Studio Visit: 3rd Season

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We were very fortunate to spend some time with Mabel and Alycia of 3rd Season and check out their amazing home studio in Southern California. Check out our photo journal of our visit and learn more about this amazing duo!001-2015RCF-3rd season-studio visit-5905

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

Our name symbolizes both of us being born in the 3rd season of the year and, starting our business during the 3rd decade of our lives – our 30’s. It’s also been a running theme of ours that it’s not until the 3rd season in a series that things really get interesting!

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

We met in school circa 2000 and came together again, creatively, about 10 years later. We both have backgrounds in fine art and textiles. History and obsession with pattern and color in textiles go back to our individual childhood days. Mabel with her mom’s influence from downtown LA’s garment industry of 35+ years and Alycia, originally from Malaysia, has been influenced by cultural forms of art and traditional techniques, which we currently apply to our design approach.

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

Return customers are the best! Meeting them face to face and hearing feedback always has a positive impact on us, a guide to where we’re going with our line. All of it makes us proud –There isn’t only one favorite moment, but a continuous flow of favorite moments!

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019-2015RCF-3rd season-studio visit-5958Where do you want your business to be in 2-5 years?

As a small business there are multitudes of possibilities in our future, potentially some we haven’t yet been presented with. The only certainty is that we are going to continue to grow, design and stay inspired. In 2-5 years we want to have a solid foundation to rely on – structure, work-force and culture. We want to be flexible enough to move with emerging trends and technology, while keeping rooted in our artistic tradition.

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

Textile designing for manufacturers and business managing in the corporate private-sector provided us with valuable lessons, certainly in regards to what-not-to-do as business owners. However, we constantly draw upon from our background in studio art, the fundamentals of line, space and color – always going back to basics is important for us to do, when faced with a design challenge.

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

Too many ideas that needed to be turned into action ASAP! To be truly independent, with full creative license, is important and necessary for us to do the things we want to do. We wanted to be decision makers and to have control of our business in terms of growth and direction.

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

Stay focused and true to your vision – everything takes time to grow.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

Science, space, nature and the world as a whole, from micro to macro, from light to dark.

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

Ceramics!

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

We haven’t had much free time since starting 3rd Season, but any free time we have is most often spent travelling. Next up in January 2016 we’ll be headed to Amsterdam with a stop in London and Paris. Our winter 2016 collection is inspired by Amsterdam – plaids, tweeds and a touch of LA grunge street style.

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

Personal time and space, our entire lives and most importantly, our sanity and peace of mind. Ultimately, there is no other way to build a business from scratch, without an enormous amount of sacrifice – it’s inherent to the job. So far, no regrets!

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What is your favorite part of your studio/workspace?

Our favorite part of our workspace is that it is also our home, I guess its bitter sweet in too many ways.

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Love love love these two and their clothes and accessories! Check out the full set of photos on Flickr and make sure to say hello to 3rd Season at our LA Fair today and Sunday!

Maker Spotlight: Alex Steele

Alex Steele, Handpainted ShirtsOur LA Holiday Fair is going to be dangerous for our wallets. Too many incredible vendors are headed to Grand Park, one in particular being Oakland based artist, Alex Steele. Look out for these textiles, jewelry, and accessories this weekend!
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Have you always been passionate about design?

I have always been passionate about art and design. Making it, observing it, interacting with it.  If I am not producing creative work, I feel off-center, and when I find my drive of inspiration, I can’t stop! It feels like art is actually what I am made of.

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

I started working towards building a  brand of wearable and functional  art because I wanted to merge my interdisciplinary art  background into the craft world to make my art more attainable. I saw an outlet for creating art that is not meant to be untouchable, by individually hand painting designs on clothing. I have continued to make textile artwork that can be worn (painted clothing, collage apparel, Jewelry)  and design what can be used in the home (pillows that are  painted and collaged, concrete sculptures). I also can’t keep my hands or my mind from working with different mediums, and I found that working in the realm of craft fairs is the perfect place for me to exhibit the miscellaneous things I make and sell them (a reward for something I am going to be making anyway!)
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What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?

I think what makes my work stand out is the fact that each piece is not screen printed, or stenciled….I am hand painting everything in multiples, or in some cases there are one of a kinds. This is what I find most satisfying and special about what I do. Everything is going to be its own version.

