Staff Interview: Madelon

MAD - Me

We want to introduce you to some new faces and catch up with longtime staff. Each week you’ll meet a different staff member and get a peek into their daily lives when they take over our Instagram feed. This week we’re spending time with Madelon Juliano.  She will be guest-gramming on INSTAGRAM all day today!

Who are you?  

Hello! I’m Madelon, I am the gal that handles Curatorial Endeavors here at RCF. I curate the booths, help jury and set up + design our decorations at the fairs. I’ve also helped coordinate our new series of Mini Renegade’s and have been designing/painting our maps this year. It’s been a blast!

MAD - Map DesigningWhere are you from?

I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah (I miss the mountains so much!). I moved to Chicago in 2005 to go to the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. When I started school I was making paintings and pen and ink drawings and little comic books, which led me to book making, which then led me to fibers and materials studies.

MAD - painting

When did you learn about RCF?

I had heard about Renegade in school and had always wanted to attend, but typically went home for the Summer and would miss it. In 2009, my boyfriend was working for Mat Daly in his printmaking studio, and asked me to help pack prints. After helping Mat, he suggested that I volunteer for his wife, Susie (who founded Renegade), so I volunteered at the info booth at the 2009 Chicago Summer RCF and the rest is history!

Why did you want to work for RCF?

When I volunteered, I really enjoyed the experience. Susie hired me at the little shop we had at the time, Renegade Handmade. Along with Susie, I did a lot of the buying for the store at the fairs. It was and still is such a wonderful feeling to be part of a support system for so many growing businesses. I think I’m addicted.

What are some of your favorite things?

Purchased from the fair? My rings that I never take off. Nikki MontoyaDatter IndustriesSpecies by the Thousands, my necklace that I never take off, made byCities in Dust. My green jacket made by Gina Di Giralamo, and my Uzi NYC dress, which is the best travel dress ever. And my Make It Good skirt which I’ve had forever and still fits perfectly. I spend way too much money at the fairs! But it’s always so nice to get a compliment on something I’m wearing and know that it’s one of a kind. The money spent is worth it.

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I also love my dog, Ted. And my family.

MAD - Teddy

What else do you do besides RCF?  

I’ve been really into making tiny baskets as of late. I’m pretty sure I’m not doing it right, but I like the end result so I’m not too concerned. That’s kind of my M.O. with art making anyway, I love building on mistakes and figuring out how things are made without using the internet. Sometimes it’s necessary to follow instructions but I find the result so much more interesting when you bend the rules a little bit. I also paint, rock climb, and I love cooking.

MAD - basket

What is a fun fact about yourself, or the world at large, that not a lot of people know?

I love giving stick and poke tattoos.

The one thing you cannot live without when traveling to RCF cities…

My lucky travel charms; a crescent moon necklace by Dollybird, which has a signet pendant attached to it that was my namesakes. And a tiny leather pouch full of little talismans that I carry around in my purse.

MAD - Travel Charms

Current food obsession… 

If I’m craving something I can’t let it go. Today I am craving a burger, because it’s burger Tuesday at Pleasant House (best burger in Chicago and only on Tuesdays!).

Current TV Show you’re binging (or favorites)…

I’ve been binge watching Frasier on Netflix. It’s so dorky. But my favorite show of all time is probably The Sopranos.

What song has been stuck in your head this week (URL)…

This song is ALWAYS in my head > Michael McDonald What a Fool Believes 

Favorite eating spot in a RCF city…

One of the best parts of traveling with RCF is the food. This is very hard. I think I love Justine’s in Austin, TX the most. Austin has some truly excellent bars and restaurants.

Staff Interview: Libby

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We want to introduce you to some new faces and catch up with longtime staff. Each week you’ll meet a different staff member and get a peek into their daily lives when they take over our Instagram feed. This week we’re spending time with Libby Alexander.  She will be guest-gramming on INSTAGRAM all day today!

Who are you?

I am RCF’s Special Features Coordinator. I help organize the food, workshop, installation, and entertainment parts of the fair. I started off in marketing/operations and I was the Vendor Coordinator for a spell, too. After years planning my own pop-ups and tiny street fests in Chicago, it’s pretty great to work on a large-scale event that supports small businesses all over the US and in London.

libby_deskMy home office

Where are you from?

I grew up in Springfield, IL the Land of Lincoln!

When did you learn about RCF?

I participated in the first Renegade Craft Fair in 2003. My friend Leah and I shared a booth. I sold notebooks and altered vintage handbags. At the time, I worked at a bookbindery and I sneakily used their equipment and scraps to make the notebooks.

Why did you want to work for RCF?

Working here was a goal of mine. RCF is a rare opportunity for an event producer because the company isn’t beholden to a board or agency. Susie invited my vintage market to pop-up inside of the Chicago summer flagship in 2012. Joining RCF as a real deal staff member evolved from that opportunity.

libby_rcfpicks Margins – Rinse – Hidden Folk – Make It Good

What are some of your favorite things?

