Small Business Saturday is nigh

Normally I do a gratitude post this week, but I honestly feel that Thanksgiving is every day.  There is so much to be grateful for on a daily basis, even and especially on the days when life looks bleak.

Thanksgiving

So instead I’ll tell you what I’m excited about, and that is my very first Small Business Saturday pop-up.

MadeConsciousSmallBizSat

Small Business Saturday is November 28, and I’ve been invited to be part of a lovely collective. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I will be at Rebecca Marie Photography at 5254 N Damen Ave in Chicago. Hosted by Noktivo, a lovely green nail salon, and Made Conscious, this pop up features a variety of earth-friendly goodies.

NewPendants

Made Conscious is a curated collective of the most ethical and sustainably sourced and produced lifestyle products on the market. They bring brands directly to conscious consumers through our pop up series. On Saturday you can sip on a local beer by Metropolitan Brewing and enjoy a complimentary manicure by LVX. The first 50 shoppers will receive a Shop Small Swag Bag filled with holiday treats, goodies and surprises worth $100+ from our sponsors!

BrewingMandrel

Tracy Hurst was my second bellydance teacher (after Sonya of Arabesque) and I met her during the inception of Metropolitan Brewing. I’ve followed her path and supported her in a tiny way by buying the occasional six-pack. Her bottles make for excellent bangle mandrels,

MetrobresingMandrel

Noktivo has pampered my hands and feet sporadically since February, when Hip Circle Studio invited me to a ladies’ afternoon out. While the fingernail polish doesn’t last long, the massages and lotioning during a session are important for my wire-bending muscles.

ManisbyNoktivo

I’ll be vending alongside a variety of earth and body-friendly wares:

Fashion will be represented by BlissJoyBull (Organic Apparel and Handbags) – Chicago, IL.  I am eager to learn more about each of these businesses, and look forward to trying Metropoliton Brewing’s latest flavor. It should be a fun time!

EarringsbyMaikesMarvels

Next week I’ll be setting up another pop-up at See Jane Sparkle’s old location. They’ve moved to a bigger store near Dempster and Chicago (where Lollie used to be), and I get to display my pieces in the smaller boutique throughout December.

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There are lots of Small Business Saturday events going on, so if you cannot make it out to mine, go check out the ones in your neighborhood. Get to know your local retailers. They need your support, and you don’t have to buy something every time you go inside a store.

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Studio Time

Here’s a peek at the studio.

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I’m busy replenishing my angels and frosties inventory for Small Business Saturday.

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You’ll find me at Rebecca Marie Photography at 5254 N Damen Avenue in Chicago from 10 to 5 on November 28.

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I’m also gearing up for a pop-up at the old See Jane Sparkle Location, which will open December 2.

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I also have the pop-up at Blue Buddha Boutique, so keeping up inventory is important.

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I’m excited about all the new pieces and have more ideas than hands and hours to make them in.

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So many thoughts!

Lists

Getting them dressed is fun.

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Dashes of color everywhere.

Palette

They’ll look so nice on a tree.

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Mark Small Business Saturday on your calendar and be sure to support your local stores.

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My fellow Small Business owners will appreciate it!

Fun at the Wilder Mansion Holiday Market

The Wilder Mansion Holiday Market was a lovely event. The drive to Elmhurst was bright with scenic Fall colors.

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The Mansion is impressive.

WilderMansion

I can only imagine what it must have been like to live there in the stately rooms with beautiful crown molding, fancy chandeliers and gran fireplaces.

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Unloading was in full swing when I arrived, but I was the first in my room on the first floor.

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I unloaded my car and then drove to the designated parking area at Elmhurst College.

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The short walk was lovely.

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Soon my wares were all set up, and I was able to take a peek at the other rooms, which weren’t fully set up yet.

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Everyone’s art work is so inspiring, and I wish I could have shopped a little.

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I bumped into a vendor from the Ravenswood ArtWalk and one I had recently met at a Ravenswood Women in Business Chamber event.

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There was jewelry made from broken china-both antique and more current.

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Across the room a real loom was being used for more lovely bags.

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We were provided some sustenance shortly before the doors opened, which made me feel well cared for.

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Soon the doors were opened, and streams of people started walking in.

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My first sale was to a friend, but that garnered more sales as the evening went along, which made me very happy.

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I celebrated with some prosecco.

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Before we knew it it was time to cover up our tables and leave the building for the night.

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I splurged on a hotel room nearby to save me the stress of driving late at night and early in the morning.

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I was thinking I would have a cocktail and snack at the bar, but the ‘bar’ was a vending machine.

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So I settled for beer and popcorn and made myself at home upstairs.

cocktail hour

My sore feet recovered sightly during a bath, and I read a little before sleeping fitfully in a strange bed-next to a freeway.

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The next morning some sad news made it hard to prepare, but I put on my bright yellow dress and shifted into vending mode.

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To start we were provided a lovely spread of breakfast foods and coffee.

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Then we all uncovered our tables.

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I uncovered my table and once again the minute the doors opened we had a steady stream of attendees.

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Within the first hour I sold 4 ornaments, and more sales kept coming.

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To cover fair expenses and make some extra money was a very validating experience.

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I did a little shopping with my neighbors.

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Traffic continued to be steady during the afternoon.

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I think most people did well.

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Then the doors were closed and we started tearing down our booths.

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I still love my handy bag, and it was surreal to only fill my ornament box halfway.

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The weekend sales filled me with contentment, and I am grateful more pieces have found new owners throughout the month.

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My next pop-up will be on Small Business Saturday on Damen Avenue.

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I’m heading to the studio to replenish my ornaments for that event.

StudioPlanning

It’s custom order time!

’Tis the season to place orders, falalalalaa-lala-lala.

AngelFactory

My waxed ornament inventory went from this:

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to this during the Wilder Mansion Holiday Market.

MaikesMarvelsInventory

I am thrilled the angels and frosties are gaining popularity, but for you regulars it means that if you want to gift these to your loved ones, you need to contact me now.

CustomDesigns

I’ll be bending and waxing for Small Business Saturday before Thanksgiving.

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After Turkey Fest I will be popping up at a yet-to-be announced location (you’ll like it!) along with replenishing Blue Buddha Boutique stock and preparing for the Bucktown Holiday Market.

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That’s a lot of studio time spent on non-custom orders, so get yourself penciled in while you can!

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I’m printing out a variety of holiday songs and verses that inspire me.

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I’m happy to learn that Love Came Down at Christmas is in the public domain, since I was introduced to it via Jars of Clay. I’ll adorn some angels with that poem by Christina Rossetti.

NewDesigns

Last year a friend had me create birthstone angels and frosties with the name of her grandchild and the year the ornament was gifted. Such a fabulous idea.

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The colors were specified by grandma based on her family’s preferences.

GrandkidOrnaments

They also got a note with what each birthstone means.

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I can also incorporate logos into a design.

HipCircleFrostysm

My double-heart frosties sell out each year.

DoubleHeartFrosty

This cutie went to celebrate a young couple’s first married Christmas together.

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Of course you’re not stuck with angels and snowmen. I have plenty of alternate options available too:

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So put your thinking cap on and consider your family’s favorite holiday songs, verses, quotes, colors and aesthetic, and let me know if my ornaments are a match for their tree!

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You can poke around my past posts for additional inspiration.

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Etsy’s inventory updates will be sporadic, so follow me on Facebook to get previews of my latest creations.

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Evanston’s new Collage Cafe

There’s a new cafe in town, The Collage Cafe!

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Lindy Stockton opened the storefront for a sneak peek during Open Studios Evanston.

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Since then, she has carefully curated gift items and creativity-inspiring products for adults to celebrate our inner artist.

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The store has a plethora of greeting cards, pendants, wall decor, candles and decorative household items to cheer yourself or your loved ones up.

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The Collage Cafe formally opened in September and has since hosted numerous workshops, including book binding and journal cover making.

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Hopefully Q1 slows down enough for me to take advantage of this nearby workshop space.

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Lindy founded the Grown-up Girls Club that allows women to gather every second Sunday of the month for an afternoon of creativity and inspiration.

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From 1 to 4 pm, Lindy arranges for a project and provides a fun place to get away from daily chores and spend some quality creative time among like-minded women.

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Private parties are welcomed by Lindy, just give her a call or pop into her store to make arrangements.

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I’ve already gifted the lovely deck of inspirational cards Lindy created, and am making a wish list for the holidays.

LindyStocktonCards

I also have a few of my bangles and pendants in the store.

Bangles

Those bangles garnered a commission, which was so much fun to create.

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So go check out the Collage Cafe, around the corner from Vogue Fabrics at 912 Sherman Ave, Evanston.

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Check out the store hours and upcoming workshops and drop-in classes at the web site.

DiscoverYourself

It’s inspiring to see artists open up storefronts and I am excited that Main Street has so many new businesses popping up. It’s an affirmation that I live in the right community of like-minded people.

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I’m also impressed by the clear vision Lindy communicates through the aesthetics in her store. Her color-palette and product selection indicates a strong sense of her brand, which my inner marketer appreciates and values.

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Jeweler’s Tea on Sunday

This Sunday join me and at least 5 other jewelry artists for an afternoon of new jewelry designs, tea and surprises!

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We’ll be hosting a Collector’s Tea on Sunday November 8 from 12:30 to 3:30 pm at Blue Buddha Boutique, 1127 W. Granville Ave.

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This event is in conjunction with the Edgewater Artists In Motion Carpe Diem Pop-up Gallery that is open through December 31 in the Lancelot Room.

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Sip on tea, listen to the stories of how artists make their jewelry and get their inspiration, and browse all the fabulous gift items we have in the pop-up.

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A few more jewelers have joined our pop-up since opening night so there is always something new to peruse.

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In addition, you can get your fill of chainmaille wear and other lovely collector’s items made by local artisans in Blue Buddha’s retail store.

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AVP Beads will provide you with inspiration and assistance for any beading-related needs.

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I am so intrigued by the talent and creativity of my fellow pop-uppers and am excited to learn more myself.

Hedda Designs

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

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Elmhurst Holiday Market this weekend

On Friday I’m taking an excursion to Elmhurst for the 5th Annual Holiday Market at the Wilder Mansion.  Presented by Edward Jones Investments, the holiday market includes 60 artisans who have created one of a kind art and seasonal gifts including jewelry, ceramics, glass, scarves, hats, mittens, fashion knits, kid’s clothing,  handbags, photography, painting,  paper items, bow ties, candles, soaps, Irish capes, and gourmet food holiday gifts.

MaikesmarvelsOrnaments

The fun begins Friday, November 6 from 4 to 9 pm and we continue Saturday, November 7 from 10 am to 4 pm. On Friday evening Café Amano will offer wine by the glass for sale. You can also enter a raffle and receive retail coupons. Sponsored by the Elmhurst Park District and produced by RGL Marketing for the Arts, Inc., this event has no admission fee.

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The Wilder Mansion and Wilder Park was acquired by the Park District in 1921. Seth Wadhams built a home called “White Birch” in 1868 on the site. It became home to the prominent King and Wilder families until 1921.

The mansion housed Elmhurst Library in 1922. In 1936 the exterior of the building was changed with new pillars and a south wing. The library moved out in the mid 1990s, making the Wilder Mansion a historical landmark that provides an ADA compliant multi-use space for the Park District and community.

WilderMansionMarketSponsors

Vendors include: Amy’s Cranberry Candy, Big Fat’s Hot Sauce, Brewpoint Coffee, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, Drury Lane Theatre, Edward Jones Investments, Grown Up Kid Stuff, High Hopes, Kilwins, Nothing Bundt Cakes, O’Meara’s Irish House, Ten Friends, Toffee Traditions and Whole Foods.

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You will see a wide variety of art forms in the various rooms, including candles by Loralee Ivkovic; and ceramics by: Linda Wagner, Yoshiko Kozawa, Jennifer Meeker, and Amy B. Millspaugh; Fiber arts by Susie Cassel, Wendy Partain, Chris Acton, Peter Gaona, Char terBeest Kudla, Debra Vaccaro, Kelly Desmond, Barbara Keisman, Elizabeth Garver, Kathleen Gaffey, and Sally Papedis.

MaikesMarvelsBangles

Nancy Morris and Kimberly Polka will offer their glass creations and Jaimie Cahill will offer metal arts. Jewelers include: Jamie McClellen, Carolyn Chou, Tetyana Fedorko, Daniel Schemel, Julie Matos, Lisa Williams, Karen Gill, Seth Carlson, Charlotte Muzik, Danielle A. Stotts, Claudia Crawford, Liam Hughes, Laura McDonald, Gayle Weiss, Susan Nester. Gail and Dale Horn as well as Denise Riesen will showcase their photography.

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In the mixed media category, you will find: Isabelle Belles, Kate Wharton, Joelle McNamara, Maria Jucius, Stephanie Raab, Kathryn Alcock, Donna Zommer, and Megan Manske. Paper arts are represented by Taryn Palumbo, Chhaya Shrader, and Janet Spiech, with Retta Hentschel showcasing her stained glass creations.

FacebookSneakPeek

I love the sneak peeks on Facebook and look forward to perusing the market and hopefully shopping a little bit myself.