YLNI Farmers Market: The Neon Cauldron
Aug11

YLNI Farmers Market: The Neon Cauldron

Kayla Gervais has always been crafty and found enjoyment in recreating her favorite bath and body products at home. Today, The Neon Cauldron sells an entire range of imaginative products from bath bombs, bubble cookies, soap cupcakes, and much more. Kayla’s products are made with a combination of oils and butters, so your skin gets a healthy pampering when using them. The goal is to provide an enjoyable and luxurious bath experience for kids and adults alike with simple ingredients that can work with many skin types. The kids get some fizzy fun and the adults get those few precious moments of self-care. After sharing some of her homemade bath bombs with family and friends who fell in love with them, The Neon Cauldron was born. When Kayla launched in 2015, her first group of loyal supporters was her fellow babywearers called the Cupcakes. Through her involvement with this group, she tested out the products, got an endless source of new ideas, and found her most loyal customers. Another important source of support is her husband. Despite working his own full-time job, he dedicates his evenings to assisting Kayla however possible and always gives her some encouraging words. Much of her success can be attributed to word of mouth advertising from customers that spread the joy of her products to others. When Kayla is not busy with her boy or The Neon Cauldron, she is getting her geek on with books, movies, and video games, cooking, or working with her crochet hook. As a small business owner and a mother of a three year-old boy, Kayla appreciates the need to take time for yourself and refresh yourself before and after a hard day’s work. You are the most important part of a business when you are the whole business, so taking care of the other facets of your life are just as important as the business itself. Come down to the YLNI Farmers Market this summer to check out The Neon Cauldron and their fun and creative bathing products. You can visit The Neon Cauldron’s website and follow them on Facebook and...

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YLNI Farmers Market: Knotoday
Jul28

YLNI Farmers Market: Knotoday

Cheyenne Gonzales loves to create, and she’s sharing this passion with the community. She started Knotoday earlier this year as her first business, along with the local creative group, Photanical. Cheyenne sells fiber art pieces: macrame wall hangings, plant holders, keychains, garlands, and select knitted pieces that garnish your home in style. All of her macrame pieces are 100% cotton and hand dyed. Not only can you buy her works of art, but also you can make your own! Knotoday shares the creative knowledge of fiber art making in local workshops.   Cheyenne got started selling pieces to friends and family. The inspiration for Cheyenne is her grandmother Vicki, the “Queen Crafter,” who is always willing to show Cheyenne new ideas and techniques.Word spread of her business with the help of social media, which has been a great communication tool for introducing Knotoday. While the goal is to continually grow Knotoday, she maintains a full-time job as an Insurance Specialist for Specialist Transportation. Outside of her passion of Knotoday, Cheyenne is a yogi at Pranayoga, a mom to her cat Johanna, and the biggest Jim Carrey fan you will ever meet.     The most important lesson Cheyenne has learned through starting Knotoday is to show appreciation to the people and opportunities that come your way. She is extremely grateful for to the small team who has been supporting her through this journey. After months of working on her craft, and a lifetime of developing her creativity, Cheyenne has learned that whatever you do, do it every day – be involved in your craft every single day.     Come down to the YLNI Farmers Market this summer to check out Knotoday and the unique products Cheyenne has to offer. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and upcoming...

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YLNI Farmers Market: Nana’s Southern Treats
Jul21

YLNI Farmers Market: Nana’s Southern Treats

At Nana’s Southern Treats, Joyce Culberson (aka Nana), makes amazing assortments of homemade baked goods each week. Nana specializes in southern delicacies, such as rich buttery pound cakes, seasonal fruit tarts, pies, and pastries, all with homemade crusts. You can also pick up items like cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, cookies, and gooey sweet bars for the kids. With the help of her friend Linda (aka Mee Mee), Nana brings Southern hospitality to you in baked sweetness. Whether you are one of her fans clamoring for her booth every Saturday or new to her creations, Nana is seeks to bring a piece of happiness to you with every treat. Nana comes from the hills of Alabama, where she learned from her mother and grandmother to not only bake, but to create delicious food. She was taught that we eat with our eyes, as well as our mouths, so she works hard to make bakery treats that are both beautiful and delicious enough to share with family and friends. With this devotion to loving care, Nana decided that retirement offered a chance to share her passion with the rest of the community. This engagement with the community has created a new source of enjoyment–spending time with new friends and patrons at the market every Saturday. Quality, quality, quality. That’s the loving care that Nana expresses with every creation and the most important lesson she has learned. To be successful, you have to produce the highest quality product possible. Come down to the YLNI Farmers Market this summer to check out Nana’s Southern Treats and try their delicious homemade baked goods. Nana loves to gather with new friends just as much as she loves to share her creations with...

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YLNI Farmers Market – Old Fort Soap Company
Jul14

YLNI Farmers Market – Old Fort Soap Company

  Who’s better at recommending a good soap than a friend? That’s why Gary and Hagan are started offering you their vast assortment of natural products from real, natural lye soap, to bath and body products, to house and home supplies. The best part is that you know exactly what is in every product, without having a degree in chemistry! As the name implies, Old Fort Soap has been around for some time now. More than 11 years ago, Gary and Hagan started out of a need to resolve their own skin care concerns that mass market products could not. Soon family and friends got hooked on the products, and Old Fort Soap Company was born. That same group of family and friends are still their greatest supporters today. Getting the company off the ground began with $250, no experience, and the desire to make something better. For the first 7 years of Old Fort Soap, they held day jobs as their friends base grew to the point where they could sustain themselves on just the business. Today, they are one of our largest vendors and sell out of most of their products every market. When Gary and Hagan can get away, they travel, spend time at their cabin with family and friends, and participate in community programs to support the less fortunate. Friends coming back after using their products is always a rewarding experience. The soap does smell great, but the benefits of natural lye soap brings people back time and time again. These successes have enabled them to reach their goals, but they are always setting new ones to achieve. They have learned a couple of lessons in their journey as well. In the past few years, they have been facing increasing competition with new soap vendors coming to the market. “You must be prepared to face that competition and know that it will keep you strong.” It took 7 years before Gary and Hagan could work on Old Fort Soap full-time, so they know that slow and steady wins the race. You have to put aside your doubts and fears, and keep plugging away at what you know is working. Get out to the market this summer and find Gary and Hagan (they only have the largest tent at the market)! Follow them on Facebook and visit their...

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Fort Wayne HeART of the City Hosts First Event at Three Rivers Festival
Jul06

Fort Wayne HeART of the City Hosts First Event at Three Rivers Festival

The local art scene is alive, and it has a pulse. Fort Wayne HeART of the City is an artist-run initiative that collectively supports artists of all types, mediums, and skill levels in the greater Northeast Indiana area. The group hosts its first event at the Three Rivers Festival on July 8th and 9th in the Freimann Square parking lot, where festival-goers can check out an assortment local art, music, and food. To learn more about Fort Wayne HeART of the City and their upcoming event, I spoke with Daniel Church and Tricia Cavender, two of the founding artists who are involved with coordinating events and operations.     It all started when group of artist friends wanted to bring attention to other local artists. However, they noticed a divide in the community. “From what I’ve experienced in the local art scene here in Fort Wayne, there is a great disconnect. The established artists and galleries are on one end of the spectrum and the newer unestablished artists are on the other. I would love to see those two worlds come together and learn from each other,” said Tricia. To bridge that gap, Fort Wayne HeART of the City was born. Local artists are supporting other local artists through new events and an online database.     Emerging into the art scene can be daunting. Often, newer artists don’t know where to start, and there aren’t many opportunities to showcase their work. To resolve this issue, HeART of the City is connecting established artists with new artists. “We want to help them learn how to better promote their work and give them events that will provide opportunities for them to show their work,” Tricia said. “We want to make some super fun events without the pressure of meeting juried requirements and booth approval. We want artists to be able to be themselves and show the art the way they choose to in a creative and free way. I think that is what makes HeART of the City special.” The group also offers ways for artists to promote themselves online. Their website hosts a calendar of art events and maintains a local artist directory, where anyone can submit examples of their work and links to their social media and websites. “It’s a hub for local artists to support local artists and a way to connect with each other and our community,” said Daniel. “Due to information overload, things can get lost in the mix, and you don’t even know what’s in your own backyard.”     Though this weekend is their first event, HeART of the City is already seeing their efforts pay off. Tricia...

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