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

Well, I think becoming unemployed was somewhat of a failure even though it was not to my fault. But, it turns out you can really make your dreams happen when you are left with your thoughts to realize what it is you would rather be doing with your life.

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

It’s hardly a sacrifice to be creating my business because I would be making what I am making regardless of earning money from it. But, I guess the sacrificing comes in the form of isolation in order to focus. Creating a business  is also very costly, but I would rather spend my money on funding my business future than other things.  And no, I don’t regret anything so far. Even participating in some craft fairs that were not well attended, because it is all experience that helps me grow.

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

I think it is when I see my work posted or written about, like this feature!

How does the city you live in influence your work?

Living in the Bay Area for a decade now has influenced my work in the form of colors, material, and production. I live in a city with an abundance of craft fairs and venues that support artists, with a public appreciation for the hand crafted.

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

I have experience in the construction and preparation of museum exhibits and dioramas, as well as in retail visual merchandising. Both have been extremely helpful in honing the craft and presentation of my work, including the display of my booth at craft fairs. 

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

I did it because if I am going to be working full time on anything, it’s going to be on my own dream.

What are some inspirations for your work?

I love African mud cloths, Egyptian art, Atelier Bingo, Miami (my hometown), nature, hardware stores, salvage yards, scraps of fabric or paper, architecture, Keith Haring, music, sex.

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

Most importantly, believe in yourself. Secondly, turn your influences into an inspiration and make it your own. And, just keep doing what it is you do, you’ll only get better.

Alex Steele, Pillows

What are you most excited to see this weekend at our LA Fair? Don’t forget to swing by Grand Park from 10-5 and be sure to say hello to Alex in person. In the meantime, stay up to date with Alex Steele online here:

Website

Instagram

Maker Spotlight: Delusions of Grandeur

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One of our favorites, Keren Kemp of Delusions of Grandeur will be bringing her awesome jewelry to our LA Holiday Fair this weekend! Everyone, rejoice!

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

The name Delusions of Grandeur came out of a very specific conversation I had with my cousin and cousin-in-law in 2010 while wandering around a beautiful interiors shop on a fancy street in Los Angeles. At the time we were all “figuring out” our creative/career paths and declared we all had delusions of grandeur, but hadn’t yet found a focus for them. About 6 months later I started the business and the name felt like the perfect fit.

Have you always been passionate about design?

Yes, I’ve always been creating in some form or another. I was just recently reminded that when I was a kid I was making and selling earrings to my teachers in the 5th grade.

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

I studied jewelry/metal arts in college… Put it on the back burner for about 10 years. Became a graphic designer, worked at a bunch of not so interesting jobs, then got back to it. Crazy how the full-circle thing works!

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What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?

I find that there is a fine balance between over and under designing. I try to keep that in check by keeping things simple, quirky with a sense of sophistication. My process is pretty unconventional and I’m always experimenting with new techniques.

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

Oof, daily. The important thing is to keep learning from them and not getting discouraged. I think that’s the hardest part of running a small business.

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

Choosing not to have a steady income with benefits, carefree weekends, and payed vacation sometimes feels like a sacrifice but working for anyone else just isn’t my jam. I have never regretted going down this path, I love the freedom way too much!

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

I love spotting jewelry I’ve created on someone walking down the street, or in a random place. It always puts a smile on my face.

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How does the city you live in influence your work?

Honestly, it doesn’t really. I tend to find more inspiration when I leave Los Angeles.

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

Over the years I’ve had all sorts of jobs and worn may hats. I’ve applied what seems to have worked for others and tried to stay away from what hasn’t.

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

It’s always seemed crazy to me to put every bit of your energy and talent into someone else’s dream. I’ve always been an all or nothing sort of person, so this really was the only option!

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What are some inspirations for your work?

The High Desert, freeway systems, and staring into space definitely influence but mostly I find inspiration from the most RANDOM mundane things.

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

Just do it, take the leap and don’t look back. The hardest part is getting started.

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Mark your calendars for our LA Fair this weekend, and check out Delusions of Grandeur online here:

Website

Instagram

Maker Spotlight: WKND LA

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Beautiful things are headed to Grand Park for our LA Holiday Fair this weekend! What specifically? Well, for starters, Cindy Hsu Zell of WKND LA will be bringing some serious style and we cannot wait to scoop some of these pieces up!

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

Back when I was working a full-time job, making art was something I only had time and energy to do on weekends. WKNDLA was named after my favorite time and place, the only time I had to work on my own pieces. In March of this year I decided that I needed to give my ideas a chance and gave myself permission to pursue them full-time! My name is a constant reminder of how I got started and where I come from.

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

I’ve been making things my entire life and it seemed really obvious now that this is the path I would end up on. In college though I wasn’t convinced that I could make a living making art and tried a lot of other fields before I realized there’s really nothing else I’d rather do. I ended up majoring in fine arts and animation at USC and interned at Anthropologie my senior year. When I left four years later I was a senior display coordinator at the Santa Monica store. I love playing with different materials and working there taught me useful skills that I can’t live without today such as woodworking and time management, and some other fun techniques I may never use again, such as weaving large baskets with garden hose (:

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What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?

I think a lot of the character of my work comes from the fact that I am obsessed with the materials I use and love to figure out how things are made. For my large-scale pieces I walk and spin all of the rope I use from thread that I paint and combine with other colors. My wooden beads are shaped individually on a stationary disc sander, and my brass shapes are bent, cut, and soldered by hand. I take a lot of pride in my process, and love the organic result that comes from everything having that touch of hand involved.

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

I think the things I’ve sacrificed the most are emotional. It can get really lonely running a business on my own, and I could literally go days without seeing anyone else if I don’t leave my studio to run errands or make plans to spend time with others. I also worry about money a lot more now and wish it wasn’t so important sometimes. I think these things will get easier as time goes on, but I don’t have a single regret and love doing what I do!

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

My proudest moment was seeing my wall hangings on the Anthropologie website and in the fall home catalog this year! It was truly surreal to see my life with the company come full circle in the best way possible after all these years!

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

Say no to the opportunities you don’t 100% believe in, it’s okay to turn people down if you know it’s not a good fit. Take notes on everything you make! Even if it’s a one-time custom piece for a client, you never know if they’ll want you to make it for them again. Be fair to yourself when pricing your items and remember that you need to make a profit at the wholesale level too.

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Boy oh boy, we will have a very hard time deciding which one of these pieces will be coming home with us. Clear this weekend for Renegade LA and find WKND LA online here:

Website

Instagram

Maker Spotlight: Grit & Grain

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We love coming across unique items during application season, so when Grit + Grain showed up on our screens, it was true love. Our Los Angeles Fair kicks off this weekend, and we are thrilled to have Taylor Kibby of Grit + Grain join us!

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Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
The name was actually the happy result of a brainstorming powwow late one night with my father/mentor. We were talking about all the things I wanted people to feel and see when they find my work and I kept coming back to how much I wanted to break the boundary between art and utility. I want people to reach out and feel all the different textures that result from mixed media and feel comfortable taking a seemingly delicate piece and using it in the everyday bustle of life. Grit and Grain is all about the texture and strength that underlie each of my pieces.
Have you always been passionate about design?
I have always been really involved in the arts, though over the years that has meant anything from figure drawing to building furniture. My love for design comes from the fact that there is are endless amounts of techniques and ideas I have yet to tap into…that is very exciting for me!
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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I was working as a pastry cook and felt like I needed another creative outlet (plus I had the craziest hours at work and needed something to help wind down in the afternoon). I took up ceramics which had always been something I was interested in learning about; there is such an exciting mix of chance and skill in ceramics. The next logical step for me was stone carving because my father is a sculptor and it is something we have so much fun experimenting with together.
What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?
I think that what appeals to people in my designs, are that they are so simple in their geometry and execution, yet feel really sumptuous and seductive. That is a heady combination.
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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I have failures everyday; that is just part of the learning curve. Sometimes I’ll have a fantastic idea and when I try and make it into reality, I realize the physics of it will never work. What I’ve learned is that it is okay to step back and take the time to really educate yourself before you jump feet first into a project.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
There are the normal trials of my passion (my business) not being my main job.  I wish I could truly dedicate myself 7 days a week to it.  I regret that I didn’t take more technical classes while I was at University.  I think if I had been exposed earlier to welding, design theories etc. I could have started Grit and Grain as soon as I was out of school!
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What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
I started Grit and Grain just about a year ago, and it is crazy how quickly time passes! But my proudest moment so far was my first official sale to the incredible design store Lawson Fenning.  They picked up a few of my calcite trays and I couldn’t believe one of my favorite places to shop was now carrying my work!
How does the city you live in influence your work?
Drive.  Los Angeles is such a hub of ambition and creativity that what could have been a hobby for me, ended up being my primary focus and my first business.  I’m grateful for the energy you find here.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
I’m not sure I had any to be honest!  That’s the beauty of being  young entrepreneur… you dive in head first. I suppose having no fear is sometimes an incredibly valuable asset…
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What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
It simply seemed like the best way to work towards being the person I aspire to be. I felt like being my own boss would push me to work harder, make time for more creative experiences in my life, and would ultimately make me happier.
 
