In the Studio: A&K Woodworking & Design

AKWood1

While in Austin we had the pleasure of stopping by the A&K Woodworking and Design studio.  Amanda and Khiem teamed up with The Maker Co-op at our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition this year.  We were so excited to talk to Amanda and Khiem in person and see where their incredible wood furniture and accessories were created.
AKWoodandDesign-5368
A&K was started in April 2013 after we moved from Boston, MA to Austin, TX. We both graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where we studied woodworking and photography. We moved to Austin because it is a place full of opportunities for artists. The people who live in this beautiful city know the importance of supporting the arts and local businesses. We are inspired by the architecture around us and the mix of mid-century modern and Japanese design.
AKWoodandDesign-5386
Our pieces are handcrafted with great attention to detail. We believe in using oils and finishes that protect the wood while enhancing the natural beauty.  Quality is our focus, we strive to make pieces that will last life times.
AKWoodandDesign-5401
When it comes to our process it definitely varies a bit between custom furniture for clients and our own designs. In many cases we begin by creating our design, planning costs, taking a trip to the lumber yard, milling the wood, and finally hand-crafting the piece. A lot of time is spent planning the piece and its construction before beginning.

AKWoodandDesign-5410

AKWoodandDesign-5373
Khiem is working for A&K full-time while Amanda is working for both A&K and has a small part-time job on the side. We currently sell smaller home goods such as cutting boards, mini lanterns, and coasters in addition to our larger furniture pieces.

AKWoodandDesign-5376A few tips and suggestions for potential makers would be to keep making! It’s important to continue practicing your craft. In addition to making, be sure to document your work! Having your work documented helps to show potential clients what you have been creating. Join groups! For us, joining The Maker Co-op here in Austin, TX, helped us to have a group of artists who are in the same boat as us. It is important to have people to turn to who will help you as you embark on your small business journey.

AKWoodandDesign-5415

AKWoodandDesign-5371

Thank you, Amanda and Khiem, for letting the Renegade Craft Gang tour your amazing workshop!  Be sure to check out The Maker Co-op as well as A&K Woodworking and Design, plus their blog, facebook, twitter and instagram!

In the Studio: Fox + Brie

008-WEB-FoxandBrie-5355
During our trip to Austin for our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition, we had the opportunity to stop by and visit a few of our Makers.  Our first stop was the Fox & Brie studio in North Austin.  Jess Decelle, who has been a part of our Austin Markets in the past, graciously gave us a tour of her studio and talked about her beginnings and the inspiration for Fox & Brie.
006-WEB-FoxandBrie-5350
When putting together a collection, I try to offer a variety of different patterns that work well together but are still interesting enough to stand out individually. I’m always on the hunt for unique prints and eye-catching color combinations that lend a modern twist to the idea of the Southern gentleman.
001-WEB-FoxandBrie-5318
002-WEB-FoxandBrie-5295

Every aspect of Fox & Brie is created in my home studio–sewing patterns, packaging, graphic design. From the first cut to the final stitch, each item is made with my own two hands, allowing me complete control over quality and construction.

001-WEB-FoxandBrie-5291

003-WEB-FoxandBrie-5300

As a child, when asked by well-meaning adults what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered politely, “I just want to make neat things and go on lots of adventures.” It’s taken 27 years and two college degrees to realize that I just need to create useful, beautiful things for people to enjoy. I began Fox & Brie as a side project while working on my MA in Advertising. As an art director, most of my days were spent staring at a computer screen; so, I began to fill my nights with tangible projects and odd little creations. After graduation I behaved accordingly and worked as a designer for a short time, but missed the simple, tactile act of creating something with my own two hands. Finally realizing that my naive childhood wish was a possibility, I took a chance and started out on an adventure.

FoxandBrie1

I began working full-time as Fox & Brie in March 2012, constantly trying to improve my methods, seeking out unique vintage & dead-stock fabrics, and looking for new opportunities & sources of inspiration. It’s been an incredible experience, filled with long nights of work, a lot of trial & error, and an amazing sense of fulfillment that I never really expected to feel in my lifetime.

007-WEB-FoxandBrie-5303

Sometimes, it’s going to be the worst. You’re going to face exhaustion, self-doubt, failures, naysayers, and every other problem you didn’t even know existed. Some days you may look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What am I even doing here?”

Keep going. It means you’re on the right track.

011-WEB-FoxandBrie-5341

If you are so afraid of failure that you never take risks, the best you can hope for is mediocrity. Failure is essential to creativity. Embrace your mistakes as a chance to grow, learn what doesn’t work and then find out what does. Become an expert at your craft and continue to experiment with new techniques & designs. Each time you overcome an obstacle, you will grow stronger and more confident in your
abilities and in yourself. Yes, sometimes owning a creative business is the worst, but it is also the most rewarding, fulfilling, fantastic experience of my life and it has made me a better person in spite of myself.

Just keep going.

004-WEB-FoxandBrie-5304

Thank you, Jess for letting us spend the afternoon with you over at Fox & Brie!  Take a look at the Fox & Brie website, and visit her blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep updated with Fox & Brie!

 

 

 

 

 

In the Studio: Stowe Provisions

Stowe Provisions-5483
Our final studio visit in Austin was  Stowe Provisions.  Mark Howard and Mark Stowe are the craftsmen behind the leather company.  We were welcomed in by their hospitality, southern charm, and of course, their sweet dog.
Stowe Provisions-5495
We started SP [Stowe Provisions] in 2003 during SXSW.  I’d been dabbling at leatherwork for a while and Howie, who I’ve known since grade 2, was in town for SXSW and we just decided to form an actual business and pursue it more fully.  The aesthetic started out of a lack of options available in the retail market at the time.  In 2003 there weren’t really other people creating quality handmade leather goods for anyone but conservative ranchers and cowboys.   So I started making things that i wanted to wear, and people started buying them from me.    
Stowe Provisions-5431
Stowe Provisions-5418
We pursued it as a business because we really enjoy the work, and the idea of being independent, self-sufficient… all those things that appeal to an entrepreneur and/or creative person.
Stowe Provisions-5444
Stowe Provisions-5442
We start by selecting American veg-tanned hides in the appropriate size/weight/condition for the product in mind.  All pieces/shapes/etc are sized and cut out by hand.  From here every piece is a little bit different.  Most of our work is embossed in some way and that is usually the next step.  Stamps are pressed in with a shop-press or stamped in by striking with a hammer.  
Stowe Provisions-5469
After embossing some pieces are dyed first, others painted.  All painting and dying is done by hand as well.  During this phase there is also a lot of “conditioning” the leather at various points before and after dying.  Oiling, sanding, physically softening.  Finally, hardware is attached and the product is tagged and packaged if pre-ordered.
Stowe Provisions-5455
We took some time away from the business for most of 2009 to early 2013.  And the reason for the relaunch was actually very similar to the original beginning.  While there are A LOT more brands of handmade leather goods on the market currently, we struggle to find pieces that are interesting and show a level of thought and craftsmanship that set them apart and make them seem worth owning.
Stowe Provisions-5426
The Renegade Gang was absolutely amazed by the quality and craftsmanship of the goods Stowe Provisions created.
Stowe Provisions-5465
Stowe and Howie’s advice to makers out there?  Make work you believe in and get to know your market.  We couldn’t say it better.
Stowe Provisions-5428
 
Thank you Stowe Provisions, for giving us the opportunity to tour your workshop and get to know you and your craft.  Learn more about Stowe Provisions and visit their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maker Spotlight: Stitch Prism

stitchprism-2

Today we are featuring Stitch Prism, a jewelry and aerium designer in West Philadelphia.  The designer, KellyAnne Mifflin, created Stitch Prism after making jewelry out of metals and objects found on the street for herself and her friends.  Since then, the business has evolved into kids classes and workshops, craft shows throughout Philadelphia and now an e-commerce site.  We are so happy that Stitch Prism is traveling all the way from Philadelphia to join our Austin Market!

stichprism-1

The name, Stitch Prism, is meant to evoke thoughts about color, light, shape, weaving, and connecting – elements and ideas that inspire KellyAnne’s designs.  We absolutely love the interesting shape and textural combinations featured in Stitch Prism’s jewelry.

IMG_7959

KellyAnne’s beautifully arranged aeriums consist of airplants, lichens, mosses, and woodland elements carefully curated and housed in glass containers.  Each hanging garden is unique unto itself, and creates a natural statement in your home.

IMG_7961

IMG_8480We are so excited that Stitch Prism is joining us tomorrow through Saturday at our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in Austin!  Check out KellyAnne’s unique jewelry and aeriums in person and show the Philadelphia native some of that southern hospitality!  Visit the Stitch Prism website, Facebook, and Etsy page to see all of her work and updates.  See you all tomorrow in Austin!

 

Maker Spotlight: Loyal Stricklin

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.36.15 AM Today we are featuring Alabama Maker, Loyal Stricklin.  Michael Stricklin began crafting accessories as a response to poorly made accessories he had seen in the market.  It was his mission to create high quality lifestyle goods that are not only long-lasting, but would also age and patina beautifully with every use. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.36.59 AM We first fell in love with Loyal Stricklin after discovering his Aviator Mug, the perfect traveling coffee accessory one could ask for.  But with every product  that has been added to the Loyal Stricklin lifestyle line, from Horween leather tote bags to wallets, we’ve fallen in love more and more. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.42.56 AMScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.42.20 AM The attention to detail and quality of goods produced by Loyal Stricklin is unparalleled.  Loyal Stricklin does not cut corners and sources the highest quality materials such as Horween Chromexcel leather, and Japanese brass hardware.  We love how this unisex Shackle Bracelet is the epitome of simplicity yet exhibits richness. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.36.50 AM Loyal Stricklin crafts everything in their Alabama studio and believes strongly in American made products as well as small batch production, ensuring the highest quality as well as providing a personal connection with each item made.  Just like Renegade Craft Fair, Loyal Stricklin believes that handmade items “just have that little extra personal touch that sets them above the rest.” EME_4717EME_4718 The photos on the Loyal Stricklin Instagram feed are stunning visual representations of products, inspirations, and the culture and nature of Michael Strickin’s travels. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.36.26 AM We are so thrilled to have Loyal Stricklin join us at our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in Austin!  Get yourself acquainted with all of the products on their website, Twitter, Instagram and come out to our Fair in just 3 days!

Austin RoundUp: SXSW Style Essentials

SXSW-Style-Round-up

SXSW Fashion is serious business, which makes packing for SXSW a near impossible feat.  If you’re struggling with what to wear during SXSW, the Makers from our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition have got you covered!  It was so much fun pairing together eclectic pieces and necessities for our SXSW Roundup.  Starting from the left: the rainbow polka dot shirt is from Totally Blown Clothing.  The tie-dye scarf, a SXSW must-have, is from Late Sunday Afternoon.  Accessorize yourself with a 2 Step Puff Necklace from Cheek-ie and triangle earrings from MapleXO.  Keep your eyes protected from the bright sun with the Bradbury wood sunglasses from Sire’s Eyewear.  With all the walking that is involved at SXSW you definitely want to have your essentials on you but don’t want to carry anything too bulky or heavy, that’s where Rais Case comes in with their southwestern Vida fanny pack.  And just like that, you’ve got a great look for SXSW!

SXSW essentials roundup

Clothing and accessories aren’t the only thing you have to think about while trailing the streets from one concert to the next.  Protect yourself from the Texas heat with Sam Wish deodorant and smell fresh all day with Sea Grape’s roll-on perfume.  Staying hydrated is the most important thing to remember during festival days, so add a handy flask and a pop of color to your ensemble with Bush Smart’s hip flask.  And speaking of staying hydrated, keep Tchoup Industries’ Happy Hour Key Ring attached to you at all times to keep the party going.  We hope this helps you determine your SXSW essentials!  Be sure to check out these Makers as well as the other 200+ Makers at our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition next week!

Maker Spotlight: Doc Elliot

IMG_0559

 

Today we are featuring Doc Elliot, a small, independently owned operation in Austin, TX with a passion for men’s grooming and quality, natural ingredients.  Courtney Morgan started Doc Elliot when her obsession with pomades led her to experiment with natural ingredients creating a product that still contained the shine and hold of traditional pomades without all the chemicals.

DSC_0971 (1)

DSC_0981 (1)

Doc Elliot offers healthier, natural alternatives to styling products containing petroleum and mineral oil ingredients.  They have expanded their product line, offering the same quality ingredients, such as jojoba and argan oil, in all Doc Elliott grooming essentials.  We can’t talk about Doc Elliot without mentioning their incredible packaging.  Their line of grooming products invokes past memories of vintage apothecaries with a modern twist.  Doc Elliot provides the absolute perfect gift options for any man in your life from their Beard Care Combo to the Grooming Essentials Sample Kit.  Buying gifts for that impossible man, just got a lot easier.

Doc Elliot
Doc Elliot’s attention to detail and perfectionism has led to a line of products that is not only natural, but works! Each product contains a customized proprietary blend of all natural ingredients to suit the needs of every individual.  From their best selling Beard Balm and Mustache Sculpt to their Classic Bay Rum Shaving essentials, Doc Elliot is the source for all of your grooming and styling needs.  Their statement says it all:  “Hand crafted and carefully cultivated to nourish and protect your perfect pomp’s, bountiful beards and meticulously sculpted mustaches.”

DSC_1084 copy (1)

We are so excited to have Doc Elliot joining us for our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in Austin! In just one week, you’ll be able to try these products for yourself.  Check out their website to see all their products, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep updated on all things Doc Elliot.

 

 

Maker Spotlight: Throne Watches

Collection1_4web
Today we’re featuring a Brooklyn-based watch company, Throne Watches.  The idea of Throne Watches was conceived by 6 “tinkering friends,” all of whom share the common bond of taking things apart, seeing how they work, and putting them back together.  With a keen eye for detail and high quality craftsmanship, each vintage watch is restored and made new with handmade leather bands in their Brooklyn, NY workshop.
Closeup_4web
We absolutely love their mission of rescuing beautiful watches and re-working them into the modern age. “In the age of computers and smart phones, the romanticism of wearing a watch has fallen to the wayside; Throne Watches is here to revive it.”
Collection2_4web Environmental1_4web
Each watch is paired with a hand-stitched Horween leather strap, mixing a classic accessory with “handsome ruggedness.”
image.png-4 image.png-5
Throne Watches applies their refined taste to search out timelessly stylish watch faces.  With their skilled hands, these watches are updated with the perfect shade of leather, ultimately saving them from thrift stores and junk drawers.  There is such a large variety of watches available on their website, it’s impossible to not find five favorites immediately!
diptic
Throne Watches will be showcasing their fine watches at our Austin Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in one week!  In the meantime, check out the Throne Watches blog and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Maker Spotlight: R.Keen

DSC00058

Here at Renegade Craft we are always looking for fresh, new talents to bring to our annual fairs.  Today we are featuring a brand new Maker to our fairs, R.Keen.  Regina Waters is the jewelry designer behind R.Keen and we are so excited to share her unique line of jewelry with you.  Although she is new to Renegade Craft Fair, Regina has always been a maker at heart.  Her family would sew and create traditional crafts that were an extension of their tribal heritage, such as Kiowa dolls and dresses to sell at craft fairs.

DSC00060

Each unique piece of jewelry is made from rawhide leather, which Regina hand paints, staying true to the essential materials and methods American Indians have traditionally used.  We love how Regina infuses different tribal identities and design elements from her three different tribes, Otoe-Missouria, Kiowa and Cherokee, creating a fresh look on traditional Native American patterns and designs.

DSC00067

Regina uses her cultural identity to guide color and design, blending traditional methods with modern ideas and elements that are unique to traditional Native American jewelry. We can’t get enough of R.Keen’s flawless color combinations and creative patterns.

12125291963_886709d45d_z 12125494493_2ec7f18908_z 12126200354_85561d9b5a_h

The R.Keen website is still in the works so in the meantime, explore her Instagram feed and Flickr page, then come to Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in Austin to be one of the first to buy R.Keen Jewelry!

Maker Spotlight: The Bower Studio

patchouli_shave

Today we’re featuring Massachusetts’ Maker, The Bower Studio.  Vincent Frano and Isa Wang are the minds behind the exquisitely designed and crafted soaps, salves, and illustrated gifts.  Educated in fine arts, illustration, and herbalism, The Bower Studio strives to bring both beauty and utility to their line of products.

robin_egg

Vincent and Isa’s partnership began in 2011, with molded curiosity soaps like these robin eggs and bird skull soaps.  Their appreciation for design is perfectly captured in the intricate detail of the ivory skull and the characteristic speckles of the robin’s eggs.

bird_skull

The Bee Project, started by The Bower Studio in 2013, is a line of cards and prints in which 100% of the profits go directly to The Honey Bee Health Research Project, raising awareness about the myriad of obstacles honey bees face today.  The illustrated bees, such as the one depicted on this card, is not only an example of affection The Bower Studio has for nature, but also a reminder of the beauty and necessity bees offer to our world.

bee_card

lavender_salve

The Bower Studio remains true to their handmade aesthetic.  From designing and illustrating logos and labels, to creating soap molds and packaging, Vincent and Isa’s passion for their work can be seen in the variety of soaps they create.  Not only are these products well-designed and aromatic, they are created by a genuine herbalist – so you know that there are amazing benefits to these soaps as well!  We are particularly excited about their line of herbal soaps and salves, such as the Goat Milk + Red Clover Soap.

extra1extra2

The Bower Studio took its inspiration and namesake from the bower bird, an Australian bird known for collecting feathers, shells, and berries to embellish its nests.  The name is quite fitting, as The Bower Studio looks to nature and the Cabinet of Curiosity as their source of inspiration and herbal insight.

provence_rose

We are so overjoyed that The Bower Studio will be presenting their exquisitely crafted soaps, salves, and illustrated work at The Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in Austin from March 13-15.  Visit The Bower Studio’s website and blog for their full line of products and come to our Austin March Market to see their Amethyst Crystal Soap with your own eyes!

 

 

 

Maker Spotlight: Coyote Alert Co.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

We are kicking off our 2014 Spring season by featuring a Lone Star State Maker, Coyote Alert Co., created by Zach Terrell in Denton, TX.  This one-man-show started out as a t-shirt company back in 2007  featuring “fun and distinct” designs for young adults.  Since then, Coyote Alert has progressed into a full line of clothing and accessories, and we love them all!

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

Coyote Alert Co. recently debuted a line of leather accessories ranging from wallets to keychains.  We love the rugged, utilitarian design and richness of the leather.  The Natural Leather Keychain and Essential Slim Wallet are a couple of our favorite items, and since the leather accessories at Coyote Alert are hand-stitched, they are made to last.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

From the product photography capturing the details of Terrell’s work, to the branding and design of his hand-printed tags and t-shirts, we could spend hours gazing at this website!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Terrell was inspired by his grandfather who always made things with his own hands.  The WWII veteran is a personal hero of Terrell’s and has inspired him to craft products using the same tools.  Everything from design to production to fulfillment is done by Terrell himself.

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

We are so thrilled to have Coyote Alert Co. join us at Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition in Austin this March!  Check out Coyote Alert’s website, blog, and Instagram to see the  full line of products as well as inspirations and travels.

 

 

 

 

 

Maker Spotlight: Fox & Brie

fox and brie

Dapper Austinites, take note: Fox & Brie will be selling their line of handcrafted menswear at Renegade Austin! Specializing in bow ties, neckties, pocket squares, and other men’s accessories, all of their items are carefully designed and made with high-quality, natural fibers—no poly-blends here! All of their ties are made with a variety of new & vintage fabrics collected from all over the world.

neck ties

fox and brie

F&B-Mannequin

F&B-BowTie

Follow Fox & Brie on Instagram to see snaps of new designs, and photos of their ties at weddings all over the United States. Need a new tie for next year’s wedding season? Looking for a gift for that well-dressed man in your life? Find Fox & Brie’s booth at the Renegade Craft Fair’s Winter Market in Austin on Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st at the Palmer Events Center!

Maker Spotlight: Manready Mercantile

Manready Mercantile 1

We’re excited to share another awesome local maker who will be selling their distinctive goods at Renegade AustinManready Mercantile!

Manready Mercantile 8

Manready Mercantile 4

Created in November of 2012 by Travis Weaver, a small town guy originally from Zephyr, Texas, Manready Mercantile is a small business built on the values of honesty and hard work. Now living in Houston, Travis got his start by making candles in small batches on a stove in his apartment, focusing on a quality product made with all-natural ingredients. He initially developed 20 products and partnered up with his neighbor, Roby Fitzhenry, a graphic designer, who spear-headed label design and overall branding.

Manready Mercantile 9

Manready Mercantile 5

Manready Mercantile 2

Manready Mercantile goods are unisex, but packaged and branded for men. They give off an outdoorsy, rough and tumble vibe that’s different from anything you’ll find at the mall or the drugstore. In just one year, they’ve grown and developed a secondary “dry goods” line, T.S. Weaver & Co, which is focused on wood, leather, and various textiles. Follow Manready Mercantile on Instagram or Facebook  to see what they’re working on this holiday season, and visit their booth at Renegade Craft Fair’s Winter Market in Austin on Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st at the Palmer Events Center!

Maker Spotlight: Paper & Clay

paper & clay fall mugs

Paper & Clay is the modern handmade ceramics studio of Memphis, TN artist Brit McDaniel. Her modern pieces are functional and utilitarian, and are inspired by classic mid-century American and Scandinavian designs. Each piece is hand-thrown, glazed and fired with careful attention to detail.

Brit mentioned that she’ll be bringing some special pieces from her Winter collection to Renegade:

“I am really excited to bring my Fall/Winter color palette to Renegade! I’ve settled on a rich dark teal, a deep golden yellow, and a wintery grey. I’ll also have several other popular colors with me including pale mint and a cheery Holiday red!

I’m most excited to bring my Sake sets to Austin this year. They are a new item for my shop and I think they will be a great Holiday gift. The set comes with a decanter and two sake cups. The best part is, the decanter can be used as a bud vase when you aren’t serving up your favorite spirits!”

Follow Paper & Clay on Instagram to see what Brit is making for Renegade – she will be selling her beautiful ceramics at our 3rd Annual Renegade Craft Fair Winter Market in Austin on November 30 + December 1, 2013 at the Palmer Events Center!

paper and clay 4

paper and clay 3

A few peeks into Brit’s studio:mugs in progress

paperandclaykiln

paper and clay

(photo credit for last photo: Emily Michelle Jones Photography)

 

Embroidery Wizards

embroider1

Although it defies all logic, this is EMBROIDERED. Yes. Daniel Kornrumpf, you are amazing. (Found here.)
Hmm. Austin. Embroidery. How can your brain not go directly to that grand poobah (is that a saying? let’s go with yes.) of embroidery, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching. And guess what? Sublime Stitching will be at the Second Annual Austin Renegade Craft Fair! Yee-haw!! (Please forgive us, we’re excited!)

embroider3

What? Sublime Stitching + Berkley Illustration embroidery pattern = amazing Austin RCF synergy!

P.S. Stay tuned, we’ll be featuring MANY more Austin RCF excitement in the coming weeks – get ready!