywood, where he and his friends sign a standard rich-and-famous contract. Its a sincere, wholesome goal.
Are you working on anything top secret/new for the Austin fair?
I am both excited and nervous about setting up my space. I approach events like Renegade as an opportunity to create a little 10′ installation of my work. I have been making tons of tiny books (out of scrap paper) that may figure into the design/decoration of the space. Also long ruffled “bookish” things will figure into the plan. I’m thinking about texture, detail, subtlety, and out of necessity it will all be light-weight!
What are you most looking forward to in Austin?
My big brother lives in Austin! Very excited to see him, and my parents, who will be visiting from East Texas. I love Austin. I look forward to playing mini-golf and drinking beer with my brother, antiquing, maybe visiting the Alamo Drafthouse, or renting obscure science fiction from I Luv Video. I am a big fan of Austin-y businesses. And of course it will be nice to get out of Los Angeles for a few days!
What’s your go-to source of inspiration?
I have a few: antique stores, book stores, libraries. The Griffith Observatory. Science Fiction. Old animation. And as previously indicated, Muppets. Enjoy:
Please tell us how you started COATT – what sparked you to start your own business?
I’ve always been interested in start ups. I think they make the world go round. I am an idea monster, but COATT really seemed like something good to move forward on and put roots down in the design world. It is a combination of my last name and my partner’s last name.
Are you working on anything top secret/new for the Austin fair?
We have added YEEHAW to our morse coded line, and I hope to put together some special multiple strands.
What are you most looking forward to in Austin?
I am so excited to finally get in to Austin and the show seems like it will be a blast. I love what I’ve seen over the years as far as art/craft/design from Austin and I’m looking forward to meeting some great artists.
The Morse Code line is so simple, and so genius. Why Morse Code?
Morse Code is genius! We are very appreciative to be able to use such a great invention and make it into something to have and use today. The morse coded jewelry is celebrating communication, science, sustainability, simplicity, minimalism, individuality and a little bit of privacy in this reality tv world.
leighelena ~ Buckle Bracelet
the bocket store ~ Sectional Dish
fifi du vie ~ ‘Oh Darling, Let’s Be Adventurers’ Screenprinted Poster
fernworks ~ Nest Ring
lara collins ~ Owl Pillow Cover
foamy wader ~ Sayuri Necklace
from fragments to furniture & beyond ~ Fairytale Miniature
freshART windows ~ Regen’s Desktop
molly m designs ~ Birch Earrings
katastrophic design ~ Teddy Bear Hoodie
glass cathedrals ~ Gone Fishin’
bird project ~ Soap
leah duncan ~ ‘My Boots’ Print
mosey handmade ~ Henny Penny Upcycled Plush
couch guitar straps ~ Vinyl Racer
squid ink kollective ~ Zip Pouch
letterpress delicacies ~ Austin Live Music Cow Card
maneki ~ Rose Ring
black wash ceramics ~ City Mug
jenny n. design ~ Ruche Bag
rose& duke ~ Hand-Embroidered Juna Dress
melissa borrell ~ Parachute Note Card
supermaggie ~ Mandala Tri Tank
urban posture ~ Wood Veneer Card
“How can I improve my chances of getting accepted into the Renegade Craft Fair?” We get this question all the time, and while our Fair continues to grow and evolve, the factors that make for an excellent vendor application remain the same. As part of our Insider Tips blog series we are happy to outline a few ways you can submit an all-star application!
You application to the Fair is your chance to shine and show us you are Renegade material, but you only get a few cells on our spreadsheet to do so. Think of your application as your crafty resume, and make sure you put your best foot forward in every way you possibly can.
On each city’s ‘APPLY’ page you can see what factors we are looking for when we jury your application, in short we value:
In any given year, we receive over 3,000 applications – YOWZA! The quickest way to our hearts, and to a booth at the Fair, is to stand out with a unique craft we haven’t seen before. Reviewing several hundred applications for each Fair gets tedious, and crafters who come up with innovative ideas are a welcome change to looking at application after application with similar crafts.
Maybe you are wondering, “What if I craft something that is common, like jewelry, paper-goods, or t-shirts; how do I stand out?” We don’t expect you to change the course of your craft, and there is room for all kinds of crafts at the fairs, but we encourage you to push the envelope and brainstorm ways you can set yourself apart from the pack:
No matter how well-made and unique your goods may be, if your work falls into the category of Fine Art, Fine Craft, Fair Trade Goods, High Fashion, or Vintage* it probably won’t be a great fit for our Fair. Renegade started as a response to a lack of indie DIY fairs, so if your wares appear as though they could be sold at other traditional craft fairs or markets it’s likely that we won’t rate your application as high as a vendor with a less-mainstream feel. *If you are a vintage vendor and are interested in the Austin or Chicago markets, check out The Vintage Bazaar.
Applying as a shared booth? Choose your boothmate carefully as this could help – or hinder your application. Amazing booths make the Fair dynamic for our attendees, the more creative, colorful, and well styled, the better! Common crafts can be made snazzier when paired with a unique boothmate, or creative booth set up. Always think ahead to the Fair, and keep the bigger picture in mind when submitting your application!
If you are reapplying as a previous Renegade Craft Fair vendor, we pay close attention to how your work has progressed from previous Fairs. No one is grandfathered into any fair, and if you are still “putting a bird on it,” we encourage you to think outside the box and branch out with a new trend!
While it’s great to spend the majority of your days being creative and crafting away, don’t underestimate the importance of being business savvy and getting your ducks in a row. An application that exhibits professionalism and consistency in terms of business names, websites, and emails lets us know that you are taking your craft seriously, and we can count on you to be a great vendor at our Fair.
There are many free tools online that make this a breeze – if you aren’t computer savvy, there is no time like the present to learn the ropes! Sites like Etsy and Big Cartel make it easy to sell your goods, but if you don’t want to set up an online shop, it’s still a good idea to have a venue acting as a home base for your business. Tumblr, flickr, a blog, or Facebook allow you to set up galleries that can be viewed by others – perfect for your vendor application! Set aside a specific place for your art online- while we love looking at photos, we don’t have time to sift through pictures of your gran or your new puppy when reviewing your application.
If you are an amazing screen printer, but a novice knitter, for example, it is a good idea to only show us your best work, so as not to lower the level of cohesiveness and consistency in your application. In general, be professional with your craft business, even if this isn’t your primary profession.
Clear photographs, excellent styling, and a creative website showcasing a well cultivated line of goods all make your application stand out. When it comes to your wares, the more the merrier! One product offered in a variety of styles, or a variety of well-made goods always catch our eye. It’s a good idea to make sure your website is up and running, easily navigable, and your online shop is full before you provide us with a link. If you have a blog, tumblr, or flickr page, update it so we see something current when reviewing your application. In the minds of our jurors:
Reviewing applications and giving crafters the opportunity to sell their goods is of the most rewarding parts of planning our Fairs. We are always excited to see what a new round of applications has in store.
We look forward to seeing your all-star application soon!
Featuring From Left to Right:
Berkley Illustration ~ Black Bear Print
Campfire ~ Great Lakes Tee
Crafty Is Cool ~ Where the Wild Things Are Pattern
Maryink ~ Leafy T-Shirt
Kinaloon ~ Three French Hens, Card
Kozie Prery ~ Summer Bike Cap
VERAMEAT ~ Kill Two Birds With One Stone Ring
Misha Ashton ~ Blue Blossoms
The Mincing Mockingbird ~ “I Assure You…” Art Print
My Paper Crane ~ Apple Tree Terrarium
Paper + Twine ~ Yellow ‘Inspiration Log’
VIVA ZAPATA! ~ Bandolera Rectangular Bag
Abby Try Again ~ “Dahlia Fields” Print
Paul Fredrich ~ “Batman On A Unicorn” Print
Timber! ~ “Zuni Bear” Print
Sharp Shirter ~ “Haymaker” Tee
Lisa Chow ~ “Bear” Print
The Frantic Meerkat ~ “Let’s Go to The Circus” Card
Mat Daly ~ “Faraway Places #14”, Print on Wood
MAKEatx ~ “Chrysanthemum” Fold Over Art Card