5th26

Maker Spotlight

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5th26 is a creative firm established by Brandon Tang in New York’s NoMad district specializing in home and fashion objects. The studio develops and designs all of their products in house and with collaborative artists from all over world. Scroll down to learn more about Brandon and 5th26.

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Friend of All

Maker Spotlight

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Our jaws just about dropped when we discovered Flannery Cronin’s Friend of All stained glass light fixtures. Each piece is completely unique and offers home dwellers the opportunity to add beauty and color to their homes, even if they may not own them. Get to know Flannery and her artistic process in our Maker Spotlight interview below!

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Baiser Beauty

Maker Spotlight + Giveaway

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Baiser Beauty does a lot of things right. From using all natural ingredients and recipes based on their family’s Mayan heritage, to their packaging and art design, and informative blog, the two gals behind this incredible brand are a skincare and makeup force to be reckoned with! Have some extra time on your hands? Check out Baiser Beauty’s incredibly fun horoscope page!

Want a fresh, all natural look for 2017? Here’s your chance! The lovely gals at Baiser Beauty are giving away their 5 piece makeup collection to one lucky Instagrammer! To enter, follow Baiser on Instagram and tag a friend in our giveaway post. The winner will be chosen on Friday, December 9th.

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Osborn Shoes

Maker Spotlight

Osborn Shoes is basically heaven for those of us who dream of colored flats. Their shoe silhouettes are classic, but their colors and patterns are bold and beautiful. If you don’t already own a couple pairs, chances are you will soon.

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Tamika Rivera

Maker Spotlight

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Tamika Rivera is a jewelry designer, candle maker, and all around inspiring lady. Her Cuyo and Tapa collections have graced our fairs in the past, and we always look forward to the newest additions in her work!

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Jessie Dib and RA+RE

Maker Spotlight

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Venezuelan designer, Jessie Dib is a woman of many trades. Not only is her eponymous jewelry line modern and bold, but she also runs a collaborative clothing and music label called RA+RE. Needless to say, this girl knows how to make a statement! 

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Lillian Farag

Maker Spotlight

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Lillian Farag is a painter and illustrator with quite the colorful eye. While her collection boasts a large variety of styles, there is a definite theme in palette and whimsy. We particularly love how Lillian marries her unique designs with a variety of wearable accessories, from clothing to leather pouches!

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Malka Dina

Maker Spotlight

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Elana Noy’s Malka Dina is an evolving collection of home wares, jewelry and art. Simply put, Malka Dina creates everything you need to make you and your home awesome. The Brooklyn-based designer works primarily with clay and metal, and uses her signature curves and shapes to bring an aesthetic theme to house and wardrobe.

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Titty Hawk

Maker Spotlight

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Once in awhile you come across a brand or company with the best name, and Titty Hawk takes the cake! The jewelry line from Brooklyn-based designer, Laila K. Lott (another amazing name, right?!) embraces all things fun and trashy. Combined with Laila’s obsession with culture and design, this blend of the beautiful and the disgusting yields a unique line of jewelry and clothing.

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TM1985

Maker Spotlight

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TM1985 is one of our favorite bag companies. Founded by Tielor McBride, TM1985 took its Midwestern roots and moved to New York City to design leather and fabric bags that are both functional and beautiful.

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Sierra YB

Maker Spotlight

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If you haven’t seen Sierra YB ceramics – you are missing out! These ceramic pieces play on traditional geometric shapes with organic patterns and lines making an entirely unique collection of must-have housewares.

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Dana Confections

Maker Spotlight

Valentines Calissons

What is a Calisson, you ask? Well, a calisson is a confection combining candied fruit and almonds, originating in Aix-en-Provence. Dana Confection Co. was established by Rachel Dana and thanks to her passion for confection, she’s brought these calissons to the States!

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Eliana Bernard

Maker Spotlight

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Eliana Bernard is a ceramicist based out of Austin, Texas. Her work has caught our eyes with their deep rich hues and gorgeous marbling.

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Liam of York

Maker Spotlight

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The clothing and textiles from Liam of York have been on our minds for quite some time. With the arrival of an exclusive collection of pillows, purses, and other home goods, let’s just say, choosing just one favorite is just about impossible.

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Small Ant Workshop

Maker Spotlight

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Liz Cowee is the artist and jewelry designer behind Small Ant Workshop, a wonderfully edgy collection of pieces made of resin and laser cut acrylic. The colors Liz fuses into her jewelry appears both freestyle and deliberate, which shows the true nature of her artistic craft.

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The Local Branch

Maker Spotlight

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At every Renegade Craft Fair they attend, The Local Branch booth offers up nomadic, outdoorsy vibes that make us want to stop by hour after hour. Mackenzie and Blaine’s adventurous aesthetic is just perfection.

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All Things Bright and Beautiful

Maker Spotlight

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All Things Bright and Beautiful is a stationery line created by designers, Joanne and Ah Li. The two met at a craft fair and soon realized their interest in art could become a collaboration. The Hong Kong artist duo bring together a childlike playfulness and whimsy to every card, print, and animation they create.

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Overlook Woods

Maker Spotlight

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While attending Pratt University, artist Naomi Feuerstein fell in love with woodworking. Overlook Woods represents her love of design and woodworking, the need for creativity, and interest in local, handmade manufacturing.

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Swim to the Moon

Maker Spotlight

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With a name like, Swim to the Moon, you can certainly imagine these jewelry pieces are fantastically dreamy! The self-taught designer, Stefani Stoyanof, creates these adornments in her Austin studio using wax casting and hand-carving techniques. 

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Getting Retail Ready For Your Favorite Indie Store

Vendor Tips: SKUE

“We’ve been described as Martha Stewart meets David Lynch” says Michael Levy creative director of Paxton Gate, a curiosities store and San Francisco institution with a predilection for the bizarre side of nature. For Andrea and Oscar of Biological Jewels, it was the store of their dreams.

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Jamie Lau Designs

In the Studio

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This Friday we thought we’d share this lovely studio visit we had with Jamie Lau Designs last year in Brooklyn. Jamie recently relocated back to San Francisco and we cannot wait to see her this weekend for our Holiday Fair!

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In the Studio: BU-KIN, Erika Barratt, and Alyssa Leanne Hoppe

016-2015RCF-AH-EB-BB-studio visit-8042We have a three-part studio visit to share today, and it’s a real beauty! The ladies of BU-KIN, Erika Barratt Design, and Alyssa Leanne Hoppe (Bracken), all craft in the same workplace in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We first met Laura of BU-KIN and Erika at last year’s New York Holiday Fair – and as you can imagine, their shared booth was a woodland-inspired dream! And Alyssa shared her talents with us by hosting DIY workshops at our Brooklyn Fair. Laura and Erika Barratt will be joining us this weekend for our New York Fair, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store!

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?

LAURA: It comes from my maiden name ” Buchen” and ode to my family and the creative upbringing that I had in Lancaster PA.

ERIKA: I use my name that I was born with. There was a lot of back and forth in the beginning trying to decide on a name for the business and nothing seemed right. What I do is so personal to me that it felt right to use my name and maintain the personal connection to each piece. My last name in particular is important to me because of my close relationship with my grandparents and their influence.

ALYSSA: My sister-in-law/best friend/buisness partner, Laura Christenson, came up with the name for our fresh flower jewelry business, Bracken. Bracken is a genus of large ferns. We have good memories of taking hikes, and exploring the west coast redwoods where a lot of these type of ferns live.

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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft?

LAURA: I always had so many hobbies and crafts sewing, painting, knitting , perfume making…etc. But, when I moved to NY and had a tiny apartment I realized my crafts needed to get smaller! I was always interested in working with leather and I had a friend who had a baby boy and I wanted to make a special gift for her. I created my first baby shoe and I called it “The Timmy” . It really did start as a hobby or project and then it grew from there. Friends wanted booties, then their friends wanted booties and orders just kept coming in. I continued to experiment and learn the craft of shoe making and it just grew into BU-KIN.

ERIKA: I have always been a maker and was always drawn to textile seven at a young age. My grandmothers and mothers all sewed and my mother made all of our clothes and even painted on them. We had drawers and drawers of fabric that I would pull out and play with and make little outfits for all of my dolls and creatures. In college I was in the Fiber Art program at Arizona State. I fell completely in love with all aspects of fibers and from there I just haven’t stopped. I love the ability textiles have to tell a story and it has just always been the perfect medium for me.

ALYSSA: I started crafting and creating moments and spaces from a really young age. Studying graphic design and fine art in college and then working at Anthropologie designing window and interior spaces helped refined my craft and taught me a lot of new skills that helped jumpstart my career as a prop stylist and floral designer.

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Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?

LAURA: I have a day job as well as running BU-KIN. All of my free time or extra time goes into my business. When I first started and was making all of the shoes by myself I was working long hours at my job and every evening and weekend would be filled with shoe making. I wouldn’t say it is sacrifice … I think it is just how I am made. I always need to be making and creating and this is what is fulfilling to me. Sometimes it gets hard because I feel overwhelmed with managing two jobs but overall it is something really special and I am so proud of where it stands today.

