Shop Small. Give Local. Get Crafty.

NOV 18, 2015

Photo by Devon Hicks

When it comes to your holiday shopping, do you find yourself searching for the perfect indie market or craft fair to help check off names on your shopping list? If you’re like Spoonflower team member Meredith who finds herself searching local craft shows for the perfect gift this time of year, you’ll love to learn more about today’s indie craft fair spotlight, Crafty Feast! Get the inside scoop from Crafty Feast director Rachel Carter, and jellykoe and Mums n Posies, two artists who are utilizing Spoonflower’s custom printing process for this year’s market.

The talented Shanika Pichey of Life is Pichey dreamed up the perfect sweater for the upcoming indie craft market!
Photo by Rhett Talbert

In 2014, Rachel Carter was interning with public relations firm Flock and Rally with a main focus of working alongside the founder of Crafty Feast, Debi Schadel. This year, Rachel has jumped into the role as director for the event and will be leading the show! Looking forward to the unique show, her favorite part about the event is interacting with the artists.

Rachel: They are always so excited and grateful to be a part of the event, which makes all the time involved in planning logistics and marketing totally worth it. It’s also fun getting to watch Columbia’s art scene grow, and I love being able to play a small part in that.

For those attending their first Crafty Feast or any indie craft show, Rachel recommends looking at the vendor list online prior to the event.

Rachel: While a lot of the fun is in exploring and searching for random finds, 110 different businesses in one room can be a lot to take in – especially if you’re there to shop for holiday gifts like most people are. (Hint: #CraftyFeast does #VendorLove posts on Facebook and Twitter, highlighting a few artists a day. We also have them all listed on our blog)

Making a stop to Crafty Feast this year? You’ll certainly want to include a visit to the jellykoe and the Mums n Posies booths! Selected by a jury of independent artists, these two businesses are using Spoonflower to help grow their one of a kind companies.

Crafty Feast attendees search for the perfect one of a kind piece. 

“Never stop creating new things and never stop improving.“

For jellykoe, the designer toy company based in Columbia, South Carolina, this motto has been a key to their success over the years. “We have never come to a point and said “this is it, we’ll just ride this train forever.”  We always want to build on what we’ve done in the past, and keep learning how to be even better.“

With this fresh perspective, the husband and wife team comprised of Kelly and J. Spencer Shull have been creating their plushies since 2009 and discovered Spoonflower while trying to locate the perfect fabric for their sea mutant, Gilbert.

Mini monsters, jellykoe’s #1 seller is printed on Spoonflower fabric.

Kelly: I searched everywhere for a fabric that would imitate a tentacle sucker pattern, but couldn’t find one I liked. I knew about Spoonflower so I decided we could make our own pattern and have it be exactly what we want and unique to us. After that, we searched for more ways to use this resource. Once we started taking Spencer’s designs and getting them printed to fabric, there was no limit on how complex a design could be.  

For Kelly, Spencer, and the gang of jellykoe plushies, Crafty Feast was one of their first markets when they started the business six years ago.

When we first started, Crafty Feast was one of very few indie craft shows around, and it fit our aesthetic.  It was great to have a local show that “got it.” Now, Crafty Feast is our best one day show of the year, and it feels like a family since we know the organizers, most of the other artists, and a lot of the fans that come out every year.  

jellykoe owners Kelly & Spencer travel full time for juried art festivals, comic conventions, and gallery events across the country but Crafty Feast is a hometown favorite! Photos by Devon Hicks and Jellykoe.

As they continue to finalize details for their booth at Crafty Feast on December 13th, their advice for small business owners dipping their toes into the craft market scene is to “Start small, start local.  Come prepared, look and act professional. Don’t worry if it isn’t great, you will learn as you go along what will and won’t work for you.”

“We created our dolls with the idea that every child is different”

Eloisa, the lovely creator of Mums n Posiesthe talent behind Spoonflower shop Natitys and Spoonflower’s very own fabric buyer has been creating one of a kind dollies since 2013 with her mom. They’ll be packing up their dolls this December and will be making their first appearance at the 2015 Crafty Feast. From the looks of it, they’ll be in great company!

With the use of Spoonflower’s custom printing service, Mums n Posies has been able to customize every doll that is ordered.
“We are able to create customers’ dolls with the idea that every child is different, all the Mums n Posies ready-to-play dollies have a back-story in place, and their clothes and accessories reflect these. We also get to personalize the dolls to resemble their “real life friend”, which means that these dolls are going to be played with and cherished for years to come. There is something very special about that, and this is our favorite part!”

Eloisa: To have Spoonflower custom print our fabric has streamlined a lot of the process of creating them at a faster rate, helping us continue being a small, comfortable operation.

The #1 selling doll, Claire, was originally designed for Eloisa’s youngest daughter Claire who loves to wear bright colors, is always listening to music, and wears cool, funky glasses.

With a handful of markets under her belt, Eloisa leaves each market with a new lesson learned.

Eloisa: Attending markets can always be a great experience, but a lot of people tie the quality of their experience with how much they sell. It is important to understand that you can take the whole experience in and learn from it while having fun. Sometimes your sales are not super great, but you meet a lot of great people and learn a trick of the trade!”

Whether you’re an artist gearing up for the holiday market season, a shopper looking for the perfect gift or you’re running the show for your community’s local art market, your friends at Spoonflower encourage you to continue to shop local!

Happy gifting!

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