Floral arranging has always been an interest of mine. When I retired from my local school system in 2011, I had the opportunity to take floral arranging classes via the University of Akron Continuing Education Department. Although the classes were focused on arranging fresh flowers, I soon switched to silk and fabric flowers.
In the building where I took classes, there was a craft shoppe. I submitted one of my floral pieces to be approved by the shoppe board. Later that week my piece was approved, so I began bringing in more pieces for consignment sale. I realized I had talent when my items began to sell.
As I became more confident in my work, I began participating in craft shows. That is also when I decided to open an Etsy shop to sell my creations online. I view my work as a hobby. I truly enjoy having an idea about an arrangement or wreath and completing the item.
Meet Cat Clark from At Last Fine Arts & Crafts...
I am the sister in a brother and sister art business. My brother and I were separated through adoption on the day I was born, and we recently found each other in 2010. I have been doing art for most of my life, while my brother just started painting a month ago. This will be our first Avant-Garde show!
Everything inspires us to create, sunsets, clouds, emotions, trees, and everything else in our environments. I like to use art as a form of meditation and appreciations; I find it very therapeutic. I believe both of us have always had talent. I think everybody has talent, it's just a matter of when they discover it. My brother has just found his and is learning that it is never too late to find what you love.
During my creative process, I tend to not think about the end product. I like to let my ideas flow and typically, good things happen. I end up with something I had no idea I would create that day. For me, it's about the journey.
My dreams are to help bring local artists together and to find a way to make art my career, because art is what makes me truly happy. The message behind our business is a very simple one: it's never too late to find what you love.
Meet Rita Bartram from Oh So Delicious...
I always loved to make appetizers and desserts, so last year, when I decided to start a business, I began with those two strengths. I did this because when you embark on a new adventure, you want it to involve something you love, otherwise, there's no point.
I played around with my favorite recipes and ingredients, took the best combinations of flavors, and created a line of dip mixes and sweet spreads. I make a variety of flavors including Very Veggie, Horsey Spinach, White Cheddar Onion, Cranberry Pecan, and Sweet Pumpkin, to name a few. I make them all from scratch and each package is hand blended.
I started selling my mixes at a local Farmer's Market and offered all of my dips and spreads for tasting. What a fun beginning that was! I love participating in Farmer's Markets and craft shows. I'm passionate about what I do and love getting to share that passion with others.
Meet Joe Buzolith...
I am a 69 year old gentleman who has to keep busy. I have bachelor degrees in business and marketing and currently work full-time as a senior software support analyst for the third largest software company in the world. While that work is interesting and requires creativity, there is nothing tangible at the end of the day. I think that drove my need to find a different creative channel.
I am new to jewelry making and just started my hobby business in July of 2015. I specialize in sterling silver and 14k gold jewelry with genuine gemstones. My goal is to offer something genuine and unique at a reasonable price while enjoying the shows and my new hobby. I always liked to watch jewelers work when I went to shows in the past and decided to try it. I bought the necessary tools and raided the library and internet for instructions, and here I am!
I really love to meet people at the shows and talk about my jewelry. I learn a lot from potential customers and other vendors at the shows and get ideas that may lead to another interesting piece of jewelry. I hope others will enjoy the jewelry as much as I do making it!