Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Stonewares
Sep07

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Stonewares

This entrepreneur spotlight features Laura Brandenburg of Stonewares! Laura makes absolutely amazing earthy, stoneware pottery and jewelry. While she has several stable items, she also does custom orders. I’m in love with her planters. I also have a thing for mugs, and she recently made some of the coolest Indiana  mugs I’ve ever seen! Laura has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, and to add to her awesome-ness, she recently completed work that she was commissioned to create by internationally renowned interior designer, Kelly Wearstler. The bowls that she created are decorative elements that will outfit the furnished units of Hollywood Proper at Columbia Square—how cool is that?! Here’s what she had to say about doing business in the Fort. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? In 2004, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics from IPFW. My dream was always to have a home studio and start to sell my functional and decorative stonewares locally. I saved up and purchased my kiln and my wheel and the studio slowly came together. My work was selling and I decided to take a leap and dedicate more and more of my free time to creating my work and selling it. Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana has been so supportive of my work that I am happy to have this location as my roots. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? The people in the community supporting their local artists and shopping locally has been one of the main reasons that my business has survived and thrived. There are so many resources in our community that have had a big impact on me being able to do what I love. YLNI’s Barr Street Market was where I began regularly selling my work in 2008. I have been a vendor there every year since and attribute the bulk of my business growth to that venue and community. Local juried Art Fairs such as the Covington Art Fair and Art at the Riverside have also helped me to share my work with a broader range of customers desiring fine art. The Downtown Improvement District in its creation of HolidayFest and the Holly Trolley has allowed me to continue my work as coordinator and participant of the “Foxy Ladies Art Posse”; an assembled group of local makers’ Holiday Pop-up Show at Artlink Contemporary Gallery. Artlink has hosted the Foxy Ladies Art Posse Holiday Pop-up show for the past 5 years and has been a solid supporter of local artists. Local entrepreneurs have also been a huge reason my work has...

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Taste of the Arts: Two Day Festival
Aug24

Taste of the Arts: Two Day Festival

Taste of the Arts is back and better than ever for the 2016 season. With not one but two days to hang out on Main Street in Downtown Fort Wayne, this is a celebration for every person and every age. Tens of thousands of people partake in Taste of the Arts each year. Brought to you by Arts United, this event is located right in the midst of their downtown art campus at 300 E. Main Street. The festival itself is free and tickets are available to enjoy delicious food from a large amount of local vendors that look forward to this each year. Everything kicks off on Friday, August 26 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., and then continues on Saturday, August 27 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Enjoy music, food, and more including the YLNI Farmer’s Market on Barr Street, performances by dAnce.Kontemporary, Fort Wayne Ballet, and Pyroscope, a movie night with Living Fort Wayne, and a day of street performance fun from the Downtown Improvement District’s BuskerSquare (the sister to their annual BuskerFest event). There will also be mile runs, KidsARTivities, and unique events at Artlink. If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to come hungry and don’t hold back. Some of my favorite food items are found each year at Taste of the Arts. With unique food portions available from different vendors it’s the perfect opportunity to sample everything without having to choose just one place. I highly recommend the Meatloaf Cupcakes from Waiter on the Way and those awesome sliders from Shigs In Pit! This weekend we are expecting sunny skies and warm temperatures. Bring your friends and kids for an event you won’t forget (or you can help volunteer). There really is something for everyone, and with two days to explore all that Taste of the Arts has to offer, this is something you are going to be coming back to for many years in the future. Make sure to share your photos on social media as you enjoy the fun with hashtag...

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Polar Root Studio
Sep21

Polar Root Studio

This week we are going to share the spot light on a local business owned by Justine Hettler called Polar Root Studio. As many of you know the Barr Street Market is a way for small business owners to showcase the products have to offer and Polar Root Studio does just that. Justine has been interested in art science since as long as she can remember. She received her BA in Studio Art from the University of Saint Francis, but it wasn’t until she graduated that book making became her focus. Justine states “I just love to make things with my hands, and adding a hand carved print on the front gives me the best of both worlds”. From hand bound notebooks and sketchbooks, original watercolors, to hand pulled prints there is plenty of unique items to peruse. What sets Polar Root Studio apart from others is the fact that all of Justine’s products are hand made From hand bound notebooks and sketchbooks, original watercolors, to hand pulled prints there is plenty of unique items to peruse. What sets Polar Root Studio apart from others is the fact that all of Justine’s products are hand made What exactly is it that Polar Root has to offer?  From hand bound notebooks and sketchbooks, original watercolors, to hand pulled prints there is plenty of unique items to peruse. What sets Polar Root Studio apart from others is the fact that all of Justine’s products are hand made. Beginning from the cutting down of the paper with a ruler and zacto knife, to folding each sheet, to sewing text blocks together, to designing and carving each image printed on the front. We asked Justine what she enjoyed most about being a vendor at the Barr Street Market. “I enjoy getting to know the other venders around me. So many creatives, and such a vast variety of product. I also enjoy getting the chance to show my work in person, the chance for my notebooks to be touched, help, and experienced- opposed to looking at a computer screen.” If you missed Polar Root Studio at the Barr Street Market don’t worry there are a few ways to learn about the company. Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/PolarRootStudio Instagram: http://instagram.com/polarroot_studio Email: justinehettler@Hotmail.com “All of my work is inspired by elements of nature. I am continuously amazed at all the textures, colors, and shapes that can be found on the tiniest details. And most often, these beautiful details are on things that usual go unnoticed, like a broken piece of bark on the ground. Hopefully, by bringing attention to these details, I can get others to notice and appreciate...

