Thursday, March 7, 2019

Time to Shop!

Meet Annemarie from Grey Opal Studio...
With degrees in art and art history, creativity has always been a part of my life. I have called Ohio home my entire life. Now, I am married with three, young adult - who are almost out of the house - daughters, and now love being a part of this new community of creators. Grey Opal Studio was launched in the fall of 2018, just in time to participate in a handful of holiday shows. The Chagrin Falls Spring Show will be my first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show. 
The inspiration for my designs come in many different forms: fashion, nature, and historical patterns to name a few. Personally, as a business owner, I am inspired by my family and friends. The encouragement, excitement, and support are what keep me going and believing in myself. Grey Opal Studio was born out of a recent obsession for Swarovski crystal stones. I found myself reaching for the same pair of earrings day after day, wishing I had more choices. Then boom...I can make these! A strong sense of design, color, and just being a visual learner and observer has really helped me in the maker’s industry.
I truly enjoy creating, and I’m learning to embrace the challenge of the business side as well. I design jewelry that I love, they are pieces I wouldn’t hesitate to wear. So my creative process stems from my personal style. In 5 years, I hope to be selling at local shows as well as some in the south. I really enjoyed talking to my customers this past holiday season. It was fun and I loved seeing people try on my begs to be tried on! I am also in the process of growing my wholesale business. The message behind my jewelry is to inspire women to express their individuality and beauty in the workplace, at a party or just running errands!

Meet Maria Falorio from Maria Falorio Kindness Creations...
My name is Maria Falorio and I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. I am a full-time preschool teacher, but I have a love of creating and crafting. I have tapped into many areas of crafting, from painting to crocheting, but have recently found a love of creating household items and jewelry for friends and family to enjoy. I am excited to begin to share my talents with others! I have had a creative side for as long as I can remember, but I really started creating for other people in college. Since graduating, I find that crafting and creating gives me a sense of joy and relaxation from the “real world” stresses and find myself creating in my free time.
This is my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show, and first craft show ever! I am so excited to finally share some of my work. I am inspired to create when I think about the joy that art can spread between people and with an entire community. My hope is that when someone wears my handmade jewelry, they are reminded of how powerful their thoughts, words, and actions are and choose to have a positive day. I also hope they are a reminder to the customer to spread some kindness that day, whether that be through a random act or a small conversation. I hope the same for my household items. The purpose behind them is to serve as a reminder or just bring a smile to someone’s face.
As I stated earlier, crafting became a big part of my life during and after college. I have always found it to be a stress reliever and an enjoyable hobby. Once I was gifted my Cricut, I soon realized the wide variety of items that I can create and personalize and I took off from there! I discovered my talent through trial and error. I fumbled through multiple mediums until I found the one that truly showed me that my creations were not just for me, but that they can bring joy and happiness to those around me if I share them!

I try to create things that I feel would serve as good reminders to choose happiness. I enjoy creating items (such as pillows, dish towels, and makeup bags) that I know people can look at each day, in common areas of the home, and make them smile. Though I do not have a clear plan of where this tiny business will be in the next 5 years, I hope to spread kindness through my work and hope it is shared with others! I plan on exploring other products to create as well as find a way to use this business to give back to the community.

I think it is so important for people to remember that they have the power to decide how their day is going to go every single day. You have the opportunity every day to decide to have a good day and to use your own positivity to lift others. I hope that my work is a reminder to everyone who sees it to choose happy, to spread kindness and to find the positives in each day. I hope my work becomes a reminder to share kind words or participate in a random act of kindness. We have the power to make the world kinder, let’s do it!

Meet Debra Steffans from It's a Wrap Bracelets...
I’m retired from a Commercial Real Estate Leasing career and have been a singer/performer in an all-female, acoustic rock-n-retro band called the Blackjack Gypsies for the last 7 years. I started making Boho-style jewelry in January of 2018, not only to wear while performing but to keep myself busy in the dead of the cold and dreary Ohio winter. This will be my first Avant-Garde show, however, I've participated in four other shows and had four home parties. 
My creative inspiration comes from my fascination with the vast array of beads and gemstones I've found online and at retail bead shops. They've come a long way from the plastic beads of the past. The band jewelry actually inspired my new venture. I was very pleased with the first bracelet I created and received many compliments, and have been asked to make jewelry pieces for family and friends. I appreciate their challenging requests and have always received positive responses and great reviews. 
My creative process begins with finding the right color combinations, bead sizes, and textures and taking a good bit of time with the design process. In five years, I hope to be deeply entrenched in the art/craft show circuit and possibly selling my jewelry in unique, upscale retail shops. I would also like to work with brides, to create jewelry pieces to give as gifts to their bridal party that are one-of-a-kind pieces to match the color and style of their dresses. My message is to step out of the box and show the world your freestyle!

Meet Robyn Leopold of Celestial Collective…
Hi! My name is Robyn Leopold, I grew up in Chagrin Falls, and have a diverse background of marketing, nursing, and currently getting my MBA. I have a deep love and appreciation for crystals and stones, and their healing power and the positive energy that's given off. I have always been a creative type, and love to put my energy into artwork and jewelry making. I am engaged to be married in April and I have three dogs and one cat! I donate a portion of sales to The Animal Welfare Institute.
I’ve been painting and making various artwork for about five years and recently began my journey of creating jewelry in 2018. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. I am so excited! I am inspired by the universe and everything that encompasses it! For instance, the beautiful crystals and stones that have been being created over centuries, the cycles of the moon, the stars in the sky, and the galaxies beyond that-hence the name, Celestial Collective.

I’ve always been a creative person, and find that once I begin crafting/painting/making jewelry, I feel empowered, motivated, meditative. It gives me such an incredible outlet to do something I love and to share it with all of you. Once I started making art and jewelry, people noted how much they loved it and how they’d love to be able to purchase it, so that helped me discover I had a knack for this! My fiancĂ© is also so supportive and an amazing motivator as he’s always so positive about anything I create.
I get inspired by things that catch my eye, which I sometimes put down on paper, and sometimes I’ll just grab the tools I need, and start creating physical items! In five years, I hope to see my business grow tremendously so that it could be a sustainable income source for myself so that I can stay at home with my future children. My message is to stay positive, stay grounded by all of the natural beauty that surrounds you, and feel amazing vibes from inside yourself, being who you are, and knowing that is amazing.

Meet Kristen Walker from ART by WALKA...
I have been teaching special education for seven years, six of which have been in preschool. I am passionate about the work that I do with my students as well as my artwork. I try to find opportunities to share art and creative expression with them as often as possible. I have been painting for over 10 years but began my business within the last year. In general, I like to think that I see the world with an artistic eye. I tend to notice the details of colors, shadows, textures, angles, etc. in most things that I see and often imagine how I would create a painting of what I'm looking at. Specifically, the inspiration for my custom pet portraits comes from the love that I have for my own dog, Roxanne. She and I have a close bond and my very first pet portrait was of her.
Drawing and painting have been life-long hobbies of mine. I can remember keeping sketchbooks filled with drawings of animals and landscapes even as a child. My real talent was discovered thanks to my high school art teacher, Miss Curry. After I finished my very first painting in my very first class with her, she said to me, "You're going to be an artist whether you like it or not." I guess I ran with that. The process is similar for all of my work. I choose the subject, make a decision about the layout, and begin the painting. I start with a sketch of undertones, adding layers of color as I work. 
In five years, I hope to continue making artwork for others to enjoy. It is a special thing for me to be able to share art with others, especially when the subject holds personal meaning. The message behind my art is to love what you see. That flooding feeling that overcomes your chest when you're looking at something or someone that makes you truly happy is what I hope to achieve through my art. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft show!

2019 Chagrin Falls Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Sunday, March 10, 2019
10:00am-5:00pm on Saturday 
 11:00am-5:00pm on Sunday
Federated Church- Family Life Center
16349 Chillicothe Road

Chagrin Falls, OH 44023
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
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