What are some inspirations for your work?
I pull from all over, and with unprecedented access to amazing artists out there, it is easy to be inspired. I have a deep affinity with the Bauhaus movement and also a lot of Japanese craftsmen like Ruka Kikuchi.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
I think the only advice I would pass on is to take on each learning experience like it is the best adventure you’ll ever be on.  The failures are just as valuable as the success.

There is a lot of spontaneity in my work. Each piece of stone I cut for trivets and dishes are completely unique in shape and size and even the stone itself varies greatly from one piece to the next. I like this easy flow in combination with the modern brass and wood accents because I am a person that enjoys the unsettling combination of order and chaos.

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Can’t wait for this weekend! Los Angeles, here we come! You can find Grit + Grain grain in person at our fair, and online here:

Website

Instagram

Maker Spotlight: Melissa Sonico

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After a chilly (albeit mild) Chicago weekend, we cannot wait to head to LA where the sun is shining and the skies are clear. First time Renegade Maker, Melissa Sonico will be selling her jewelry and accessories at Grand Park this weekend and we can’t wait to pick up some holiday gifts! Processed with VSCOcam with j5 preset

Have you always been passionate about design?

I’ve always had an interest in design across different platforms. Only recently have I ventured outside of the abstract to making something tangible.

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

I started designing and making necklaces a little over a year ago, mainly just for friends and family. It’s been a little under a year since I’ve been selling them. The switch was spurred on by my family and friends who really supported me.

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What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

It’s hard not to be influenced by other makers, but I think there’s plenty of room for everyone’s visions, and the fact that my designs are handmade and are infused with my own aesthetics (down to the colors, textures, shapes, and materials) makes each piece individual from each other, not to mention anyone else’s designs.

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

It was something I’d never had any exposure to before; but in this competitive business, I’ve found that I’m going to run into people who don’t want me to succeed for whatever reason. It was humbling and anxiety-inducing, but I got a lot of support and advice from people who have been in the industry a lot longer—they’ve been so helpful and inspiring. They taught me to develop thicker skin which is so, so important in any line of work.

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

I’ve been incredibly lucky to love doing what I do, so in that aspect I don’t really see myself having had any sacrifices or regrets.

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

The positive feedback and the love from all the other independent makers in this business really make the experience worthwhile. Any small bit of success is owed to my little community of creatives I’ve met and collaborated with.

How does the city you live in influence your work?

I’m not sure there’s a direct connection between the two, but I do name each necklace after street names in my town!

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

I really went in blind, taking photos on my iPhone, taking care of all parts of production from my little one-bedroom cottage while teaching college English, and hoping for the best. Again, I have to say I’m pretty lucky to have had the progress I’ve had so far.

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

Creating is something that I think is inherent to my happiness, and the appeal of doing for a living outweighed other job options.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

I’m inspired by color and texture and mixing different sorts of materials like metals and threads and clay. Neutral pairings and little pops of color and shine.

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

Advice is a tricky thing because one thing that works for someone might not work for someone else. It’s really a matter of following your instincts, but I do have a few friends I go to for help. I guess I’d say to accept help when it’s given.

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So thrilled that Our Holiday LA Fair is setting up at Grand Park this weekend! Keep your weekend clear for some serious shopping. In the meantime, check out Melissa Sonico online here:

Website

Instagram

 

 

Maker Spotlight: 1.61 Soft Goods

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Everything 1.61 Goods makes is on our wish lists! We can’t wait to meet Diana and Wes at our LA Holiday Fair and stock up on gifts!

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

1.61 represents the golden ratio. The number symbolizes our core focus of all products; the beauty in proportion with an emphasis on the utility and function of its purpose.

Have you always been passionate about design?