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Barr Street Market Vendor Series: The Girl of Sandwich
Aug31

Barr Street Market Vendor Series: The Girl of Sandwich

  You know what they say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s exactly what Heather and Jeff Shively did. They took their love for food and turned it into The Girl of Sandwich (website coming soon). (You may also formerly know them as Smoke and Honey!) If you’re wondering where you can find these mobile foodies, you probably guessed it right, at the YLNI Barr Street Market. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re looking to get a taste of all of the wonderful Barr Street vendors, you’re going to have to work a little harder to locate them, as the Barr Street Market’s last day of the season is going to be September 12! But while you still can, mosey on down to the Barr Street Market, located downtown on Barr Street between Berry and Wayne and visit the lovely folks at The Girl of Sandwich for a fresh taste of truly unique and fresh products in the form of sandwiches, tartines, savory pastries and their famous Smoke and Honey beef jerky! The Girl of Sandwich serves you some real food, and by real, I mean handcrafted, fresh and original. The Girl of Sandwich make nearly everything they serve you – from their personally smoked and roasted meats to their handmade sauces, condiments and marinades. To give you a glimpse of the kind of items you might see at the Market, previous menus have included items such as Italian Sausage, an Herb Roasted Pork Loin, Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders, Beef Barbacoa and so, so much more. All of their sandwiches are serves on freshly baked artisan baguettes (and they also have the option to turn any sandwich into a salad on a bed of spring greens). Make sure you stop by and share your love of food with the peeps at The Girl of Sandwich on your next trip to the Barr Street Market. While they love making and sharing great food, they also love meeting new people! You can contact The Girl of Sandwich on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by email at hello@girlofsandwich.com for more information on their products and...

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Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Big Purple Deck
Aug28

Barr Street Market Vendor Series: Big Purple Deck

I don’t know about y’all, but when I am shopping fun brand names always catch my eye. Big Purple Deck caught mine! Their products are just as unique as their name. Big Purple Deck is one of the many vendors at the YLNI Barr Street Market. This wonderful establishment was created by and is run by Linda Rupp and Judy Yoder, two sisters. This is their first year at the YLNI Barr Street Market, “We are just getting started in the business and have been testing the water to see if there was a market for our product.” Big Purple Deck creates sandcasted leaves for indoor and outdoor use and decor. What makes one interested in making sandcasted leaves you ask? Rupp and Yoder saw leaves made of ceramic once and loved them! They read how to make them using concrete. “My sister and I finally got together about a year ago specifically to try our hand at it. We were very pleased and friends were impressed and interested in buying.” The number ONE thing they want all their customers to know is each leaf made is an individual. They can only use a leaf one time and one time only. They do not change any of the leaves details. It is all original with the leaf’s design. They paint each item by hand and finish every one with a gloss and an outdoor sealer, each product can be outside if desired. They use a variety of leaves that they mostly gather from their own flower beds and gardens. Each leaf varies from 3 inches to over 20 inches. Some suggested uses of these unique sandcasted leaves are: a candy dish, a soap dish, a spoon rest, a place by kitchen sink for a scratcher, a jewelry or loose change or key holder, a candle holder, a table top display, or a bird feeder. And, they are beautiful to place in your flower beds. Rupp and Yoder’s favorite thing about the YLNI Barr Street Market is “Visiting with the people who stop by. It’s so interesting to see their facial expressions and hear their comments when we explain our product.  We have had wonderful feedback and compliments.” Big Purple Deck’s next and FINAL date at the market is August 29 (TOMORROW)! Look for them at local numerous craft shows in the surrounding area. They will soon be on Facebook. Right now their business is just word of mouth. So come visit...

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