Shop Visit: Summer Camp in Ojai


We are so thrilled to be debuting a new interview series on our blog called Shop Visits! We will be spending time with some shop owners around the country and talking to them about their experiences and insight into the world of independent craft, wholesaling, and retail. Back in December we had the chance to take a little road trip up to Ojai and visit the perfectly styled and curated shop, Summer Camp. Rachel and Michael Graves re-vamped an old gas station in Ojai and turned it into a lovely shop featuring many of our favorite RCF makers. Rachel was kind enough to offer some insight into their business.


What is the history of Summer Camp? Why did you choose this theme?

I was a girl scout and went to every camp every year so the name is near and dear to me. We both have a love for mid-century and the outdoors so its really combining all of our favorite things.

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

I have worked in retail for 15 years and Mike and I have a combined framing experience of over 10 years.  


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

We had always dreamed of owning a shop but never thought we could make it happen. We really fell in love with Ojai and knew it was the right fit and the right time.


What are some important factors that potential business owners should consider before taking that leap?

Starting a business can be risky so I would try to minimize risk, such as keeping a full time job and starting your own business part time. Try to keep costs down because they add up quickly..don’t try to have the perfect business right out of the gate. You can build your business slowly and keep your debt level low.

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

We always try to stay positive but we did have a bit of natural disaster a few months after opening. The majority of our merchandise was damaged in a flood from a bad rainfall…we lost a lot of vintage items that we can’t replace but in the end we made the best of it. We had great support from our friends, the community, and our vendors. We were able to get items replaced quickly and back in business. As a shop owner you have to expect the unexpected and just know that it could always be worse!


What has been your proudest moment since opening?

Knowing how many people we have reached since opening (thanks to Instagram) is pretty amazing….to be able to create something that people love is the reason we do it!

What would it take to make you feel successful?

I think success is a mind set and not so much a monetary marker so I have felt successful since day one. Just having the courage to open the shop and the positive feedback from the community has been more reward than any amount of money. Seeing a kid smiling in the shop or hearing stories of people who come to Ojai just to visit our shop is just the best!


What changes do you want to make in your business in the next 5 years?

We are currently renovating a vintage trailer with Brody Travel Supply that will serve as a mobile shop…we want to bring Summer Camp on the road! We also will be expanding our online shop so we can reach more people.

What are some of your favorite products/makers in the shop currently? 

We love all our makers but some of our favorites are PF Candle Co, Small Adventure, Bernscott Pottery, Chaparrel Studio, Moon calendars by Margins Imprints and Secret Holiday Co.


What advice do you have for any potential business owners out there? 

It’s a 24/7 job so be prepared…you will work harder than you ever thought but it will be so much more rewarding.



As a buyer, when do you do most of your product research and ordering?

We typically buy small but the holidays are our best season so we stock up in the fall…we also do a bit of ordering in March and April since summer is a high tourist season. But we are always looking for new makers so its a constant process.

What are some tips you have to vendors out there wanting to get more wholesale orders?

I love when a vendor sends me a personalized email or sends a sample to the store! I wish I could order from everyone who approaches us but unfortunately that isn’t realistic.

What sets a vendor apart? When receiving an order, does a pretty package and presentation with a hand written note make a big difference in remembering the vendor, or would you prefer straight to the point demeanor?

As much as love pretty packaging I prefer great communication with my vendors. I am friends with many of the people we order from and it helps us connect with the items which in turns helps the customers connect with the story behind the products.

Any important resources or tools you want to suggest to vendors out there?

Instagram is the best business tool I can imagine…it connects everyone and makes the world a smaller place :)


Thank you Rachel and Michael for sharing your insights into Summer Camp! Want to see more photos of their beautiful shop? Take a look at our Shop Visit Flickr Album! Be sure to check out Summer Camp’s droolworthy Instagram, too!

If you’re a shopowner interested in collaborating on a Shop Visit, feel free to contact

Thank You, LA!


photo by @korgiken

LA, what a wonderful weekend we spent together! It was great seeing old friends, meeting new faces, and loving all the handmade wares and good vibes our Makers brought to theLA Fair last weekend! Over 300 talented Makers showcased their work at Grand Park to locals and travelers from beyond. There was food truck feasting, icy pop treating, workshopping and so much more!


photo by @adriennefong
We saw a lot of smiles in the Magnolia Photo Booth! You can view your photo booth strips from from each weekend here: Saturday + Sunday.
One of our favorite post-Fair activities is combing through the #RenegadeLA collection of photos. We loved witnessing Makers and shoppers alike, posting about their favorite products, booths and experiences! Here’s some of our favorite moments below:
ROW 1: @schwinnbikes | @lowraface | @ladyluofthewolves | ROW 2: @skinnybmel | @rachel_powell35 |@roxy_h_ | ROW 3: @yellowhousehandmade | @tiachia13 | @hannahayesdesigns

We always try to top each Fair, and it couldn’t be possible without your feedback! We value your opinions seriously, and always want to improve our Fairs to be the best events you attend each year. If you attended our LA Fair, please fill out our Attendee Survey or Vendor Survey! It only takes a few minutes, we swear!


photo by @deniserrr

Want to relive the good times? You can get a recap on Instagram and Twitter using #RenegadeCraftFair and  #RenegadeLA to view RCF-related Instagram pictures and tweets!

Stay tuned for news and updates regarding our 2015 Spring/Summer Tour. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay in-the-know on our Makers and all things Renegade Craft!