ERIKA: I don’t really feel like I have sacrificed anything(maybe some sleep and sanity along the way at certain times ) or have any regrets. I have definitely have had to miss out on some fun things here and there if I have a deadline or a lot of work that I have to finish but it is really what I want to be doing and I feel grateful to be able to so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.

ALYSSA: Sacrificing your security of a full time job with another company is a really scaring thing, but I am so happy I took the leap. There are really tough times and really fruitful times and you just have to have faith that the hard work you are putting into your business with pay off in the end.

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What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?

LAURA: I had a dream of selling in ABC carpet & home one day, it was my goal, something to work towards. When I was finally ready to start wholesaling they were my second account! I had to keep pinching myself, I still am so proud to be selling there.

ERIKA: I started collaborating with West Elm a few years ago and just finished designing my 3rd ornament collection for them for 2016. It has been so great to work with them and has taken me down this path of making ornaments that I have loved doing. And Renegade Craft Fair is always fun! 

ALYSSA: Ideating a concept and seeing it come to life in tangible form is always really exciting to me and makes me feel proud.

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Where do you want your business to be in 5 years?

LAURA: I would love for BU-KIN to branch out more and be able to expand my line of gifts for babies and children. Maybe also expand into handbags and accessories for women.

ERIKA: I would like to have a line of holiday décor and home products and a book of patterns & recipes.

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What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?

LAURA: I was a a fashion designer before starting my line. I had experience in design, pattern making, construction and manufacturing. I was able to save so much money by doing a lot of the work myself. I make all my patterns and samples and tech packs. I am able to easily work with my Amish leather makers because I understand the making of the shoes. The business side… thats where I was lost! That took many long nights of research.

ERIKA: As far as the making part, I learned those skills growing up, in school and teaching myself. I had friends and family with their own businesses so I learned from them and the rest just a lot of late night Google searches. I have had a lot of different jobs prior to this that were all very different from one another. When you run your own business there are so many components and there are skills I learned in all of those jobs that help me on a day- to- day basis in some way, big or small.

ALYSSA: I am a learner, so knowing and enjoying the process of how to research and teach yourself has been really helpful.

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What made you take this leap into being your own boss?

LAURA: I was working at the same company for 10 years and I wanted to try something on my own. I realized that I had orders piling up and my evenings and weekends were filled with shoe making, all of this and I was really only giving it 10% of my time. I decided to quit my job and give BU-KIN 100% of my time and see where I could take it. I since now have taken another job full time but the year off that I had was so important in starting my business and learned so much and really was able to focus on and turn my hobby into a running, profitable business.

ERIKA: In some ways it kind of just happened and I sort of eased into it. I was working in Philadelphia at the Anthropologie Home Office and then my partner and I moved to New York. I started to do freelance work for Anthropologie while I figured out what was next and then that led to other projects and I started to really enjoy the flexibility of freelance life and being my own boss in that way. After doing that for a few years and some part time work mixed with freelancing I decided I wanted to build my own brand and business and just focus on that.

ALYSSA: I really wanted to have the flexibility to work on the different styles of work I do. I didn’t want to just do prop styling, or just do floral design. I also really enjoy being able to create my own schedule.

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What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

LAURA: Don’t stop, Don’t give up when it gets hard. Keep going.

ERIKA: Just keep going even if you feel like you don’t know what you are doing! Also having a good support system of other makers is so helpful, especially when it comes to the business side of it.

ALYSSA: Never be afraid to reach out to other people in or out of your field for advice. It is so helpful to build a support group of like minded people.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

LAURA: I try to keep things classic, I am always looking at vintage shops and flea markets for interesting finds.

ERIKA: I have always been inspired by the past, the lost arts and anything with a story behind it. My favorite things to do are to go searching for things. Whether they are sea treasures on the beach, flea markets or old dusty barns. I get inspired by beautiful materials, I like to just collect and from there things just start to appear and take form.

ALYSSA: I try and seek inspiration that is completely opposite of the work I do because it helps me look at things differently to give me a new perspective.

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If you could learn any other craft, what would it be?

LAURA: I think I would like to get more into ceramics!

ERIKA: I would love to work with metal or wood sometime. It is so different than what I work with now and I always have so many ideas I would love to see come to life in that medium.

ALYSSA: I would love to learn how to weld!

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When you do get free time, how do you like to spend it?

LAURA: Making things for myself! I love love love being in my studio and experimenting with different leathers, right now I am working on a leather fringe jacket! and I make quite a few leather bags for myself.

ERIKA: I like to bake, embroider, crochet and do pottery. I live right by Prospect Park and love to go there. I love to play music even though I don’t do it that often anymore. I have an accordion that I pull out only a few times of year – usually right before the holidays. Every year it is my New Years resolution to pick it back up again – maybe next year is the year!

ALYSSA: I really love being out in nature so anytime I have enough free time and can drive out of the city and get to the mountains, I try and do so.

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How does the city you live in influence your work?

LAURA: I am inspired by the people I meet in the city. I am inspired by the streets and all the shops. It is always evolving, always new things to see.

ERIKA: The energy of the city is contagious. Although sometimes city living can be tough I really love living here. Being surrounded by so much energy really keeps me going and is really inspiring.

ALYSSA: New York is so saturated with incredibly talented creatives that it is really inspiring but I also try and seek inspiration outside of my city just to keep ideas fresh.

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What is your favorite part of your studio/workspace?

LAURA: I love my studio space, it is my little haven, all of my favorite tools and and things are there. My studio is a place where I can create and have space to create. I also love the ladies that I share my studio with, it is so inspiring to see what they are working on and I love the community that we have. I also love the big windows!

ERIKA: The wall of windows and all the natural light! I had a studio for two years without windows and while it was nice and felt very cozy now that I have the light I don’t think I can go back! I also love the community of all the artists on our floor.

ALYSSA: I love the windows in our studio. They give so much natural light that is helpful when designing and shooting. Its also really inspiring sharing a space with Erika and Laura. Its like having coworkers again and it is so nice to have friends to bounce ideas off of.

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What do you enjoy most about your craft and entrepreneurship?

LAURA: The freedom, the right to choose you own path. To be able to really create something that is 100% what you want it to be.

ERIKA: What makes it worthwhile is being able to share these special moments with people, or seeing some happiness in someone when they receive something. Receiving a simple little note or message from someone saying how much they love something or how much something they received meant to them means the world and that makes every ounce of hard work completely worth it.

ALYSSA: I love that every day is different!

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What a gorgeous space! Clear your calendars because this weekend you should be spending all your time at our New York Holiday Fair. If you just can’t wait, you can find all the images from this Studio Visit in our Flickr album, and find all these gals online here:

BU-KIN@bukinbooties

Erika Barratt Design@erikabarratt

Alyssa Leane Hoppe | Bracken Floral@alyssaleanne @brackenfloral

Ashware Studio

In The Studio

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Last year we had the chance to visit the Ashware Studio up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. When we got there, Megumi hard at work wrapping and packaging her ceramics. The surprise part of our trip was that ceramicists, Michiko Shimada and Beetle & Flor also share the same space. Talk about a triple bonus! After getting a good look around we had the chance to speak with Megumi about her art and living in Brooklyn.

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RCF + SKUE Brooklyn Recap

HOW TO GET INTO STORES: WORDS FROM TOP BUYERS
Most purchases are still made in the real world, at stores, but physical spaces come with their set of rules and quirks. Who better to turn to than store owners for cracking the wholesale market. Here are few insights compiled at our booth during interactions with top buyers checking out the RCF Wholesale Market in Brooklyn. 
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Breaking into Saturated Markets
Tapa candles is testing out a new line with scents inspired by their travels. A few things that set them apart is  theletterpress printing, the packaging in old coffee bags and the ingredients. It was the ingredients that made all the difference. 
“I like the range of Northern California scents, especially the use of yuzu!” says Michael Levy of Paxton Gate. “More underused ingredients like that add originality and make the difference between a candle that sells, and one that sits on the shelf.”
“Might be helpful to specify the scents under the fragrance name,” adds Sylvia Parker of Magpie.
It’s also just fun to say Yuzu. 
Jewelry is another crowded category. Subcategories like laser cut wood jewelry have a tough time standing out.Diamonds are Evil break out with a new angle. That diamonds are well, EVIL. A stand against conflict diamonds. They follow up on their mission by sharing some of the proceeds to African charities.  
This design is very unique and different. says Zoel Fages of Perch, “and love the giving back story.” 
A story changes the whole experience. 
Getting Around Display Issues
The apron by XNasozi is quite the twist on the typical apron. Denim with removable leather straps. The problem at indie retail stores is display space. 
In our shop we always have a hard time selling aprons due to merchandising constraints,” says Allison McGowan of Teich. “We don’t have room for a dress form, but aprons tend to get ignored when folded. A well designed tag or belly band helps tremendously” says Allison.
Denim maker Nasozi agreed that if folded, a photo on the price tag would be a good solve. She’s considering it as part of the packaging.