Maker Spotlight: Thorn & Bloom Perfume

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Thorn & Bloom caught our eyes instantly, and we can’t wait to spritz and spray these perfumes at our Brooklyn Fair coming up in just a week and a half! Jennifer Botto is the designer behind these perfumes and gave us an insight into Thorn & Bloom.

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

Thorn & Bloom Perfume’s philosophy was born of the notion that imperfection can elevate beauty in surprising and spectacular ways. I prefer to work holistically, keeping the ingredients as pure as possible and allowing the aromatic’ full spectrum to shine through. Sometimes, this spectrum can include unique nuances that, to some, may be an acquired taste. I see these nuances as essential elements, knowing they’ll impart depth and character to an otherwise mundane blend. The name Thorn & Bloom Perfume refers to this yin & yang duality in natural perfume. I love the notion that life is full of both imperfection and radiance, and experiencing the two simultaneously can be very powerful.

But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose” -Anne Brontë

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

I think my obsession with all things sensual began with Diane Ackerman’s  book A Natural History of the Senses. Her ability to reference science, nature, history and personal experience when describing scent completely drew me in. I find the world of olfaction fascinating, and working with naturals helps bring me back to my roots as a farmer’s daughter. Living in the city often gives me nostalgia for my rural upbringing, so when I blend these raw materials, I’m immediately swept away to another place. I can leave the city for a little while and be surrounded by brambles and blooms, or stand in smoky cloud of smoldering cherry trees.

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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

While I haven’t had any major failures inside the company, I do see a more universal failure on the part of the FDA to regulate the term “natural” on cosmetic/perfume packaging. It’s very hard to compete with larger companies that capitalize on murky FDA labeling requirements. Many consumers have no idea that the term “natural” is meaningless and many formulas contain synthetic chemicals. These formulas are often much cheaper to produce than truly 100% natural fragrances and so it is a challenge to educate consumers about the differences in ingredients and pricing.

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

Selling my first full-sized bottle felt like such an accomplishment! A patchouli-loving customer bought a sample of Orange Blossom from me at an outdoor craft market here in Boston. She loved it so much that she returned 3 weeks in a row hoping to find my booth. We finally reconnected and she bought a full 30ml bottle, explaining that she had become addicted. I was thrilled that she enjoyed my perfume enough to seek me out week after week!

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

I basically haven’t had a day off in 6 months! My biggest sacrifice is definitely leisure time. I’ve also put all of my savings into the company, which should scare me but somehow doesn’t. I have faith in myself and in Thorn & Bloom, so I can sleep at night knowing with good certainty that things will work out.

How does the city you live in influence your work?

I currently live in Boston and although it’s an amazing city, I often find myself lost in deep nostalgia for the sensory experiences that shaped my world. This desire for connection led me to start experimenting with scent as a means to transport myself outside the city’s boundaries, and into the great outdoors of my youth. Reveling in scent can be the perfect way to escape; it can bring you full blooms in a frozen tundra, fresh grass in a sea of pavement, or a lover’s musk when you’re all alone.

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

Growing up on a farm in northern NY helped me to appreciate craftsmanship and natural raw materials, a respect that stemmed from watching my parents work their land and build their house. I love witnessing the revitalization of all things craft and artisan in recent American history. It’s so exciting to be a part of a movement that values quality work and local production. One reason I choose to work with natural materials when I make perfume is that I want to support farmers and processors of these raw materials so that these methods (and ultimately the raw materials themselves) are not forgotten.

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

Working for myself allows me to maintain control over my vision while providing me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I never felt passionate while working for others’, but now I feel full of energy and enthusiasm. Although it’s sometimes very scary, I love the freedom that self-employment offers.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

My two primary sources of inspiration are nostalgic memories and nature itself. Savage Garden was an attempt to recreate the scent of my mother’s garden after a spring thunderstorm. Bluegrass essential oil added a wonderfully green, fresh and metallic quality very similar to ozone. Stranger in the Cherry Grove initially started as a recipe to conjure the scent of black cherry pipe tobacco, which my father smoked for years. Wild Rose is meant to mimic a freshly plucked rose in a hyper-real way. To me, roses have always exuded a musky raspberry aroma, so I wanted to capture that delicious powdery-soft fruitiness.