LA Summer Fair Kicks Off Tomorrow!

Our Los Angeles Fair kicks off this weekend at Grand Park! From 11am – 6pm each day, our free handmade extravaganza will feature a collection of some truly awesome independent Makers, plus food, treats, music, workshops and more! This year we’re excited to be taking over two park blocks (Block 3+4 surrounding N. Broadway). Check out our rundown below:
We’ve got something for everyone at this Summer Fair! Find gifts for loved ones, plus it’s the perfect time to freshen up your home and wardrobe for Summer.
Check out the full ROSTER to catch a glimpse!

If your stomach starts growlin’ or you want to cool off, you can feast at food trucks parked along Broadway Ave., or you can move on over to our Eats + Treats area (in the Community Gardens) to chomp on some artisanal goodies! Take a look at some of the tasty delights here or view our handy map for the full offerings!

Food Trucks on N. Broadway
Luckdish Curry
Peaches’ Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen
Son of a Bun
Tokyo Doggie Style
Jeni’s Ice Cream

Eats + Treats in the Community Gardens
Front Porch Pops
Si Paletas
Sugar Pie Honey Buns
Knight Owl Coffee
T-We Tea
Pernicious Pickling Co.


We’ve got you covered for an awesome weekend with an array of things to do from DIY workshops, to bicycle giveaways, and one-of-a-kind trailers. Take a break in our nifty lounge area, or strike a pose in our free photo booth to commemorate your visit. Just take a look for yourself!

Tandy Leather
GoldInk Tattoo
Finders Keepers
Lost Girls Vintage
The Yarnover Truck
Library Store on Wheels
Magnolia Photo Booth



Getting There: Grand Park is a fantastic outdoor park located in Downtown L.A.! The Fair will be held in the park between Hill and Spring streets, off of Broadway. You can view a map of the area here, and get directions here. Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transportation to the Fair. There are several paid parking lots in the area. The closest Metro stop to Grand Park is the Civic Center/Grand Park Stop on the Red or Purple lines.

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


Want to spread the word? Join our Facebook event and invite your friends. Grab our e-flyer and pass it around. Add #RenegadeCraftFair and #RenegadeLA 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.

Big Thanks to our Los Angeles Sponsors:

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LA Food Round-Up

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Besides the bustling food trucks that will be parked on N. Broadway, there will also be an Eats + Treats artisanal food area in the Community Gardens at Grand Park! We’re listing our Top 5 Foodies we’re excited to try at our LA Fair this weekend!


Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 10.21.35 AMFrom spice kits to DIY goat cheese, Saffron + Kumquats makes exotic cooking easy, while also producing some of the best gift ideas ever!



The Fare Trade collects all the best small-batch food products onto their site, making shopping all the easier. We can’t wait to collect our favorites at their booth!



I don’t know about you, but there’s nothin’ finer than some delicious peanut butter. Spread the Love knows where it’s at, keeping things simple with Original and Cacao.


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The perfect transition from peanut butter is honey! Bloom Honey is no ordinary farmstand honey producer – their obsession with bees and their honey allows for insanely delicious concoctions like Avocado Honey and Wild Dandelion Honey. Plus they even sell California native bee pollen!


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Gullah Girl Tea creates the most beautifully blended teas that aren’t just scrumptious, they’re also crafted by an herbalist. Charmaine’s family history of diabetes led her to establish Gullah Girl in the hopes of bringing health and wellness to others.

Don’t miss the Eats + Treats section of the Fair in the Community Gardens at Grand Park! 10 Food Trucks and 20+ Artisanal Foodies who will be serving up delicious street food and other delights. See you all tomorrow!

Maker Spotlight: Blume Studio

Blume Jewerly Headshot-01648_1 Today we’re featuring inspired jewelry by Blume Studio. These pieces will be at our LA Fair this weekend (only two days away!) at Grand Park.


Blume studio is a collaboration between Rina and Chen Blume; a Mother/daughter duo with a passion for hand made jewelry design and the beauty and uniqueness of nature.
DSC00839Blume Jewerly Headshot-01635Architecture, graphic design, construction sites, city life inspires all of Rina and Chen’s work. They love simple shapes coming together to created something three dimensional. 
Rina and Chen’s favorite part of forming jewelry by hand is that they are limited by the materiality of metal, and that frees them up to play with shape, and dimension.
 The Blume Studio collections are aptly titled and partnered with a singular question, opening up a rather beautiful way of interpreting jewelry and human nature. The Linear Collection, one of our favorites, simply asks “What forms when you don’t rely on  measurements or computer aided designs?” The collection, as described, is a series striving to reach geometric symmetry and perfection, but cannot hide the natural human element of imperfection.
IMG_0222The idea of “perfect imperfection” has grown and thrived (most notably, the wabi sabi movement) for good reason: perfect is boring. For Rina and Chen, hand building is essential to their craft. The raw or imperfect aspect becomes even more apparent when they focus on linear and geometric shapes. Blume Studio finds magic in that intersection between the strive for perfection/symmetry and the less perfect human touch. IMG_0223 IMG_9953

Blue Studios works primarily with sterling silver and brass. When inspired by a specific theme, Rina and Chen will sometimes use rocks or other found objects, what matters most is how their jewelry answers the question at hand.


We can’t wait to see Blume Studio at our LA Fair, and we hope you’re able to stop by their booth to say hello. You can find Blume Studio online here: