Friday, December 18, 2015

It's Show Time!

Meet Carolina Losada from Needles...
I am Carolina Losada, and I am currently working as an au Pair in Ohio, my mom is Gloria and she started doing scarves and hats before I was born 24 years ago, she decided to knit and designed clothes because I am the only girl between my two brothers, and she made everything for me when I was little. It is going to be our first craft show and we are so excited!

We think this is a good way of let people know about my mom´s work, she gets inspired in her creations with her 6 grandsons and granddaughters, she likes to read magazines about the new fashion for kids and try to do something new that could fit with it. My mom and I want our business to grow up more and spread it out in other countries :)
We want to let grown ups and kids know about the importance and the power of your dreams, it doesn't matter how old or young you are there is not a specific time to work hard for them, and pursue your dreams everyday, my mom and I believe that working together as family we can reach our goals.  

The message behind our work is be happy, proud and yourself in everything you want to do in your life.

Meet Uma Maheswari from Ahilu Arts...
I'm Uma, from Tamilnad, India. First daughter in family. Did my B.Tech in information technology & MBA in human resources and was working in IBM India. Came to US as dependent after marriage in 2013. There started my journey of crochet. I was pregnant in July 2013. Since I was bored being idle in home, like most mothers, I too started making sweater, blanket, beanies for my baby. Later it kept on going and here I am doing this for two and half years now. 

What inspires me to create.. 'Happiness is Handmade' I personally feel this motto. Though we have elegant and expensive dress or accessories for any special occasions, it really gives immense pleasure to have something personally made for ourselves. When I first saw my son wearing the sweater I made for him, my happiness has no boundaries and it increases each time. This is what inspires me the most. 
How I discovered my talent.. My first plan was only to make a sweater for my baby. But to my surprise I enjoyed each stitch and so happy to see the finished product. Then I made a set with blanket, beanie, mittens and shoes. I got lot more appreciation from everyone and few of my friends order for their babies and asked me for teaching crochet. When I panicked to do this as business, my husband is the one who believes in me and encouraged me to go for it.  He's the one who discovered my talent before I do and understood how much I enjoy doing this. Now With humbleness I can say I'm quite talented with satisfied customers and students as well. 
My creative process... For a year, I was making the products of available patterns as the orders come with the pictures. Later I started trying to make my own patterns for small items. I did make a carseat organizer as free hand and few baby dresses for which I had the choice to select the design. I usually combine two three patterns or try out a pattern for different product. All I know is, you'll find something new each time you explore different things. And that's the important thing to be creative.

My five year plan.. I'm not sure if I will be in US or in India after 5 years. But no matter where I will be, I will have my own boutique with wide range of choices of crochet items for babies, toddlers, girls, women plus their own choice of custom order. I also would like to teach crochet for interested people professionally with dedicated place and a structured curriculum. May the Almighty bless me to do so.
The message being my work is that Everyone deserves to be special' We all have a very special person in our lives and we'll be special to someone. I personally feel that handmade is an wonderful way to express that they are very special to us. 

I'd also like to take this as an opportunity to thank my lovely husband 'KumaR' who has been the backbone of my business and my beloved son 'Ahilan' after who 'AhiluArts' was named. And thanks to you Becki for this. It really helps me to have a self review and know where I stand. 

Meet Robyn Martins from Homegrown Shadowbox Art...

At Homegrown Shadowbox Art, I work with a variety of materials to feature poetry, snippets of literature and other sentiments, and I set my favorite topics inside shadow boxes. This is my second Avant-Garde show.

As a lover of words, a poet and former creative director, I have always been drawn to ink on paper. Since I received my first paycheck as a teenage babysitter (years ago!), I began collecting old books from various book shops, carefully setting them on shelves and moving them with me to new shelves over the years along with my most prized possessions. In fact, some of these books ARE my most prized possessions. 

But some of them have deteriorated, and some I have begun to recognize as having more value when disassembled and paired with other things like aromatic roots from the neighbor's yard, feathers that have fallen from passing birds or bark that my birch trees have shed. And I have discovered the value of fitting all of these things into shadow boxes, giving them renewed life and relevant meaning.



More recently, a variety of sources have yielded vintage magazines along with more old books, and the stories and advertisements from past eras inspire my work as well. Sometimes all it takes is an ad for ladies' corsets or a new house plan from a 1934 issue of "Women's Home Companion" to spark the setting of a new box, new with old material, new with old ideas of the ideal life.

Each box I create is a world of its own—imagine climbing into the scene, parting the foliage for a better view, stepping lightly on the coiled prose for a place to take in the details. Then imagine these boxed worlds sitting on one of your own shelves or hanging in the perfect spot on your own wall.

Meet Simone Lindsay from Simi Lindsay..
Simi Lindsay Luxury Scented Soy Candles are made with 100% natural eco soy wax, a natural wooden wick made from organic wood or 100% cotton wicks, and high quality phtalate free fragrance oils, assuring you receive a cleaner burning, longer lasting, richly scented soy candle. Our candles are non-toxic, eco-friendly and water soluble. Since the candles are made with natural ingredients, the containers can be safely repurposed after cleaning with soap and hot water. SIMI LINDSAY brand Soy candles are a green, healthy choice for sharing and enjoying your favorite scents.
I have always been very interested in arts and crafts and I got inspired by another candle maker in Pennsylvania. I wanted to create candles with unique scents and with the environment in mind.

The creative process is to hand select each fragrance and to develop a candle that is handcrafted one at a time.
My five year goal.. I will see the business growing as an online business and wholesale business to other businesses by offering private label options.

My message is to create clean, eco friendly products that are enjoyed by people.

Meet Bryn Young from Larry and Boo's Emporium...
I am a fabric junkie and an inveterate DIY-er.  I always had decorating and sewing projects going on the weekends, and when I was off work having babies, I dabbled I. The craft show market and loved it.  But alas I had to go back to work and my projects returned to the weekends.  Despite being a single mom, working full time, and traveling for my job several times a year I still managed to keep my creative life alive.  When I retired in 2008 I finally got to focus on my creativity full time.

I began crafting as my main activity in 2008 in Florida where I had retired.  My neighborhood had a local farmers'/craft market every week so I started making little girls' dresses and stuffed owls and was pretty successful! We also do special orders! We have done a complete nursery, custom animals, custom yoga wall hangings, upholstery and curtains.
What inspires me is Fabric, fabric, fabric!!! I adore fabrics, so I have to make things so I can use the fabric I acquire.  I just see a fabric and know it is meant to be a certain animal or wall hanging to piece of clothing.  Also my customers.  They love that I use recycled (thrifted or donated), some vintage, fabrics and coordinate them in unexpected wants.  When they ask for an animal they don't see, I design one for the next show.  Sometimes the hardest decision is what to display on a 6 or 8 foot table because I have such a diverse menagerie.

How I discovered my talent.. My Mom (now gone) was always talented.  She upholstered our furniture and made most of my clothes, and when I had children, she made theirs.  She taught me to sew when I was in 7th grade.  I discovered my talent for sewing and decorating through her coaching.
My creative process.. Because I do so many shows now, I kind of have an assembly line.  I used to make each item individually, but it became inefficient.  So I savor each step:  shopping or sorting fabric, deciding what project for each, making a design, assembling all the "bling" that goes with the item.  After I have a group of "kits", I sew them.  I usually stuff while watching TV at night.
My five year goal.. I hope my following with grow and I will continue to create new patterns, product lines, etc., but quite honestly I don't have a major business plan.  I had to plan, schedule, go to meetings, budget, supervise others, write reports for 40 years, and now  I just want to create and share my creations with others.  My business provides fun money for tee times and dinners out and travel with friends.  That's more than enough for my "golden years".

My message behind my work is that cuteness and cuddlingwhimsey and fun, are crucial components of life for children AND adults; that spending $10 or $20 on something that makes you smile and may have no particular function, is OKAY! 

Meet Alena Ruman from Hodgepodge Knits...
My grandma taught me how to knit when I was in elementary school. But I lost interest and did other things. In high school, I took a crafts class with a knitting unit. I picked it up again right away and have been expanding my skill set ever since.

I love creating new patterns and combining new stitch combinations. I am what you would call an ADD knitter. I would be driven insane if I limited myself to the same 5 projects over and over again. That is exactly why my shop is called Hodgepodge Knits. Each item is unique and may never be seen again in the shop. I also sell original patterns so that you can be inspired too!
While I am ADD with the projects I create, when the needles are in my hands I can get very OCD! I notice every mistake I make, even if it is just 1 twisted stitch, and fix it on the spot. Rest assured, every product that passes through my hands are of the highest quality possible.


2015 Fairlawn Winterl Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, December 19, 2015
10:00am-5:00pm
St. George's Fellowship Center
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at Becki@ag-shows.com
Visit us on:
LINKEDIN




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Art with a Twist!

Meet Melissa Sweeney from Melissa Sweeney Photography...
My name is Melissa Sweeney and I work as a photographer in Knoxville, TN. I do mostly nature and travel photography but also do portrait photography locally. Before making my home in Knoxville earlier this year, I lived in Memphis, TN where I studied Anthropology and Spanish at The University of Memphis. Before that, I grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio in Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

I have been doing photography as a serious hobby and as a business for about eight months. I officially launched my business in August of this year. But before that, I always enjoyed photography on a smaller scale.
I'm inspired by nature and unique places. No matter how many gardens or parks you visit, each one has something different to offer. I'm inspired by discovering and capturing what each place has to offer. 

I've always loved photography and since I was a kid I've always loved any kind of crafting. I always sort of envisioned myself doing something creative and selling my work at shows, although for a long time I didn't have an idea what type of art I would get into. But during college I was focused on academics, getting work experience, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career, so I developed a different perspective and was more focused on stability rather than passion. After graduating, I quickly realized that working a 9-5 at a job I wasn't passionate about wasn't for me. At that point I wanted to pursue something more creative and find what my passion was. Then earlier this year, it finally clicked. I always found myself taking photographs everywhere I went and fascinated by photography. It only made sense to pursue it. Since then it has truly grown into my passion. 
I started in photography before I really thought that I had talent because it was something I wanted to do so I was willing to do all I can to learn it and become talented. Once I started learning, after a few photo sessions I would look back at the images I took and I actually liked quite a bit of them. Then in sharing them with friends and hearing positive feedback, that's when I started to realize that I did have talent in it. It all just felt very natural. 

My creative process starts by brainstorming interesting places to go, either ones that I've heard about from others or have learned about in research. But the most difficult part is choosing where to go first! There are hundreds of amazing places to visit within just a few hours of Knoxville, so often planning when to go to which location is the hardest part of the process. Next is to get out there and shoot anything that I find interesting and captivating. After that, it's a matter of deciding which works are the best and what products I want to turn each image into. 
In five years I hope to be doing art and craft shows on a regular basis and to have grown a strong following in my Etsy shop. Additionally, I hope to be regularly submitting to magazines, contests, galleries, etc. I would also like to increase and develop the portrait photography side of my business.

The message behind my work is about connectivity and bringing joy. There's something that can be so peaceful about nature but it can also be used to craft powerful messages. I think each of my pieces has a different message behind them, but my general message is to get out and discover what's around you, to find peace in nature, and to let it bring some type of happiness to you. 

For more of my work, please visit (www.melissasweeneyphoto.com) and my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/MelissaSweeneyPhoto). 
Meet Susan Kurtz from Susie Kays...
I am a wife, a mother of three school age children, an artist and a treasure hunter.  My family has moved many times, and my crafting has kept me sane.  I have a Bachelor of Arts in Design, and I am also a graduate Jeweler Gemologist.  I have always had a love for sparkly items, starting from when I was very young.  I would sneak up to my Grandmothers Attic and try on her sequin dresses, and all of her rhinestones.  I love taking something, and creating something different with it.  I love Vintage items, and creating “new” from the old.