Yes, we both studied Product design at college. We like the aspect of problem solving through design.
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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

As we studied design at school, we always liked to make things with our hands. Wes started designing a line of bike bags on the side while having day job. Like a typical startup story, it started from a kitchen counter. Diana joined in her last year of college. We both admire traditional craftsmanship of leather goods and soft goods, but felt that there are lack of modern functionality in them. So we decided to design bags/accessories that fits our lifestyle with traditional craftsmanship quality.

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

Instead of looking at the trends of fashion, we design based on problems. We identify what is lacking on the design, and improve or make new design from there.

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

Yes, with each failure we use it as an experience to gain from. We try to analyze what happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

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

Having own business means, there are no weekends. We know that we have unhealthy work hours. It is getting better as the company grows. We miss events and parties sometimes, but no regrets. After all, we truly enjoy making and designing.

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

Customers have come to us and told us that they always carry our products with them. One customer even wrote us an email, he got robbed at a convenience store  because he was showing off our product!

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How does the city you live in influence your work? 

Los Angeles doesn’t have a single identity or quality that defines it as a city, it has many different subcultures, and identities in different parts of the city and that flexibility influences our work. The fast paced vibe of Los Angeles is also very motivating; it seems like great new brands/companies are growing quickly out of this city.

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

Honestly, I don’t think anything you have experienced in your life will go waste. I feel that I have learned and gained great insights from all the past jobs and experienced I’ve had. Even the simple accounting task or office desk jobs have been valuable when it comes to owning your own business. Also working in different jobs outside of design helped us think about problem solving in different ways.

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

I think the freedom and responsibility of how successful you are is up to you and that made me want to be my own boss. I also love the fact that I could potentially live anywhere in the world and still make soft goods through my own brand.

What are some inspirations for your work?

Nature, and the ever-changing modern lifestyle. We are also inspired by material itself and how it will age.

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

Be organized. Take good pictures. Know what your core focus, don’t get carried away by trends or moods. Make time for yourself, if you don’t make a habit of stepping away from work (something we struggle with) it will takeover every aspect of your life.

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Don’t you just love all of 1.61’s color combinations and photos? We cannot wait to see all of these designs in person, and we hope to see ya’ll at our LA Fair coming up December 12+13! Meanwhile, find 1.61 online here:

Website
Instagram

Maker Spotlight: 323 Clothing

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There are some brands out there that captivate your attention as soon as you see it, and 323 Clothing is one of those brands. For me, personally, I saw 323’s denim jumper on Instagram and immediately had to have it. Finding out Jillian Maddock was bringing her designs to our LA Holiday Fair was a huge thrill! Can’t wait for you all to fall in love.

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Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
I decided to name my business 323 after my birthday which is March 23, and the area code where I live which is 323.
Have you always been passionate about design?
I have always been very passionate about art and as I got older my passion sort of shifted to design. I used to study painting, but always felt disconnected from the process of it. It took me a while to figure out, but I’m starting to feel comfortable with my ability to meld my artistic expression with wearable clothing.
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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I was always fascinated with the craft of sewing, so I got my first sewing machine when I was 15. I learned how to sew by making embroidered quilts for friends and taking apart vintage clothing to learn about construction and pattern making.
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What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?
I am in great support of comfortable fashion for women and when I design I am fully invested in that principle.
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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I’ve had plenty of failures so far- My biggest failures have been caused by impatience on my part. In the past I’ve been so eager to grow and make that I end up messing up. I’ve learned to slow down and breathe- I’ve noticed that when I do that I am not only saner, but my designs are better.
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Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
I’ve sacrificed a lot of free time to create my business, but I don’t regret it at all. My business is by far the most fun thing I’ve ever done.
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What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
My proudest moment since starting 323 was when I finished designing the infinite boob symbol. It’s a feminist symbol that I am very proud to share with others.
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What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
I heard someone put what I’ve been telling myself into the most perfect words recently- Do not wait to want. Meaning, don’t wait until you want to make something, you just have to just start and the rest will follow!

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Aren’t these pieces just amazing? Prep yourself for our LA Fair by getting acquainted with 323 online here:

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Instagram

Maker Spotlight: JOLN

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Everyone could use a good jacket, and right now we’re swooning over this anorak by JOLN. Not only is this jacket just about perfect, but Joln also makes amazing men’s AND women’s wear. You can snag all of these at our New York Holiday Fair (and a few more upcoming Fairs) next weekend!BLK BOX FRT 2

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

JOLN is the acronym for my name.  JoEllen aka Jo-Ell-en.  It’s actually been my handle since I was about 13 and created my first aol AIM account. 