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

I value a self-taught approach to creativity. While I enjoy learning about the elemental basics of my craft (organic chemistry, plant science, distillation techniques, traditional French blending methods, etc) in an institutional setting, I believe that creativity is best honed in a personal way and should come from within. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and trust your creative instincts!

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Thorn & Bloom Perfume is an artisanal perfumery handcrafting 100% botanical fragrances using the finest natural aromatics. Our fragrances are comprised of Essential Oils, Absolutes, Concretes, CO2 and SCO2 Extracts, Organic Extracts and Natural Isolates in a base of USDA certified organic grape alcohol.  We use organic and wild harvested aromatics whenever possible. We do not use synthetic aroma chemicals, preservatives, phthalates, GMOs or animal byproducts. We source from only the best perfumery supply houses with a strict policy of purchasing only ethically harvested materials. Our bottles are topped with custom wood caps made by a local artisan exclusively for Thorn & Bloom Perfume.

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Thank you, Jennifer for sharing about Thorn & Bloom. Be sure to try all the scents out at our Brooklyn Fair coming up September 12+13. You can find Thorn & Bloom online here:

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Maker Spotlight: Spacio Terreno

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Another lovely Monday here at Renegade Craft! Today we’re stoked about featuring a Brooklyn bespoke design company, Spacio Terreno! Husband and wife duo, Patricio Andrade, and Isabel Becerra, will be bringing their goods to our Brooklyn Fair in just a couple weeks at the Brooklyn Expo Center! We can’t wait!

Spacio Terreno is a design workshop founded in 2010. They strive to create a balance between intuition and rationalism to bring to life emotional and functional objects. Their current range of products include a concrete housewares line and bespoke handmade jewelry, all made in their Brooklyn Studio. This year Spacio Terreno has been debuting various products they have been developing for the past several months in their native countries in South America.
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Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
We wanted a name that defines where we are in this universe and the space we currently occupy. We are based in Brooklyn NY and are inspired by our roots in South America.
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The Fumador furniture line is all flatpack and features naturally treated sole leather and a variety of wood species.

When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
Pat and Isa both attended Pratt Institute, Pat majored in Architecture and Isa majored in Interior Design. So designing furniture and housewares was natural and was something we both loved. We started working in this field immediately after getting married in Cuenca, Ecuador and visiting Machu Pichuu on our Honeymoon in 2012.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
We know how to learn quickly and we know how to work hard, that’s about the only experience we had in business.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
Our beautiful daughter Salome made us realize that life is to short to build other peoples dreams. We decided to start working our own.
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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
Since 2012 we have been working on Spacio Terreno on our spare time, so we’ve had many late nights. We decided to work on on Spacio Terreno full time after our daughter Salome was born.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
The safety of a consistent pay check from an office job, no regrets everything always works out.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Our RumiGami line that was picked up by Steven Alan in 2014 was featured in Martha Stewart Living Magazine for Best of Home for their 2014 Holiday Issue.
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What are some inspirations for your work?
South American artisanal techniques. Hand Loomed Alpaca textiles, barro negro, toquilla weaving, and furniture among others.
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How does the city you live in influence your work?
Patricio was born and raised in Brooklyn and every aspect of the city influence his work especially the cities work ethic. Isa moved here to attend Pratt Institute and she’s been here since, she in love with the creative vibes the city has.
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What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
We like to design and make things we want use in our own home, the price point matters a lot.
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Thank you Spacio Terreno for sharing your insight! We can’t wait to see these beautiful objects at our Brooklyn Fair September 12+13! In the meantime, find Spacio Terreno online here:

Brooklyn Fair Sneak Peek!