I have been in the jewelry industry since the 1990’s, and have been crafting as long as I can remember.  I inherited my Great Aunts jewelry collection, and that turned into my desire to create Brooch bouquets.  I have worked with many Brides, and have even been a featured artist on many bridal Blogs.  I create custom headpieces, centerpieces, bouquets and cake toppers.  I also love up-cycling, and creating new jewelry from Antiques.  You will find me selling my Jewelry items at the Avant Garde Shows, but can always create custom items.
I become inspired to create, by my general lack of non-creating.  Sounds strange, but if I do not create something for a few days, I get this urge.  One day it may be to sew, one day it may be to bead.  Vintage items inspire me, and I love turning them into something unique. 

I left the Retail Diamond jewelry industry when I had children.  By creating my own items, it enabled me to stay at home with them.  I opened my Etsy store in 2011.
I have always been artistic.  I enjoy working with my hands, and my mother taught me to sew.  I have a good eye for design, and create things that I would want to have for myself.

A bouquet usually starts with a color, or a specific brooch that I will work around.  I group them by size and shape and work out an appealing design.  The jewelry is usually inspired by something that I would actually want to wear. 
I would hope that I could still make a little “mad money” by selling my craft items.  I don’t need to be the biggest; I just hope to make a little extra from my work.  I enjoy working with Brides, and love being involved in such a special day.

The message behind my work: Create what makes you happy.

Please visit my Etsy store and my Facebook page!

Meet Holly Oyster from CroMagna Creations...
I’m a 45 year old mother of 2 and co-owner of a successful industrial service company.   I left behind a career in Classical Archaeology during the 90’s when I burnt out on my PhD, but i still dabble by volunteering for regional digs, and I keep in touch with my old crew on the dig in Turkey.  I’ve traveled extensively in Greece, Turkey and Egypt, and I know 7 languages, although most of them are very rusty now due to lack of use.
I learned to crochet when i was a child, taught by my mother.  I did little with it then, and forgot most of what I knew.  Then when I was 36 and pregnant with my daughter, my stepdaughter needed a new blankie because she was no longer permitted to bring hers to our house from her mom’s.  I had a family friend come over and re-teach me, and I took to it immediately.  My daughter is now 8, and I’ve been going non-stop since.
What inspires me to create.. color, texture, and difficulty - I love bright cascading colors, and I’m a sucker for any high quality yarn that uses them.  I find a yarn with a lovely feel, using bright or complimentary colors, and I can’t wait to find a use for it.  Besides that, i’m always looking for a challenge - if a pattern is too easy, I grow bored quickly and I struggle to finish the project.  I’m always looking for the next, most challenging project, and often I design my own patterns because I can’t find anything like what I see in my head.

My creative process.. 
Oddly enough, the cliche about the artist waking up with a sudden brainstorm is very very accurate.  If i’m stumped on a project, and i can’t figure out how to do something I want to do, I often have the idea pop fully formed into my head when i’m laying down just falling asleep.  For instance, I was working on a baby-doll type tank top for myself, and i didn’t like the way the pattern was written for the back and straps.  I kept playing with it, but nothing worked the way I wanted.  I laid down for a nap that day (my daughter was a toddler at the time) and as I drifted to sleep, the back and strap design popped into my head, and i immediately know it would work exactly the way i wanted.  I finished it the following day.  More than once I’ve had to get up and sketch out what I visualize so that i won’t forget it.  
My five year plan.. I mostly create and vend in order to share what i do with others.  I’m not expecting to get rich, i’m not expecting to open an online store and sell large qualities of anything I create.  I enjoy sharing what I’ve created and getting feedback on it.  i love interacting with the other vendors and getting their take on what I do.  i LOVE seeing people appreciate my work and really enjoy when they ask questions about it.  If anything, I’d hope that in 5 years I will have a few published patterns that will sell moderately well and that I can help others learn the versatility of crochet and that you don’t have to be a knitter to be able to create beautiful, high-quality items from yarn.