RCF purchases:
Hidden Folk Oil
Rinse Lavender Spray
Margins Moon Calendar
Pommes Frites Candle (not pictured)
Make it Good Leggings

Regular life favorites:
Bread and butter
Rocks
Comedy
Leggings
Vintage
Plants
Hulu Plus
Dogs

libby_favoritesCreepy Dolls – Geode – Amethyst – Sage

What else do you do besides RCF?

Once a week, I host trivia and word games at a senior living facility in my neighborhood. It’s a treat to see my seniors every week. I still work on the vintage market and produce tiny street fests. I like to hunt for vintage and weird decor for my house at thrifts, markets, and shops.

libby_plantsnake6’5″ snake skin mount I found at a garage junk store in my neighborhood

What is a fun fact about yourself, or the world at large, that not a lot of people know?

I originally joined Facebook, so I could play Scrabulous with my favorite food blogger. link: http://smittenkitchen.com/

The one thing you cannot live without when traveling to RCF cities…

My iPhone, so I can keep up with work!

Current food obsession…

Frozen plums.

libby_plantsconsolePlants party

Current TV Show you’re binging (or favorites)…

Currently, Sherlock and Community (thanks Hollin!). Always, true crime and I totally watch the Bachelor.

What song has been stuck in your head this week…

“Pass that Dutch” by Missy Elliott link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv_5yuOS1Hc

Favorite eating spot in a RCF city…

During my first trip to Austin, Justin grilled everyone a feast then we played an epic game of Jenga. link: http://instagram.com/p/ZW5iIpS1X6/?modal=true

 

Staff Interview: Rachel

471066_10100602746433166_513928560_o We want to introduce you to some new faces and catch up with longtime staff. Each week you’ll meet a different staff member and get a peek into their daily lives when they take over our Instagram feed. This week we’re spending time with our third most recent hire, Rachel Dolnick. Check out her Etsy Favorites on the Renegade Craft Fair Etsy Page.  She will also be guest-gramming on INSTAGRAM all day today! photo-3

Who are you? 
Heyyy! I’m Rachel, RCF’s Vendor Coordinator.  After years of participating in craft shows and continuously seeking them out, I feel so lucky to have landed a job that lets me meet makers and provide the very best fair experience.
Where are you from?
Born + raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin until College brought me to Colorado for a few years before finishing up at UW Madison. A brief jaunt to Tel Aviv for a photography internship, but have been in Madison ever since.  I join the gang in Chicago a few times a month, but otherwise work from home.
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When did you learn about RCF?
Being so close to the Chicago Fairs, for the last 8 years or so my friends and I would always make a weekend out of it hitting up the fair + exploring the city.
Why did you want to work for RCF?
I joined the gang in January and couldn’t be happier about being part of such a downright awesome organization.  I spend my days jurying applications and seeing the crazy amount of maker talent that comes our way, communicating with vendors, contributing  in planning fairs, and attending shows around the country… hello, dream job!
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What are some of your favorite things?

Some of my favorite Renegade scores include: My first RCF poster by Mat Daly, a zip tote by Milkhaus Design, perfume by Long Winter Soap Co, bracelet by Oceanne, moonstone ring by Lindsay Lewis Jewely, arch necklace by Thorn & Wynn, and my everyday coffee mug by Toast Ceramics.
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What else do you do besides RCF? 
I dabble between all sorts of crafts including making jewelry and stop motion videos of road trips and friends’ weddings/babies.  I’ve also been co-organizing a craft fair in Madison for the past 4 years which keeps me plenty busy!
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What song has been stuck in your head this week…
It’s between Jessica Lea Mayfield’s We’ve Never Lied and Sharon Van Etten’s Peace Signs.  Neither are bad songs to have stuck in your head ;)
Favorite eating spot in a RCF city…
After our recent Chicago Mini Market, the gang went to Davanti Enoteca and I’m pretty sure I never stopped saying how delicious it was!

Announcing Renegade’s Partnership with Martha Stewart Living

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We are extraordinarily pleased to announce our new partnership with Martha Stewart Living, the Official Media Sponsor of all Renegade 2014 flagship events. One of the perks of our partnership is a series of advertisements in the magazine. Check out a sneak peek of our first ad for the upcoming San Francisco and Los Angeles fairs below. So exciting!

 

Are you an American maker? Martha Stewart’s American Made Program spotlights the maker, supports the local, and celebrates the handmade. Through the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, Martha, her panel of judges, and the American Made community are selecting the next generation of American Made entrepreneurs, those who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live. 

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The American Made Awards recognize ingenuity and excellence in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style. Prizes include a trip for two to New York City, a spot in our American Made Market, an opportunity to be featured in Martha Stewart Living, $10,000 to grow your business, and much more!

To submit a nomination for your small business, to recommend your favorite maker, or to get involved in the community, visit us at www.MarthaStewart.com/AmericanMade.

Staff Interview: Hollin

hollinbrodeur-9600

We want to introduce you to some new faces and catch up with longtime staff. Each week you’ll meet a different staff member and get a peek into their daily lives when they take over our Instagram feed.

This week we’re spending time with our second most recent hire, Hollin Brodeur.  You can see some her of ETSY FAVORITES on our new RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR ETSY PAGE!  She will also be guest-gramming on Instagram all day today!

Who are you?   Hello! I’m Hollin and I’m Renegade’s Media and Marketing Manager. At RCF, I manage our advertising, social media accounts, photography at the fairs, and our blog.  So, basically I’m kind of interviewing myself… Recently, I’ve expanded my role collaborating in art direction, which I absolutely love.  Academically, I studied English but also have a background in photography and fashion design. Since pretty much always, I would draw, sew, craft, and collect all sorts of things. It’s been so amazing being a part of the RCF team!

Where are you from? Originally I’m from Riverside, CA where (fun fact) Breaking Bad was set to take place before changing locations to New Mexico – so there’s that.  Due to my hatred of extreme heat, after high school I went up to the great Northwest and lived in Seattle and Portland for a few years before making my way over to Montreal. Two years ago I found myself back in very sunny California.  I still despise the heat but some aspects of LA are growing on me.. hollinbrodeur-9668 When did you learn about RCF? I first heard about Renegade Craft through my sister, Keiko. She owns a stationery company and I would help assist at her booths at the LA and SF shows. It soon became a bi-annual tradition and I did my best to never miss a fair. Working with Keiko at the Renegade fairs was always so fulfilling, and I learned a lot through watching her work, while also building a community of friends and makers we look forward to seeing at each fair. When an opportunity came to work for Renegade last February, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this wonderful community.

Why did you want to work for RCF? After going to a lot of craft fairs in California, the Northwest, and even Montreal, RCF is my favorite craft fair beyond a doubt. The collection of makers, the fun vibes, the traveling - all of these things became such an integral part of my life each year that I wanted to be involved with it all the time. Plus, I’m very lucky that my position combines photography, writing, art direction, and looking at awesome things all day – so really, what more could I ask for? hollinbrodeur-9635 What are some of your favorite things? A lot of my most favorite possessions are things I’ve bought from a Renegade Craft Fair. Some of my favorites are an apron from the amazing I Am Gorgeous Inside, a traveling mug from Loyal Stricklin, and a dress by Rebe that my sister and I currently time-share (she has custody right now). And I can’t help but buy at least a few candles from PF Candle Co. each fair.  Some of my other favorite things in life are my husband and my two pets, Molly and Weasley, trying new food places with my sister, plus collecting cookbooks and watching way too much TV. hollinbrodeur-9687

Apron by I Am Gorgeous Inside | Travel Mug by Loyal Stricklin | Card by Small Adventure | Candle by PF Candle Co. | Necklace by Alyson Iwamoto

hollinbrodeur-9654 What else do you do besides RCF?   I do some photography on the side as well as dreaming to one day own a business of some sorts: either a cafe/bakery or a home shop, or both. In the meantime, I love to bake and fry up doughnuts once in a while. hollinbrodeur-9656 What is a fun fact about yourself, or the world at large, that not a lot of people know?   Growing up, I wanted to be a movie director and screenwriter.  I cut up a plastic milk jug, and drew buttons on it, creating a “camera” I’d film my pretend movies on. I think it was a really pathetic sight to see because a few years later my parents bought me a real video camera.

Current food obsession…  All of it.

Current TV Show you’re binging… I’ve been on an HBO kick, recently finishing True Detective, Veep, and Silicon Valley – the fact that I have to wait till who knows how long for new episodes is incredibly depressing. So for now, I’ve been re-watching episodes of Sherlock.

What song has been stuck in your head this week…Tune-Yards has been my summer soundtrack as of late. When it gets to be over 100 degrees outside, “Water Fountain” starts playing in my head.

Favorite eating spot in a RCF city… So far, I’ve only technically traveled with the RCF Gang to Austin – to which my favorite eating spot is Uchiko. When traveling the west coast fairs with my sister, my favorite go-to places are Tartine and Baco Mercat. hollinbrodeur-9671

Staff Interview: Julia

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2014 is shaping up to be a year of expansion and exciting changes! We added a new city to our tour, launched a new series of Mini Markets, and the RCF team has grown! We want to introduce you to some new faces and catch up with longtime staff. Each month you’ll meet a different staff member and get a peek into their daily lives when they take over our Instagram feed.

So, for today, meet Julia Kepler, our newest member of the RCF Gang.  You can see some her of Etsy Favorites on our new Renegade Craft Fair Etsy Page!  She will also be guest-gramming on Instagram all day today!

Who are you?  

Hi! I am Julia, and I am the new RCF Operations Manager. I have a strong background in non-profit management, but have an enduring love of the arts and truly enjoy working with artisans. Since I can remember, I have always loved sewing, knitting and just doing anything crafty. I am excited to bring my operations experience to RCF and work amongst you fine, creative folks!

Where are you from?

I have moved around a bit, so in short, I grew up in Lexington, KY but spent most of my high school years in Florida.  I then went to college in Ohio and ended up moving to Chicago on a whim with a friend after graduating. We didn’t have jobs and only had enough money for a security deposit and one month’s rent. So, that was 5.5 years ago and I am still here makin’ it happen!

jmk hizouse 2

jmk hizouse 1

A glimpse of Julia’s home

When did you learn about RCF?

I first heard about Renegade shortly after I had moved to Chicago, and knew friends who had participated as makers during the Chicago seasons. I had picked up knitting a few years prior to moving to the city, and loved working on projects in my free time.  I never really thought I would sell my knits, but I saw it as a challenge to make it into Renegade, as I knew it was highly revered in the craft world. I began selling under the name High Hope Knits at smaller, local craft shows, and it was such a good feeling to have people want to purchase the goods I was making, I just kept at it (plus what Chicagoan doesn’t need a warm, stylish scarf for Chi winters??). I began really pumping up my production, and got into the winter and summer Renegade markets for Chicago a few years in a row- and it was really exciting for me! I really loved everyone I was able to work with and the vibe that Renegade brought to the craft world.

jmk knits
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Why did you want to work for RCF?

I wanted to work for RCF because I enjoy the environment the fair creates: space for community based artists to work independently and creatively to sell their works through the craft market outlet. Also, the position aligned well with what I had been working on in my professional career path, and as a lover of the market and crafters, it seemed like a great fit!

What are some of your favorite things?

One of my favorite Renegade Craft Fair purchases is a bag from Appetite. It’s roomy, with bright southwestern colors and patterns, making it transition well from season to season. Other general favorite things include my dog, Clementine; my cat, Max; my soon to be hubby, Matt; knitting; micheladas; sandwiches, and tacos. You can see where my priorities are!

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Bag from Appetite

What else do you do besides RCF?  

I do knit a lot, but I slow down in the summer to enjoy Chicago when it’s not snowing.  I also work on other events and projects, usually involving art, with my lovely group of friends throughout the city.

What is a fun fact about yourself, or the world at large, that not a lot of people know?  

I still have two baby teeth! Eeek.

RCF is hiring!

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Renegade Craft Fair is looking for an Operations Manager Extraordinaire!  The Operations Manager position is a demanding and rewarding role within our organization that involves being able to work independently, within a tight-knit group, as well as large crowds and the vendors and attendees at the events themselves.

We’re seeking energetic, enthusiastic, extremely organized candidates with previous events management experience. You will work closely with our team and administrative systems to keep our workflow on track, and juggle the many little details that go into planning well-executed and exciting fairs.

If you live in the Chicago area and are interested, please visit our Jobs page for the full description and how to apply!

The Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition Staff Playlist

 

RCF-SXSW-Staff-Playlist

In honor of our partnership with SXSW, we asked you all to share your favorite songs to craft to.  While compiling all of these great suggestions, the gang at RCF decided to create a staff playlist of our own.  It was so much fun to hear everyone’s musical tastes as well as the songs that keep us hard at work.  There’s something for everyone on this playlist, from folk and electronica to classic rock and jazz.  We hope you enjoy our RCF Staff Playlist.  And don’t forget to send us your favorite crafting song by this Friday, March 7!

Have a listen

Renegade Craft + CB2 Exclusive Collection

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We’re excited to announce a Renegade Handcrafted collection we’ve co-curated with CB2 this season!  We’re celebrating the work of six independent makers and crafters, including: FoundReBROOKLYNrehabCotton & FlaxiamhomeAHeirloom, and Ryan Kapp to bring you an innovative capsule collection. We are so excited for this opportunity to showcase these works, made in the USA and exclusively designed and available at CB2 in a limited release.

Visit the CB2 blog, In the Loop, for an exclusive interview with Susie Daly of RCF to learn more about the collection.  And check out the CB2 website and Pinterest to shop the unique line of products launched today.

 

Call for Favorite Crafting Songs

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In honor of our partnership with SXSW for our Austin March Market we’re asking all you makers and craft enthusiasts to send us your favorite songs to craft to. We’d love to hear the songs that influence your work and keep you crafting. We will be compiling a playlist on Spotify and posting here in the upcoming weeks. Send an email listing your favorite song to Info@RenegadeCraft.com, or #RCFSXSW on Instagram and Twitter.