Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays December 23 2014
Unique LA Show This Weekend December 03 2014
For over 7 years, the Unique LA show has showcased up-and-coming american makers and designers in the largest shopping event held in north america. Attendees get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from 350 hand-selected designers and artists in one space. All of the products at the show are made right here in the USA, helping to create jobs and support small businesses. UNIQUE makes it easy for shoppers to support the local economy, discover great design and deals, and join in community.
Give the Good Gift this holiday season. Buy local.
My Top 3 Shopping Websites for Unique Handmade Jewelry & Gifts November 17 2014
I was asked the other day by a family member to look for a birthday gift. Specifically a necklace. My first inclination was to go visit a local boutique and see their latest styles. But after doing little more thinking, I realized that although I love going to that local store, I didn't even have time to spend time driving around town going to that boutique.
There are plenty of unique, websites for handmade jewelry and gifts. I can search and shop whenever I am able during my day and or night. These sites specialize in handmade, have large jewelry selections and styles by local artists/makers throughout the world and do their best to make shopping easy. They have already curated, special collections and I can just search exactly what I'm looking for. So, here's my current, top 3 websites for unique handmade jewelry and gifts. And suprisingly, Etsy isn't even on the list!
Why I'm Now on Instagram October 10 2014
Yes, it's taken a while, but I'm now on Instagram!
I've been trying to maintain my select social media platforms for some time. But a few months ago, I felt that there was no more avoiding it anymore. People have been telling me to get with the program - it seems everyone these days is on Instagram. But the most compelling reason was the fact that I'm a very visual person and my products need to be seen.
I haven't always taken the best photos with my iPhone. But I think perfection takes time. The quick editing available ( a little cropping, a little sharpening) on the iPhone and with Instagram make it super easy to turn a "good" photo into a "great" photo.
What will you see from me on Instagram? My intention is to tell the story of what I like and what's inspiring me, places I go, and what I see. Be on the lookout for lots of cool discoveries, delicious food, and locations.
Interested in following me? I'm at @stacywonghandmade
Featured Stockist - Los Angeles County Store September 15 2014
If you're ever looking for a gift made in LA county, look no further than the Los Angeles County Store. The shop has been only been open a few months, but the buzz around town is that it's the best place for find something unique made by local artists. I would so agree. MaryAnne Loverme is the store's proprietress and an artist herself. She prides herself in finding and stocking a diverse and eclectic collection of gifts, home goods, jewelry, and accessories.
The back wall of the store features a 2-dimensional map which highlights the exact location within Los Angeles county where all of the stores' artists are from. I'm number "75" on the map and one of the few artists from the south bay.
MaryAnne and her staff also organize weekend trunk shows featuring selected artists and their work. These trunk shows provide an opportunity for artists to share their work in a store gallery setting as well as allow artists to directly meet and speak with store customers.
I will definitely be bringing my out-of-town friends/guests to the LA County Store for a special, souvenir made in the city of Angels.
Freehand Gallery - an LA Icon in Contemporary Craft September 08 2014
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Freehand Gallery, a Los Angeles institution in contemporary, american craft. The gallery is located on famous West Third Street and was one of the first memorable stores I visited when I moved to LA over 20 years ago.
porcelain artist leslie rosdal
fiber artist michael rohde
Owner Carol Sauvion started Freehand "to offer the finest craft." She has survived and prospered despite critics' initial warnings against selling "handmade" functional craft. Savion's business philosophy is simple - "Freehand is a haven where there is only one degree of separation between the maker and the client."
Sauvion and her staff find artists from a variety of sources. Many are found from craft shows, the internet, and from direct artist visits to the gallery. They look for refined craft, and are highly selective in the artists they represent working in the areas of porcelain/ceramics, wood, fiber, and jewelry. I am so honored to have my blocks represented at Freehand among so many well-know artists.
In addition to Freehand Gallery, Sauvion started a non-profit organization, Craft In America, based next door to the gallery. The organization's purpose is " to increase awareness of the fine crafts that are being made in America and the community of people who are dedicated to a life in this unique art form." Craft In America has produced a television series through PBS, written a book on the history of crafts, started a website to provide a place for learning, and now has a study center open to the public.
I visited Craft in America's current exhibition, "Body Conscious" representing fiber artists working in and around the framework of the human body.
Freehand Gallery is indeed a haven for everything in functional, contemporary American craft. And a destination stop for a unique, thoughtful handmade gift.
Trunk Show at Los Angeles County Store August 20 2014
Please join me, Saturday, September 13 for my trunk show at the Los Angeles County Store. I will be showing my "little works of art" from my entire product line including birth year boxes, real wood cards, wood pendant necklaces, and much more.
The LA County Store is the only shop dedicated exclusively to fine goods made in Los Angeles. It's the perfect place to find a unique gift. The store also has a cool, three-dimensional map on the wall which pinpoints where all of the products are made.
My Top 5 Local Businesses Who Support Creatives July 25 2014
I'm so lucky to live in a large metropolitan area which supports creative making. As a maker, I have many local businesses that provide resources, classes, and networking for people like me. If I want to learn or try out a new craft (such as hand-weaving) there are studios and classes to do just that. If I need to network with other creative-types, there are groups to that as well. I remember just a few years ago, none of these resources or businesses even existed. Well, there were very limited - such as those classes held in the large crafty chain stores but they never seemed original or unique to me.
These local businesses (many of which are women-owned) provide workspace studios, specialized equipment and teaching to learn whatever craft or technique you want to try or master. So, here are my top 5 local businesses who support creatives (in no particular order):
Creative Outlet Studios - The studio was borne out of a desire to provide broader access to quality and unique equipment and supplies and is owned by a Mother/Daughter team. The studio is a fully equipped creative workspace supporting many mediums and workshops in an inspiring community environment.
Academy of Handmade - The goal of the academy is to strengthen new and existing handmade businesses by connecting the handmade business community through meaningful relationships. The academy sponsors an annual awards ceremony for handmade businesses and provides ongoing workshops and events to support everything handmade.
Makery Craft Co. - Aims to bring together a community that fosters handmade and D.I.Y. culture by providing affordable access to a creative education. Located in Anaheim, CA.
Peoples Pop-Up - Owner Philip Graulty created People’s Pop-Up to connect teaching artisans with local businesses and bring DIY craft classes to the masses. Their full schedule of workshops has just begun and many classes are held at local venues throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Unique Space - A fresh, modern workplace in downtown LA's Arts District and home to innovation, creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship! They offer a monthly event calendar featuring every type of class from chocolate-making to front-end web development.
What local businesses support your creative inclinations? Let us know, we'd love to share.
Christmas in July? July 14 2014
Christmas in July? Yes, even with the hot July weather, I've been thinking, designing and creating new products for the holidays. It's actually a nice diversion from summer to start planning for the holidays. I brought out my vintage ribbons, metallic paints and wood from their storage shelves and put them front and center on my work table to start the inspiration process.
I see more and brighter colors for the holidays, with touches of metallics. I'm very visual, so I need to play with mixing paint colors and actually combine different bright and pastel colors to evaluate contrasting pairings and combination options. I've also decided to expand my ornaments product line with a new tree design.
Here's a sneak peak of a few of my prototypes. More images of the new products to come shortly and I'll begin pre-ordering many of these products in the early fall.