The message behind my work: beauty, originality, self-reliance. I vend to sell the items I will be making anyway out of love of the craft…and so I can justify buying more yarn.  :)

My name is Karlisha Anderson from Sensuous by Karli...
I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated from Cleveland School of the Arts in 2003.  My focus was visual arts and photography.  I am a breast cancer survivor and I have been in remission for 3 years now.  I also have multiple sclerosis which prevents me from working a traditional job five days a week. Currently, I am a stay at home mom. Although I love being at home taking care of my family, there is so much more I would like to do with my life.  I love art!  

I am a creative person and I love helping people.  So in March of 2015 I started Sensuous by Karli.  I want customers to experience the bliss that emerges when they see, touch and smell products created by Sensuous.  
My current product line includes scented candles and handcrafted candle holder sets.  My goal is to expand my product line early 2016 and in 5 years, I dream of being a household name. I want to open a few boutiques throughout the state of Ohio to showcase my work.  

This is the first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show I will be participating in and I hope it won’t be the last.  I am very excited about this experience and I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of new people.

2015 Fairlawn Winterl Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, December 19, 2015
10:00am-5:00pm
St. George's Fellowship Center
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at Becki@ag-shows.com
Visit us on:
LINKEDIN

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Get Festive in Fairlawn This Weekend!

Meet Sandi Smith from Ductape Wallet Co...
The art you see me offering for sale is created by members of my entire family, my husband, children, aunt and mother are all artists working together to bring customers a variety of unique items. I have been making Ductape wallets for nearly 20 years, and have been vending artisan events for about 10.
 
For me, inspiration is all around, from the color of a sunset to a new printed duck tape, to a special request from a customer. I started making things to make ends meet while my children were very young so I could stay home to raise them, then they started making things and now its a full time job.
 
I have always been good at making a mess, so I guess I discovered my talent when I decided to practice working with duck tape, and then I 've branched out into other areas as something caught my attention as something I wanted to learn how to do, like knitting.
 
My creative process varys depending on what i'm working on, but I usually mix things up, I'll work on one thing for a few days, then switch to something else so I dont get burned out doing the same thing over and over.
 
I hope in 5 years I have a lot more returning customers seeking my products, and an even bigger online presence where custom orders can be filled. The message in my work is FAMILY FIRST! If my family didn't believe in me, if we didn't work together we would not have the unique high quality things we have to offer!
Ductape Wallet Co. and Pegahorn Forest Alpacas is SO MUCH MORE than just duck tape and knitting, we offer one of a kind upcycled tee shirts, fairy hair ponytail hair accessories, photography,  alpaca bracelets, and are always open to working on a custom order for someone.  A link to my facebook page that has photo albums of wallets, alpaca ware, white washed wings and more would be a great thing to add.

Meet Mimi Norris from Herbs and Such...
I am a transplant of 30 years from Boston Massachusetts. I have lived in Norton for 28 of those years. I am a mother of 4 and grandmother to 7. I am recently retired and exploring areas that can keep me busy. Herbs & Such is one of those areas. I have actually only been doing Herbs & Such since around March / April this year. I started selling my products in August.

What inspires me.. My focus is mainly on relaxation and pain relief. So, I guess you could say stress and pain! I also enjoy gardening and sharing my organic delights. I don’t like chemical products so as I explore and I am learning new ways to make useful non-chemical products such as my insect repellent and headache cream. As I explore, I find new ways to use the essential and fragrance oils. So being able to create something that looks and smells beautiful for others to enjoy is also an inspiration
How I got into my craft.. Aside from stress and pain, pure boredom. I just can’t sit still. I have played a bit with crochet but I’m not very good at it! I’m not artistic as in painting. I love to cook but presently I am not able. Gardening is seasonal here in Ohio. So, I needed something to put my focus into. Hot and cold packs are easy for me and an awesome pain reliever. I bathe my own bedroom in lavender and so I have much lavender product to relax. Bath minerals are a great way to replenish the skin and body and relax at the same time. So, there you have what started me!
How I discovered my talent.. I really don’t consider it a talent yet. I would make something and someone would ask me to make it for them and then their friend would like it and so on. Or someone would just mention it would be nice to have this or that. I would think on it and if I could make it I would. The intent wasn’t there, it just came about.

