Meet the Maker – Plastic Flame Press

Meet Chris Williams he has been making prints and posters for over 15 years in the area, most notably for Carrboro, NC’s Cat’s Cradle. He works from his home studio, based in Durham, NC.

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

Depending on the project, it can be anything from a band that I’m listening to or something my son has been talking about. For gigposters, I try to strike a balance of my personal taste and the message/feel of a band’s music.

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Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

Currently it’s this astronaut skeleton print. I was happy with the way all the colors turned out. It’s either that or an old poster I did for Calexico.

Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Plastic Flame Press in the next year.

I’ve started making a comic and zines, and I’m planning to release several more of these over the next year, time permitting.

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What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

To really get into things, I usually have to start off the day working. If I get distracted by my day job, or YouTube or something else, I find I end up getting a lot less done. The routine usually has me up at 6 am, sitting with coffee at my drafting table or computer, and having already eaten, by 6:15.

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Name one resource that your label could not live without.

I would have to say it’s my son. I have a lot of ideas bumping around in my head constantly. But there is something about talking to my son, hearing his seemingly limitless creativity pour out through conversation that helps me refine the thoughts I have and make them a reality.

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http://plasticflame.storenvy.com/

Instagram @plasticflame

Meet the Maker – Simply Hooked

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

I think I’m most inspired by the art of crochet itself. The fact that I can start with a skein of yarn, my blank canvas, and literally turn it into a stuffed animal with eyes and a smile of its own, is awe-inspiring to this day.

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Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

My favorite product would have to be Hank the Hippo, whom I wrote a children’s book about! While learning to crochet several years ago, a hippo was one of the first animals I successfully made and it was around that time that I knew I was on to something.

Tell us something exciting that you have planned for your business in the next year.

I think I’m most excited about making new products in the New Year. There’s an endless list of animal ideas I haven’t created yet and I very much look forward to tackling that list!

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What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

The biggest challenge associated with a crochet business is finding time to make products. I work full-time and part-time in addition to the business, so time is of the essence! I’d say my creative routine lies in my burning desire to make time wherever I can. I have bag of yarn that I take everywhere, from waiting on my oil to get changed to sitting in an airport; I always find creative ways to make time.

Name one resource that your brand could not live without.

I’d have to say my yarn supply: Michaels and Joann Fabrics.

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Marcy Wynn Owner and Founder of Simply Hooked

Follow Simply Hooked on Facebook & Instagram

https://www.simplyhooked.co/

Meet the Maker – DebbieDuckYarns

Meet Debbie Siegel, she is an independent yarn dyer based in Fuquay Varina, NC. Her products are imaginative hand-dyed yarns for passionate fiber artists such as knitters, crocheters, weavers and machine knitters. Yarns include natural wools, alpaca, silks, cottons, linens, flax and hemp.

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

My inspiration comes from many places. I can open my kitchen pantry and mix and match my colorful Fiesta Ware dishes, take a walk and watch the roof shingles shimmering in the sunlight, my beloved mentor , “Cousin Barbara” who first taught me to dye and believed in me to wing it. My daughter, Rachel who adds the magic touch to our business. My friend and fellow fiber artist, Eris Swanstrom of Modique Couture who transforms my yarns into fantastic, designs. And of course young Miles, our 6 year old talented colleague who is always a joy to work with side by side when he creates fabulous color ways. Our collective inspiration and support for one another is explosive. The freedom to create has no barriers.

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Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

Its hard to choose one favorite product. My sock yarn collection has an incredible variety of brilliant and vibrant color ways. Transitions between colors are fascinating and the unexpected outcomes are always thrilling.

Tell us something exciting that you have planned for your business in the next year.

We hope to attend more markets to reach more people. Continue to work on sourcing materials that are American Made.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

I do a lot of humming and talking to my dye pots. Naming color ways have also become a family affair. My daughter and husband get to spend quality time together at the kitchen table while I take charge of letting our crazy pups in and out of the house.

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Name one resource that your brand could not live without.

Number One far and above resource that I could never imagine living without is my daughter, Rachel. She has incredible patience with me and manages my crazy whims, the business side of DDY, designs and prepares the booth presentations and has personable skills with customers. And then of course I could not live without the fabulous workbench my husband built for me or my utility sink.

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Owner and Founder of DebbieDuckYarns Debbie Siegel

Follow DebbieDuckYarn on Instagram and Facebook

www.debbieduckyarns.com

Meet the Maker – Labrotties Creations

Jamie Sunyak is a local artist and the owner of Labrottie Creations. She loves designing custom art pieces that capture the personality of an animal. Each piece is customized with love, warmth and detailed craftsmanship. She is inspired by the love of her Chocolate Lab Scout and Rottweiler Harley, the love of summer, waves and the beach.L

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

Generally speaking, I am inspired by a love of animals. 9 times out of 10 there is an animal in my art.  I would say that love has also expanded to places in general. The beach, for instance, is a place that I love and it shows up thematically in my work.  But the consistent theme in my art is driven from my pets, my Chocolate Lab, Scout, and my Rottweiler, Harley Kwinn, are the sparks that sent me down the route to bright eyed, bright colored, ‘pop pet’ art.

Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

I love working with wood and reclaimed materials.  My favorite pieces are the North Carolina Dog Whiskey Barrels and the sign paintings I do on smaller slabs or squares of wood with two dogs at sunset.  All of my wood products are special because I love being able to take wood that’s already been used and turn it into something new. I love hand picking and touching the materials.

“All of my wood products are special because I love being able to take wood that’s already been used and turn it into something new.”

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Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Labrotties in the next year.

Labrottie Creations is incredibly busy in the festival and arts and crafts market scene and we have expanded our market to include several retail locations and arts councils.   I hope to continue that expansion and include more re-use products and some cool new designs.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

I have a full time job so my patterns and routines and rituals can vary greatly. Painting on wood is something I work in with every chance I get because it’s a very relaxing and focusing and settling process for me. Each piece is very different than the ones that came before. The same is true with my digital art. I would say I work really hard to center any custom project or work around the eyes. Once I get an animal’s eyes right, it’s like the heart of the project comes to life around them. I do tend to work with a little music or a quiet space but I like working art into any nook or cranny of my life that I can.

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Name one resource that your label could not live without.

To name one is hard.  First are my pets.  They are my inspiration for my art and my company.  Second are my customers.  I love working to make people happy.  My art inspires smiles and laughter.  Also, the artist and markers community is another thing I could not live without.  I am constantly in awe of the creativity around me and have learned so much from my friends and colleagues.  I would also say our vendors.  I try and stick local and although a few of our products come from far away from very small speciality shops, the majority of what we sell comes from vendors in our state and in our own back yard. That was something that made it all special from the very beginning, to use things that came from right around our area. Whether it was mugs from a vendor near Boylan Heights or T-shirts from a little shop in downtown Chapel Hill or being able to walk into a local re-use supply center and select ten feet of recycle walnut, it’s being able to walk in and touch these things that drives us and keeps us “us”.

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Owner and Founder Of Labrottie Creations Jamie Sunyak

 

Follow Labrottie Creations on Facebook and Instagram

Meet the Maker – The Durham Originals

Meet Daria! Daria is an environmental activist, designer, and founder of The Durham Originals, the brand born to inspire, the eco-lifestyle! Motivated by the simplicity of eco-living and the joy that it brings she works to raise awareness around issues and connect people’s day to day living with the health of the planet. Her products keep waste out of the landfill and bring beauty and a new sense of smart to daily living.

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Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

I am constantly inspired by nature + simple steps to help both people + planet look and feel their best! Because when we are good to the planet, it is good back to us in so many beautiful ways. I love browsing for and finding reuse treasures that can be made into something purposeful and can be used over and over again — second hand inspires so much creativity!

“I’m totally in love with the simplicity and function of our reusable utensil kits”

Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

I’m totally in love with the simplicity and function of our reusable utensil kits — there’s no easier or more fun to way to start a conversation around sustainability either! There is a lot of lively chatter around refusing straws; this takes it to the next level. I just got a slew of new fabrics in, I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

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Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Durham Originals the next year.

I’ve been working the majority of this year on self and business study — planning and strategizing for the year to come. Stay tuned for a freshened up The Durham Originals and a campaign for a reuse design studio!

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What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

Getting out in nature is the best creative juice there is for me! My mind is free to think through problems and clarify design solutions with just a vigorous stroll through the woods. I get the most out of it when I bring a journal and seek the silence which can be hard to come by in the city.

Name one resource that your label could not live without.

My mom! She helps with so much and has supported me unwaveringly since the beginning- she believes in me when it feels no one else does and has been instrumental in supporting The Durham Originals production of reuse products.

Find The Durham Originals online at https://thedurhamoriginals.com/ and on instagram at @durhamoriginals and at the upcoming November 3rd Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery! 

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Daria, Founder and Owner of The Durham Originals and Her Mom

Meet the Maker – Uncapped Calligraphy and Designs

Uncapped Calligraphy and Designs is a calligraphy and design company based in Raleigh, NC. Owner, Kathryn Carter, opened the business in 2018 after her unique journal designs caught the attention of numerous friends and family members. Uncapped Calligraphy and Designs offers custom, hand-made journals and prints, in addition to wedding invitation designing, envelope addressing, place card addressing, and wedding favor designing, among other various novelties and services.

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Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

My favorite product from my collection is my various journal designs. These journals are the original products that I offered when I started this business and remain great, customizable gifts for friends and a useful resource for daily to-do lists, grocery lists, and note-taking. I personally, write my church notes in these journals, to this day, and love coming up with new designs for the covers.

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Name one resource that your label could not live without.

As a business, Uncapped Calligraphy could not live without Sharpies! I use Sharpie regular pens, paint pens, and markers on a daily basis when Hand Lettering on different media that the traditional nib and oblique pen cannot write on!

How do you keep your creative spark/ What keeps you fascinated?

I taught myself calligraphy by recreating pins on Pinterest that interested me throughout High School. Now, as a Sophomore in college, it is important that I continue to practice my skills, as I continue to turn to Pinterest and other Calligraphers to draw inspiration from. Recently, I have also applied my calligraphy skills to different seasonal home décor, like pumpkins for fall and ornaments for the holiday season, which has fueled my creative spark as well.

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“my dream project would be to create a brick and mortar space where I could teach calligraphy classes in the Raleigh area”

What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money what would you create?

If there were no restrictions on time or money, my dream project would be to create a brick and mortar space where I could teach calligraphy classes in the Raleigh area. The workspace would be a creative endeavor in itself, however, the skills taught and the knowledge shared within the space would inspire creativity as well.

Where is your favorite place in Durham?

Having grown up in Raleigh, some of my earliest memories is of my dad taking me to Durham Bulls games. Therefore, my favorite place in Durham is the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

You can find Uncapped Calligraphy and Designs at the upcoming November Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery 

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/UncappedCalligraphy

Instagram: @uncappedcalligraphy

 

Kathryn Carter-Owner
Kathryn Carter Owner and Founder of Uncapped Calligraphy and Designs

Meet the Maker – Hidden Forest Naturals

Hidden Forest Naturals was created by April Manring – skin therapist and owner of Be Pure Beauty – the first totally clean beauty shop in the Triangle. Hidden Forest Naturals has facial care and self care for all skin types. The brand is inspired by the natural goodness of the forest where April resides. Products can be found at Be Pure Beauty in Chapel Hill.

Tell us about your favorite product from your collection?  The Face wash and Mask was my first product. Because it’s made with fair-trade cacao and honey I love that everyone feels like they are putting a treat on their face and that it works so well for all skin types.

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Name one resource that your label could not live without? Our suppliers that take extra care in finding and carrying organic raw ingredients that go into the products.

How do you keep your creative spark/ What keeps you fascinated? Reading non fiction and cooking documentaries.

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“I would create the perfect serum for every skin type…”

What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money what would you create? I would create the perfect serum for every skin type, that could heal any skin condition. It would be a massive challenge but worth the time, and I would put a lot of money into the marketing of it making a really fun back story and video about it.

Where is your favorite place in Durham? 21 C Hotel. The art always keeps me guessing, and the bank vault never stops feeling super cool.

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April Manring founder of Hidden Forest Naturals

You can find April at the upcoming Patchwork Market October 6th at Fullsteam Brewery and in store and online at Be Pure Beauty

Instagram @hiddenforestnaturals @be.pure.beauty

www.hiddenforestnaturals.com  website: www.bepurebeauty.com

Meet the Maker – Jillian Ohl

Jillian is an artist and illustrator from Raleigh, NC. Her work includes stationary, collages, and fashion illustration. She uses mostly bright watercolors and ink to create fun and whimsical images.

Who or what inspires you and your creative process? 

I’m inspired by fashion, pop culture, and things I find silly. One of the best feelings is when my art can make someone’s day a bit better.

“favorite movies like Clueless, Big Lewboski,Pulp Fiction, and Mean Girls”

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Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

Currently my favorite products are the prints I created based on some of my favorite movies like Clueless, Big Lewboski,Pulp Fiction, and Mean Girls. They are super fun for me to create.

Tell us something exciting that you have planned for your business in the next year.

I am only beginning to sell at craft markets and next year I hope to have even more product and start to explore other cities in the Southeast.

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What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

I am a big believer in drawing every day. I draw during my lunch break and again in the evenings after work. Sometimes the drawings never see the light of day again, and then other times I can turn them into prints or cards. I’m also always working on several projects at once which helps keeps my brain occupied!

Name one resource that your brand could not live without.

My scanner! It is nothing fancy but the ability to scan things in digitally rather than photographing them is really life changing.

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Jillian Ohl founder of Jillian Ohl

Find Jillian at the upcoming Patchwork Market on October 6th at Fullsteam Brewery

https://www.jillianohl.com/

Instagram @jillyohl

Meet the Maker – Calathea Collection

Meet Julie Ragsdale of Calathea Collection she is a passionate botanist and artist. With plants as her muse, she creates lush, foliage-inspired artwork. Her creative ventures range from painting and digital art to sewing to pouring cement for handmade planters.

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

In a word, plants. I have always been fascinated by the world of botany and studied plant sciences throughout my academic career. When I need inspiration, I’ll go to a greenhouse or to my favorite plant shop (The Zen Succulent) to admire some lush foliage. If I don’t want to leave the house, I’ll browse plants and art on Instagram. I have a few go-to accounts and hashtags that I can rely on for a good dose of inspiration, like Cat Coq and Sarah K. Benning or searching for “houseplants” or “greenhouse”. I also feel really inspired by other local artists who I’ve met along the way at pop-ups and such. It’s a blessing to live in an area with so much interest in the arts where local artists can thrive!

Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

This is a tough one because I make an array of goods from paintings to planters. If I had to choose just one item as my favorite, it would be my cement air plant holders in blush pink with matte white accents. The specific cement that I use for these feels, as strange as it is to say this, silky. I especially love the colors, too. I mix the colors myself, so each batch is slightly different from the others, but the end result is a beautiful pink that is reminiscent of desert sands, succulents, and sunsets.

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Tell us something exciting that you have planned for Calathea Collection the next year.

This is probably more exciting for me than for anyone else, but I’m working on my own ecommerce website! This summer is when I dove head-on into my art as a business — I started going to craft fairs and pop-ups, filed my trade name and EIN, and have really just come into my own as an artist and small business owner. It will be interesting to see how my art and interests evolve over time. I may decide to focus more heavily on planters, or I may lean more into digital work.

“I have caffeine coursing through my veins, so coffee is a big part of my creative ritual”

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

I have caffeine coursing through my veins, so coffee is a big part of my creative ritual. I always make myself a four-shot, iced latte. I enjoy the silence of my home during the day; everyone else in my apartment community is at work, my dog is sweetly snoozing, and my cat is quietly curled up in my lap. Occasionally I’ll listen to some of my favorite musicians, like the Pixies, Mirah, or Beirut. I like to work on one project each day to make progress on it, so I’ll either set up several watercolors to paint, twenty dog bandanas to sew, or prepare twenty molds and cast planters all afternoon.

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Name one resource that your label could not live without.

I’m going to go with an abstract resource: passion. I think that what stands out most about my brand is the variety of goods and artistic ventures it offers (which also makes it difficult to name a single tangible resource that I can’t do without). It is my passion for plants that drives me to create so many different plant-inspired goods.

 

Find Julie and Calathea Collection at the upcoming September 1st Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery!

You can also shop and follow at—

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CalatheaCollection

 Instagram: @calathea.collection

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Julie Ragsdale the Founder of Calathea Collection

Meet the Maker – Ceramics By Lina LaV

Meet Melina LaVecchia Daniels, a ceramicist and illustrator from Boone, NC. Her work includes one-of-a kind dinnerware that celebrates the art of hospitality and beauty in everyday rhythms. She also offers a variety of original illustrated pieces, including prints, stickers, tea towels and market bags. Melina and her husband, Jacob Daniels travel around the South teaching workshops on creativity, art and design.

Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

I’m loving these new tableware pieces I’ve been creating with a ‘blue  jean denim’ painterly effect. My usual arsenal includes smaller kitchenware pieces so I’m excited to pull out some large ceramics that go perfectly with hosting big gatherings and family style meals.

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What has been the most surprising aspect of starting a business?

Adding children ! My husband and I started Overflow studios (a multi-tiered creative arts business encompassing ceramics, fine art, illustration and design) in 2013 when we first got married and I use to bartend on the side to balance my studio practice, since adding two boys , I work full time in the studio alongside him which has been a beautiful and challenging journey.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

When we have a studio day, I wake up super early and try to have quiet reading time before the kids wake up, enjoy a large glass of cold brew and get to the studio just in time for Lucca’s nap (which gives me only two hours before toddler starts to run around)…. it’s also been a new adjustment trying to continue to work with a newborn and a 2 year old, while also enjoying this fleeting babyhood season.

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“my dream project is creating a completely customized tableware line for a beautiful farm to table restaurant”


What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money what would you create?

Ah what a fun question, my dream project is creating a completely customized tableware line for a beautiful farm to table restaurant, including but not   limited to the ceramic tableware, silverware, linens, furniture …. actually I think I would just like to design the whole restaurant and then invite all my friends over for a spectacular night around the table.

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

I was raised by two Italian chefs that relied heavily on quality time around the dinner table. My mother was also an interior designer so she dressed the table in gorgeous tableware regardless if it was Sunday night or Tuesday…. my ceramics have always been inspired by breaking bread with people. I want folks to get excited to use their favorite mug or plate everyday and not just save it for special occasions.

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Melina LaVecchia Daniels founder of Ceramics By Lina LaV

 

Meet Melina in person and shop her line of ceramics at the upcoming June Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery  or find her on instagram @bylinalav and visit her site www.ceramicsbylinalav.com