Have you always been passionate about design?

Yes.   I love the idea of imagining something, and then being able to execute it and create it in real life.   I believe design requires actual skill and theory, and to be a designer, is to be thoughtful about that which you imagine.

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

I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was nine and have been pursuing it since then.    My great aunt was a fashion designer and the day I met her, I thought she was the most glamorous person I’d ever seen.  I decided that day that I would be a fashion designer.   I have always loved to draw, but that really shaped me.

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What do you think sets your designs  apart from others?

That’s a tough one.  My designs are inspired by real people, and what I think real people want to wear.  I make clothing that is soft, beautiful, interesting, and conscious.  It’s all about the details and the quality.  I like to play with found fabrics and textures,  and reinvent them into something wearable.

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

Absolutely.  I have made some pretty expensive mistakes, but try to learn from each one.   Nothing is perfect.  Everything can always be better.  So cutting yourself some slack and forgiveness is the only way you keep moving forward.

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

Yes.  I gave up a pretty great career as a corporate fashion designer to start my business.  My only regret is that it took me a few months to really focus and get started.  

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How does the city you live in influence your work?

LA is an amazing place.  There are so many creative people here, and there are so many people pursuing their passions.  It also has the resources to make things locally, which completely changed the way I thought about starting my business.

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

I had been a menswear designer for about ten years before going out on my own.  I knew how to make a shirt, so I started there.

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

I left my job almost 10 years to the day of my college graduation.  I thought,  10 years is a good run, and I learned a lot, but now it’s time for me to follow my dream.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

I am always inspired by fabrics.  I see something, and I instantly visualize what it could be.  For example, I saw a tent in a warehouse and my mind just went: Coat.   Then, I had to make it happen.  I wish I knew a better way to explain it.  I also think my friends are a big influence in the way I style things and the shapes/fits I create. .  I’m making things for us.  

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

It’s a rollercoaster.  I was told that only Patience, Passion, and Perseverance will see you thru.  So far, it’s working for me.

Fun fact: My logo and it’s colors are inspired by the activist Corita Kent.  She was a badass woman who cared about people and making a difference.  I also use a neon pink stitch on every style.  It’s my way of making sure nothing becomes too serious.  When it stops being fun, something is broken.

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It’s not often one comes across a clothing brand that offers pieces that are lovable across the board, which is why we consider JOLN such a gem! We can’t wait to spend time with JoEllen at several of our Holiday Fairs this season (New York, San Francisco, LA, and Seattle). We see some wardrobe upgrades in our futures. You can find JOLN online here:

Website

Instagram

Our LA Roster is Live!

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Row 1: FAWN + CUB | ATTALIE DEXTER | THE SMALL + SAVAGE WILD | Row 2: BLACK PHOEBE CERAMICS | 323 CLOTHING | MELISSA SONICO | Row 3: HANNAH BEATRICE QUINN | SQIRL | HALFMORTON

Our sunniest Fair of the season is taking place December 12 + 13 in Los Angeles. This is one of our favorite places to be during the holidays and we think these outstanding makers agree! Spend the weekend with us outside in the crisp air shopping for gifts and feasting at food trucks. It’s going to be a good one and we think the LA Roster provides substantial evidence, don’t you think?

Shop Visit: Summer Camp in Ojai

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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WHOLESALE ETIQUETTE 

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 :)

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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 hollin@renegadecraft.com.

Thank You, LA!

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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!

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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:
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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!

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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!

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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:
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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!

FOOD + TREATS
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
Falasophy
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.

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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!

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

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ROW 1: ROPEMAKER BY DANA FUNARU | REBE | LOVE JULES LEATHER CO | ROW 2: JENI’S ICE CREAM | ORU | THE GOOD TWIN | ROW 3: RYZE PROJECT | ILANO DESIGN | M. CARTER SHOP

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 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 #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!

SAFFRON + KUMQUATS

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

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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!

SPREAD THE LOVE

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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.

 BLOOM HONEY

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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!

GULLAH GIRL TEA

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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.

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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. 
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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.
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 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

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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.

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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:
Website
Instagram
Facebook