My creative process.. I really can’t describe it much more than someone asks me about this or that and then I’m making it. I think it’s been that way for me all my life with nearly everything including my cooking/baking and gardening, pretty much anything and everything. Lately, I just see things at the store – I repurpose a bit – and it clicks that I can make something with it. I have no idea what but it comes to me later. That’s how I made a scented Christmas tree that I just finished.
My five year goal.. I don’t know! Busy I think! There is a very big movement away from chemicals, away from corporate products. I understand somewhere along the line corporations have a place but when it comes to basic needs and very personal needs, people are no longer confident that the corporations have the person’s best interest and best health as the corporations’ motivator. There is much more back to nature, back to the back yard, and back to grandma’s remedies now. I believe the movement will keep growing stronger and moving wider.

My message behind my work is that you don’t have to poison your entire body to relieve a problem in one area and you do not have to pay outrageous prices to obtain organic or natural products. Grandma did have remedies that worked for just about everything and I’m working on bringing those all back.

Meet Melissa Hunter and Tina Placko from Six Cats, Two Hooks...
Silly name, huh?   Six Cats, Two Hooks?   Funny name.  We thought so, too.  My name is Melissa Hunter and I am one of the owners of Six Cats, Two Hooks along with my co-creationist Tina Placko. We wanted a business name that would be hard to forget, something people would remember.   We get a lot of questions and comments regarding our name.  Six Cats, Two Hooks.  

So, where does this story begin?  About twenty years ago.  Yep, that’s when I first met my co-creator, Tina.  Our boys grew up together…both now grown with children of their own.  So that makes us grandparents.  Wow.  Young grandparents.   We are creative, talented, inspired by others (thanks, Kat!), and wanting to make a difference.  Leaving less of a footprint behind.  Reduce, reuse, recycle or upcycle in our case.  
Our adventure in sweaters began about four years ago creating “coats” from sweaters.  From a simple photograph and basic instructions and we were hooked.  Creating unique, wearable pieces.  The coats we created also started to become other items we simply designed.  All one of a kind pieces…scarves, ponchos, arm warmers and mittens, blankets and throws.  All material selected is recycled or “upcycled” from quality materials such as wool, including merino and lambswool, alpaca and cashmere, cotton and some vintage items.  All fabrics used are carefully washed and preshrunk by a process called felting.  Materials are then disassembled and carefully inspected and turned into unique one of a kind pieces using an industrial serger giving each item a “patchwork” look with seams on the “outside”.  
Over the last four years we have participated in a number of juried art and craft shows in Northeastern Ohio such as Christmas in the Woods, The Butler Holiday Art & Craft Show, The Village Peddler, Hale Farm and a few others.  This is our first show with Avante-Garde and we are looking forward to it.   We have created beautiful new items with this unique process which we are excited to share with everyone at this years show.

You can find us at:  www.facebook.com/sixcatstwohooks or email us at:  sixcatstwohooks@gmail.com.

Meet Jeanne Petrous-Rivera from Red Lotus Foods LLC...
My background includes 15 years in the hospitality industry, 10 years teaching English as a Second Language both in the US and abroad, and a very short stint as an RN. It seemed to me that becoming an entrepreneur was the next logical step in my journey. I spent a lot of time in my twenties and thirties traveling internationally and moving around quite a bit. I've been back in CLE for fifteen years and am so happy living close to the lake (Edgewater Park). I walk to the water's edge at least a few times a week, all year round. My business partner is my husband, Alejandro Rivera, and our assistant is Flaco, an Italian Doxie that we rescued from the Cleveland Kennel. We launched in May 2014
What inspires me.. My inspiration is to offer people a delicious dairy alternative that doesn't make them feel like they are depriving themselves of anything by not consuming dairy products.

