Maker Series: Erica Montejo of Tiny Erica Jewelry

Hobbyist turned professional jeweler Erica Montejo took the big leap and left her day job in August of 2016 to entirely focus on her small business, Tiny Erica Jewelry. Erica’s pieces start with a refined geometric metalwork foundation and pair those designs with elegant stone accents. Propelled by a family of supportive artists, Tiny Erica Jewelry shows no signs of slowing down. Learn more about how the maker has polished her process in our Maker Series interview below.

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Maker Series: Amy Cornelius of Glam & Grace

Local cosmetics craftswoman Amy Cornelius, creator of Glam & Grace, knows a few things about color. You’d agree if you’ve ever made a purchase from her booth. All season long Amy’s handmade cosmetics give The Cleveland Flea a glow, and social media followers noticed, launching her solopreneur side hustle into a big deal business. Now her paraben free and cruelty free handcrafted cosmetics in on-trend colors are the highlight of events. Read on for insight into how Amy grew small batch cosmetics company in our Maker Series interview below.

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Maker Series: Nikki Lundberg of Odyssey and Oddities

Cleveland is gifted with some of the most gorgeous geological sites that a big city can offer. Glacier-cut grooves are now home to the Cleveland Metroparks, where locals can pass the hours enjoying the rock formations and the colorful visuals of sedimentary layers. Dappled with trees, the area is referred to as the "Emerald Necklace". We can't say for sure, but we like to think that Nikki Lundberg–creator of Odyssey and Oddities' stone-heavy jewelry collection–is inspired by the natural cues. With an accessory line known for its geological diversity, Odyssey and Oddities assembles jewelry featuring stones tumbled in-house, statement necklaces composed of vintage beads and brass, and raw materials that Elizabeth Taylor would die for. For a peek into Nikki's studio practices, as well as hints at the future of the business, read on!

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Maker Series: Elissa Hastings and Caleb Skelton of Wild Foot Studio

One of the greatest parts of running your own business is the ability to do things your own way. You are your own boss, you run the time clock, and best of all... you decide how to do the things you do. In the case of Elissa Hastings and Caleb Skelton of Wild Foot Studio, that means making your own tools and developing new techniques. The new business owners find happiness in creating without a guidebook and learning from each other. Get more of a glimpse into what studio time with Elissa and Caleb is like in our Maker Series below.

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Maker Series: Sam Friedman of Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve

Growing a company is a challenge, particularly when it comes to staffing small businesses. Trust is always an issue when hiring-on employees who may or may not step-up to the unique challenges of working in the environment of a small business. So why not work with those you know best... family. Primarily a family-run business, Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve was started by a woman looking for ways to heal members of her own household, and has grown into it's current state over the course of less than two decades! For more insight into how Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has cultivated their small, family-run business into a national brand, read on!

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Maker Series: Karla Furrer of Bella Studio

A maker is a creator, a trendsetter, and molder of minds–regardless of their occupation. Karla Furrer has held the title in one way or another throughout her life... and has recently reentered the creative world as owner and handmade brand architect at Bella Studio. The former teacher, current mother, and now handbag/jewelry/textile designer has covered the gamut of creative influence. Insight into Karla's business processes, as well as immediate goals and community engagements, are shared with us in our Maker Series interview below.

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Maker Series: Jackie & Phillip Watcher of Fount

Every person has that one sturdy, steadfast item that they depend on day-in and day-out. For owners of a Fount accessory, chances are that's your go-to good. Designed to intersect with our lives as both tools and objects of admiration, Fount bags are the products of husband and wife team Phillip and Jackie Watcher. They've grown their business from a two-person operation to a small business with a busy studio full of staff members... and now to a brick-and-mortar location in Cleveland's Gordon Square neighborhood.

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Maker Series: Lucy M. Williams of Boundary and Thorn Illustration

Business is a challenge–creative business even moreso. Makers discover ways to create work– oftentimes as a side-hustle–during the tiny nooks of time between their main gigs, sleeping, playing with their cats, etc... and sometimes the side hustle morphs into something greater. Amongst he lucky few who can say that their art is their work is Boundary & Thorn Illustration's Lucy Williams.

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Maker Series: Rachel DuFresne of Earth Philosophy

What does the term "handmade" truly mean? To Rachel DuFresne of Earth Philosophy, handmade means understanding her ingredients from seed to sealed package. Her botanical merchandise is the product of her own hand-tended garden, offering her control over the healing qualities of Earth Philosophy's merchandise. Get to the root of Rachel's plant-based processes in our Maker Series interview below!

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Maker Series: Jodi Lynn Burton of Jodi Lynn's Emporium of Doodles

There are jobs, and there are dreams... and then there are dream jobs. Dream jobs are side hustles-turned-waking fantasies. They're the kinds of careers you read about in the newspaper as a kid. Few of us can say that we've ever had a dream job, but Flea vendor Jodi Lynn Burton of Jodi Lynn's Emporium of Doodles is one who can. When you have the luxury of creating art for your job, every work day is a good day. For more insight into how one vendor turned a life of late-night doodles into her career, read on.

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Maker Series: Jess Boeke and Sarah Pottle of Drift Lab Textile Co.

Drift Lab Textile Co. owners Jess and Sarah are more than just sisters, they're twins. With similarities ranging far beyond their chromosomes, it's only natural that they combine forces in the business world. With shared interests such as weaving, natural dyeing, and upholstery, the duo has set their sights on educating the Rust Belt and East Coast in the wonderful ways of slow living and sustainability. Learn a bit more about these teachers and their textiles in their Maker Series interview below.

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Maker Series: Megan Baechle of Wizard of Oddz

When you have the opportunity to interview the self-proclaimed "queen of blow molds", you listen up. Megan Baechle, owner of Wizard of Oddz, brings the strangest, most campy parts of our childhood memories back to life with her collection of cool and kitsch. From TV trays to piles upon piles of Pyrex,  Megan really knows how to nail-down nostalgia! She has an eye for retro gold, and her heart's in the right place, too. For Megan, vintage is a way of life. Get a glimpse of her collection and a taste of her good intentions in our Maker Series interview below.

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Maker Series: Deanna Dionne of Cleveland Street Glass

Where there's a city, there's bound to be crime. Thankfully, there are usually more than a few artists, too. Deanna Dionne, the graphic designer-turned-jeweler behind Cleveland Street Glass, is one such urban maker. You could say that she knows an opportunity when she sees one: after her own car was vandalized she made light of the circumstances by developing a business that takes debris from similar situations and turns it into rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and brooches. Since her business' conception Deanna has created hundreds of custom jewelry pieces from Cleveland's streets . Read on for insight into how she is beautifying Cleveland one break-in at a time.

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