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We can’t wait to be back in Brooklyn! Our Fair is arriving at the lovely Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint on September 12 + 13. The free-to-attend event will be open 11am – 6pm each day, featuring a thoughtfully curated selection of today’s finest independent Makers, a mixture of artisanal food stalls, interactive activities, DIY workshops and more.In addition to the popular weekend Fair, we are debuting an exclusive Wholesale Marketfor buyers and shop owners, Friday, September 11th from 12pm – 5pm at the Brooklyn Expo Center! The aim in hosting Wholesale Markets is to reinvent the wholesale buying and selling experience. Many of our emergent designers cannot be found at other trade shows, and the atmosphere will feel relaxed, festive, and lively – staying in line with the vibe RCF creates at all of their events. Buyers and Makers will have the chance to interact, exchange line sheets, establish wholesale accounts, and get exclusive price analysis from SKUE. Are you a buyer or shop owner interested in attending? RSVP here!

For those interested in our Brooklyn Fair, you will find an ample assortment of outstanding handmade goods, a perfect gift-giving solution for back-to-school goers, housewarmings and more. Illustrated paper goods, jewelry, children’s accessories and toys, pet products, natural beauty collections, clothing, and housewares are just some of the categories present at this year’s Brooklyn Fair. Check out this year’s line up of 200+ talented Makers, food and drink, activities and more here.

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ROW 1: LEIF | A HEIRLOOM | EVERMORE PAPER CO. | ROW 2: WORLEY’S LIGHTING | BEACH BONES JEWELRY |CORDILLERA | ROW 3: SPACIO TERRENO | BOLE ROAD TEXTILES | VOGAS BARCELONA

Expect a fun and lively atmosphere at the Brooklyn Expo Center with shopping, interactive activities, creative inspiration, and more. All of you cycling enthusiasts will want to visit with Schwinn, who will be out and about, in partnership with Momentum Magazine and People For Bikes, raffling bikes, accessories, and music downloads to lucky attendees. FedEx will have a Shipping Station on-site, where attendees and Makers can enjoy simple, flat rate shipping for their one-of-a-kind goods.

If shopping makes you hungry, don’t fret! You’ll get to feast at a selection of local food stalls: An Artistic TasteCurry Station, Jessy’s Pastries, Kimchi Smoke, and La Crepe Cest Ci Bon, as well as sample from artisanal food vendors.

Don’t forget to stop by the free-to-use Magnolia Photo Booth and pose pretty with friends and family. You can also sit down and get a hand drawn portrait courtesy of The Doodlebooth!

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Getting There: The Brooklyn Expo Center is located at 72 Noble Street, Brooklyn, NY. Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transportation to the Fair. Route directions to the Fair here.

Uber is sponsoring rides for the Renegade Craft Fair. New users can get up to $20 off their first Uber ride using the code RCF2015. To sign up, download the app or head to uber.com/go/RCF2015.

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Want to spread the word? Join our Facebook event and invite your friends. Grab our e-flyer and pass it around. Add #RenegadeCraftFair and #RenegadeBrooklyn to your RCF-related Instagram pictures and tweets! We love seeing what our followers and makers are up to!

For more information about this event, please visit the Renegade Craft Fair website, check out our upcoming Maker Spotlights, or browse the Makers on Pinterest.

 

Maker Spotlight: Mariem

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We can’t get enough of Mariem! Karla López Rivera is the designer behind Mariem shoes and we are so so so so excited to have her join us at our Brooklyn Fair coming up on September 12+13 at the Brooklyn Expo Center!

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

There are two important factor behind that decision. Mariem is part of my name but only my close family knows or uses it. It’s also not extremely connected to any place/culture in particular as oppose to my known name, Karla López Rivera. Mariem, the footwear project, is born from personal interest but it is not about its main designer it is more about the concept. Mariem can be anyone that agrees with the ethos and aesthetics and should grow to be its own entity separated from me.

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

I studied furniture first and when I learned the upholstery part of it I realized I spent way more time in the sewing room than the heavy machine studio. My thesis ended up being about merging furniture with fashion with some interchangeable ‘upholstery clothing’. I though footwear was the perfect combination of processes between the rigidity of furniture and the malleability of apparel. I ended falling in love working with a smaller scale and with how shoes connect so magically with the user. Footwear, historical, social, and culturally, is fascinating to me.

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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

It is important not to jump steps- is one of the things I’ve learned. For example, you should definitely not be in major trade shows before acquiring some traction and don’t start contacting buyers if your production isn’t tried and trued.