How I got into my craft.. Being vegan and knowing that it can be very difficult for people to give up cheese, whether it be for health reasons, ethical reasons, or whatever. There are simply not enough delicious dairy alternatives available to make it easy for people to find one that really satisfies their craving.

How I discovered my talent.. I learned to cook with my mom and by working in restaurants for 15 years (as a server/bartender, so it was mostly just by watching), also with cookbooks. The product that we make requires a multi-step process which takes several days to complete. After talking to many people who have tried to ferment cashews or other nuts with disastrous (and inedible!) results, I found that I have the knack for it and my products are really quite delicious. The fermentation lends a quality that you just can't get with vinegar or lemon juice.
My creative process.. I'm usually led by what people are craving, what they feel is missing in their lives. Our newest product, Spicy Chipotle Sour & Creamy Topping, is a version of our plain Sour & Creamy with a smoky kick. People love it!

Our five year goal... We plan to be distributing on a national level.

The message behind our work is it's easy to live in line with your values and not feel like you are giving anything up!

Meet Amy Campbell from Amy's Beauty Jams..
Amy's Beauty Jams is a new Akron business run by a mother-daughter team. When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012 I began to re-evaluate my lifestyle, which was full of hidden toxins. While my family and I had tried to live a relatively natural life, upon further inspection I realized that many of the "green" commercial products we were using were still contributing to the toxins in our home. Many of them were hiding in our personal care products. This is when my family and I began our journey to completely natural living. 

I have been making natural products for my friends and family since around 2012 when I began eliminating toxins from my home. Due to demand, in August of 2015 my daughter and I began building a business. We have just began our journey into craft shows just in time for the Christmas season! We have done just a few others, but this will be our first Avant-Garde show and we look forward to more.

We are passionate about spreading clean, natural living to our community. Eliminating commercial toxic products from your life is a big step. There are a lot of adjustments to make, however, I am trying to bring healthy products to those around us without sacrificing on quality and luxury. Our products allow you to pamper yourself with a quality, spa-like lavishness without the harmful chemicals and preservatives. I want to make the transition to natural life simpler and prettier than you would expect it to be. Natural living has the potential to improve the lives of those who try and I want to help.

How I got started.. I had been making the natural products for my friends since I began making them for my family. The demand grew and grew as they told their friends. I attempted to teach them how to make their products themselves, but everyone insisted on getting them from me! 
My creative process mostly begins with a need. Does a well-priced, natural alternative exist? When I decide that there is a need for a product, I first turn to my study of essential oils. I have studied with Aromahead Institute along with my own individual study. I continue to study essential oils as they are an essential part of our products. While essential oils do the "working" in our products they are also an art. It takes time and patience to find a blend of oils that is not only functional but also entices and delights the senses. I then take time to find and appropriate medium for the products, be it oils, clays, sugars or soaps. The last step is making something beautiful, swirling micas, charcoals and algae to create appealing designs. I believe anything you use should bring you joy in both form and function!

My five year plan... I hope to expand to past a hobby into a full-blown business. I want to be the kind of company that has moral goals as well as financial. Being a working mother for most of my life, it is precious to me to have the opportunity to create a company that can employ other mothers in a way that supports motherhood. I hope to have a company that uplifts mothers and young children and inspires them to be all they can be. 
There is complex message behind what we do. On the surface, it is about health and quality. Behind that, there are deeply important values we hope bring to the world. We want everyone and anyone to feel beautiful as their completely natural selves. Beauty is not about appearance, it is a state of mind and everyone has a right to it. Having the opportunity to build a business from the ground up allows us to instill the values which are important to us. That means everything. 

We use 100% pure essential oils and organic ingredients whenever possible. Our products are chemical and preservative free. We keep everything at a reasonable cost because we understand that going natural on a budget can be difficult and we are here to easy that process. www.amysbeautyjams.com

2015 Fairlawn Winterl Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, December 19, 2015
10:00am-5:00pm
St. George's Fellowship Center
3204 Ridgewood Rd.
Fairlawn, OH 44333
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at Becki@ag-shows.com
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