Stitch Austin - Recap
Saturday my business partner, Joe, and I traveled to Austin, Texas, to attend the fifth annual Stitch Fashion Show & Guerrilla Craft Bazaar. This yearly event showcases & celebrates the work of independent designers, artists & crafters around the country. Four Austin-based designers (Jesse Kelly-Landes, Tina Sparkles, Karly Hand & Jennifer Perkins) joined forces to create this forum as a way to share their unique designs, as well as others'. Another objective of Stitch is to provide the opportunity for participants to connect & build relationships with other members of the creative community. As an extension of the Stitch philosophy, the producers have added a new element. The Stitch Craft & Art Indie Upstart Grant is a program designed to help an independent, creative business get started or continue to grow.
I really enjoyed attending Stitch. It was a treat to meet so many Funky Finds & see everyone’s wares in person. Shopping & visiting with people face-to-face is such a different experience versus communicating online. I was thrilled to meet organizers Jennifer Perkins (pictured here with me), her sister Hope Perkins, and Tina Sparkles. Here’s a run down of many of the vendor highlights I experienced at Stitch.
*Giveaway: Leave a comment on this post noting which shop listed below you think is super funky. Two lucky winners will win Stitch swag bags full of cool items such as Plain & Thimble lip balm, a Gelly Roll Stardust pen, promotional postcards & stickers, copies of Adorn & Make It Mine magazines, and much more.
ETA: Post a comment by midnight CST Friday, November 16 to be entered.
31 Corn Lane We met one of the three creative sisters behind this lovely company. The horse designs are precious! I treated myself to a set of heart & pony earrings.
Ballistic Sweater Girl These unique handbags are created using vintage automobile textiles. I especially love the bowling bag style.
Bob & Truffle This booth was absolutely adorable! The seating area & silver Christmas trees made me want to move in. The designer was very friendly and creates the coolest crochet items, including Christmas ornaments. I had to buy one!
Bolsa Bonita Liz Potter designs handbags that are so fun & funky! This friendly designer’s sense of humor really shines through in her work. The Tom Selleck bag definitely grabbed mine & Joe’s attention.
Cahoots Handbags These gorgeous handbags are made of vintage upholstery fabrics & alternative vintage textiles. You really have to feel them in person to appreciate the quality & design. I enjoyed chatting with these vendors who are from Dallas. If you are in the area & would like to visit their studio, drop them an email and let them know when you’d like to set up an appointment. According to their website, they also have regular open houses.
Coco Couture We did not meet the owner of this lovely shop, but we did meet her adorable mother who, turns out, lives right down the road from me. According to their online bio, this husband & wife team attended the same university I did. If you are looking for unique children’s wear & accessories, this is a great resource.
Dawn Houser was another personable vendor who creates many lovely items. Some of my favorite things were her rubber stamps & beautiful craft aprons.
Felt Good Fibers Breanna Rockstad-Kincaid is a bundle of energy. She actually approached me initially because I was wearing my Gnomes Make Me Happy & So Do You tee designed by Shona Cowart of Lala Dex Press. Turns out they are very good friends & Breanna recognized the tshirt design. Felt Good Fibers is a unique shop full of wonderful one-of-a-kind works.
Fort Cloudy This creative brother & sister duo have cooked up lots of fun products. You’ve got to love anyone who names one of their characters “Sal Monella the Fried Egg.”
Harrilu is a shop that was featured on Funky Finds this time last year. I love the silk screened designs that appear on children’s, women’s & men’s clothing. There’s also very cool maternity-wear available.
Lollibomb Beauty creates vegan bath & body treats in fragrances that range from mild to wild. The products have cool packaging, are affordable, & are created by the very friendly Luca. She traveled all the way from Florida to promote her awesome products. I really believe in her products because she has beautiful skin!
Loyale Clothing was founded by Jenny when she noticed there was an inadequate supply of stylish clothing made with regard for the environment. Her beautiful, wearable clothing line is created using bamboo fiber, a sustainable & biodegradable material.
Lucky Kitty We did not meet the designer, Noelle; however, we did meet her charismatic husband who was delightful to talk to. This was another vendor with a nicely designed booth that really showcased all the cool products.
Model Citizen is a hip line of clothing run by two creative Austinites, Bonnie Rue & Maggie Allen. Their screen printed apparel is fun & edgy.
My Imaginary Boyfriend I did not get a chance to talk to this vendor because her booth was so busy (a good thing!), but I did enjoy looking at her products. The Christmas ornaments & brooches were my favorite items.
My Olivette Angela Montgomery’s designs are even more beautiful in person. The filigree earrings look delicate, but feel sturdy enough to stand the test of time.
Queen Puff Puff I enjoyed meeting Nicole & her husband, Vince. They were very outgoing & enjoyable to talk to. And she mentioned hearing about Funky Finds on The Switchboards which thrilled me! All of Nicole’s products are created using the coolest fabrics.
Round Robin Press Shannon Lowry was the first vendor we met that I have previously blogged about. Her plant-able letterpress cards are stunning. And it was fun chatting with her about her letterpress machine.
Sublime Stitching I was so disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to meet the famous Jenny Hart! She was modeling the Sock Monkey bikini in the fashion show, so she was unable to man her booth. But I was able to stock up on more cool patterns & see all her products in person. The newly released embroidered yoga journal is beautiful.
Super Maggie Maggie & Michael were another fun couple that we got to chat with. They traveled to Austin all the way from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This friendly duo works together to provide the world with wonderful apparel, accessories & more.
Tasty Jewelry Diane Petkoff had to be the most enthusiastic vendor that we had the opportunity to visit with. I featured Diane’s hip jewelry in April. I loved seeing all her designs up close & personal. The acrylic pieces are especially cool.
Victrola Studio I mentioned Austin-based Victoria Corbett in my Stitch preview post. It was a delight to meet her, but I picked on her for not having a sign indicating her business name. However, she did have a cute booth, her designs are fabulous, and she has a lovely English accent!
A few suggestions I’d make to vendors planning to attend expos in the future:
- Wear a name tag indicating that you are the designer. If you have people helping out in your booth, they should wear name tags as well.
- Be visible in your booth. No hiding! Of course your products are what you’re pushing, but customers also want to see the designer & be able to talk to you if they wish.
- Display visible signage with your business name.
- Have business cards, stickers or another form of promotional advertising that includes all your information (name, web address, store location if you have one, and what products you specialize in). Including photos of your work ensures that people will easily remember what you create once they leave the expo.