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

I’ve sacrificed the desire to live in my place of origin close to my family. But I don’t regret it, I have hope that in the future I’ll be able to establish a studio over there.

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

Delivering to the first store and making that first brick and mortar sale was pretty exciting!

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How does the city you live in influence your work?

Shoemaking has been a dying industry since the 1960’s in the US but there is an interesting revival that is creeping in! New York is one of those few places. There are still resources here for shoe making and a vibrant community of designers as well as makers. Some of us are in constant communication and sharing skills, machinery, experiences, contacts, etc. It has been key to keep Mariem alive and going.

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

I never thought there was another option for me. But I think that is because both of my parents own their small businesses and I grew up like that is the normal. I do still work for other designers and enjoy it as well.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

One of the most important driving factors behind Mariem is that it is able to be fabricated in the US regardless if its at my own studio or later in a bigger factory. For that to be feasible you have to know what resources are around first and design accordingly. So I would say Mariem is very ‘technical’ inspired first, aesthetically second. We always try to keep it clean and fresh. Warm but minimal like Agnes Martin.

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

Meet as many people as you possibly can in your field. Some of those relationships end up being invaluable at a personal and business level in a very genuine and organic way.

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Thank you, Karla, for letting us get to know you and your work a little better! You can try on Mariem shoes at our Brooklyn Fair coming up in just a couple of weeks and you can find them online here:

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Maker Spotlight: Don’t Worry Baby

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Today we’re getting our good vibes from Don’t Worry Baby! Stephanie and Alice are the designers behind these hand dyed clothing and scarves and we can’t wait to hang out with these two in Brooklyn (they just seem like a lot of fun). Get ready, NY! Our Brooklyn Fair is headed your way soon!

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

Don’t Worry Baby started with so many “what if’s” ­ what if we rented a studio? What if we made our own brand? When we got to the naming part, The Beach Boys’ song was in heavy rotation on our Spotify. As soon as we considered it as a name, it just stuck. It’s playful and memorable and more than a brand name: it’s a motto. It makes an object, like a scarf, a reminder to be positive and present.

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

We needed a creative outlet! We realized, when we met and became roommates last year, that we had shared hobbies ­ dyeing fabric and sewing. We had each studied design in different ways ­ graphic design and design history. We also geeked out over the same brands and the same aesthetic ­ we saw the potential right away.

Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

It’s all learning at this stage: revising our sewing patterns, tightening our color palette and realizing that less is more. Just because we try a pattern or a particular color doesn’t mean we have to be married to it. We allow ourselves constant editing and don’t think of mistakes as time wasted. We say “Don’t worry, baby!!” a lot, when in the studio. It’s silly but honestly, so helpful.

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

Social life! Just kidding, but only sort of ­ we both have full time jobs and have to maximize our weekend hours. We try to get lots of studio time in and pretty much have a running “biz meeting” whenever both of us are home. The “what if” conversations never stop!

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

Seeing our clothing and jewelry on our friends, not just each other, is so rewarding. Also realizing that we’ve created a “look” that others recognize as Don’t Worry Baby. For some reason hearing other people describe what you’ve created makes it feel so real!

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

Life is short!! We had thought about doing this on our own for so many years and had never started. When we met and started talking about it, we realized it was totes meant to be.

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How does the city you live in influence your work?

In Brooklyn, we’re surrounded by so many similar sized handmade, start­up brands. It could be discouraging, to feel like we’re new kids in a big school. When it comes down to it, though, we’ve realized we can be huge fans of other brands out there and make our own, unique things. You just have to get your ideas out of your head and into physical form.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

We wanted an alternative to fast fashion and excessive, mindless shopping. We had both learned to sew when we were kids and realized that super simple clothing, that we had made ourselves, were what we liked wearing the most. We both dreamed of this tiny closet of hardworking, minimal clothes.

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

Define deadlines and stick to them. It doesn’t suck the fun out of it; it pushes you to be productive. When we have less time, we make more confident decisions.

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Thank you Stephanie and Alice for sharing with us! Be sure to say hello to these gal pals at our Brooklyn Fair coming up in just a couple weeks! In the meantime, you can find Don’t Worry Baby online here: