2014 Holiday Market Vendor Spotlight: Boston General Store



Have you been enjoying the Vendor Spotlights that Laura aka Pansy Maiden has been crafting for the blog? We've loved learning what inspires these makers and shakers. These little previews of some of the vendors attending our 4th Annual Holiday Market at The Uniun in Union Square, Somerville are the perfect teaser so you can see what you might find on Saturday, December 20th. Today we feature: The Boston General Store!

April Gabriel, the entrepreneur behind Boston General Store, is motivated by the idea that well-made products really can last a lifetime and become stories in themselves. “Boston General Store has been slowly forming in my mind since I began spending summers with my Nanna in the Berkshires as a child.<PREVIEWEND> Most of my memories revolve around the two of us spending our time out in the garden wading our way through thorny bushes of raspberries. Our gear was old long-sleeved chambrays with mason jars tied around our waists. Every year we used the same jars, ropes, and shirts. Later we would move into the kitchen and make unbelievable raspberry jam. She would use the same equipment every time, and seeing those pots and pans became just as much a part of my memory as the raspberries themselves,” April recounts. Boston General Store’s mission is to provide people with really great products that will last a lifetime and become part of creating happy memories like the memories she has of time spent with her Nanna. April’s operation, currently based in her 300 year old home in Dedham, stocks artisan brands such as Peg & Awl, Brooklyn Slate Co, and MAAK Lab.

We know you are going to wild about Boston General Store and the other 25+ makers that will be attending this year's Handmade Holiday event. With music, food, and a killer craftivity with gather here, we know that this is going to be an event you won't want to miss!


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2014 Holiday Market Vendor Spotlight: Loomination


Over the course of the next two weeks, we will present to you vendor spotlights meant to introduce you to just a few of the magnificent Makers who will be vending at our 4th annual Handmade Holiday from 11am - 6pm on Saturday, December 20th at The Uniun, smack-dab in the heart of Somerville’s Union Square. Next up: Loomination.

Leanne Tremblay of Loomination never set out to become a full-time artisan. It just kinda happened. Leanne studied textile design and fiber art as an undergrad, but went on to grad school to pursue a career in museum studies and nonprofit administration. After buying her first loom, she started selling her work in the Boston area. <PREVIEWEND>She quickly realized weaving was what she ultimately wanted to do with her time and began shaping her studio practice into a business. These days Leanne designs and creates her inspired line of handwoven wearables and home decor out of her live/work studio loft in Lowell, MA. She describes herself as being “obsessed by color.” If a color combination is bright and unusual, she’ll use it! Using mostly natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk, her Holiday 2014 collection includes infinity scarves (priced to gift and great for accessorizing your holiday style!), classic scarves, menswear scarves, and small accessories such as organic lavender sachets (which, by the way, make pleasant stocking stuffers). In 2015, Leanne will be expanding her line of home decor offering with even more rugs, table runners, and pillows while also offering blankets and tea towels. Lots of new designs in the works for Loomination, most inspired by vintage textiles.

Be sure to stop by Loomination’s booth as well as the booths of the other 25+ Makers we will be hosting at this year’s Handmade Holiday! Bring a friend, an empty stomach (there will be food vendors!), and your dancing shoes (there will be a DJ!). See you there!


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2014 Holiday Market Vendor Spotlight: Lush Beads Industrial


Over the course of the next two weeks, we will present to you vendors spotlights meant to introduce you to just a few of the magnificent Makers who will be vending at our 4th annual Handmade Holiday from 11am - 6pm on Saturday, December 20th at The Uniun, smack-dab in the heart of Somerville’s Union Square. Next up: Lush Beads Industrial.

Can I get a “what what” from all the self-proclaimed crafty computer nerds out there? (We know there are a lot of you!) May we present an artist from your own tribe: Liz Stewart of Lush Beads Industrial. After years of working in technology, Liz took up beading as a hobby in 2000.<PREVIEWEND> Four years later, she opened Lush Beads, a full-service beading supply store where she sold beads and supplies, taught classes, repaired broken treasures, and designed and sold her own line of jewelry. About 4 years ago she gained unexpected inspiration from industrial hardware and antiquated computer parts. Liz began incorporating these “spare parts” in her designs. This experimentation lead to her new line of utilitarian necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. After almost 10 years in business, she closed her bead store so that she could concentrate on her own jewelry line. In addition to her craftwork, she also works part-time in Arts Marketing for the City of Lowell.

Be sure to stop by Lush Beads Industrial’s booth as well as the booths of the other 25+ Makers we will be hosting at this year’s Handmade Holiday! Bring a friend, an empty stomach (there will be food vendors!), and your dancing shoes (there will be a DJ!). See you there!


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2014 Holiday Market Spotlight: Happy Owl Glassworks


Over the course of the next two weeks, we will present to you vendors spotlights meant to introduce you to just a few of the magnificent Makers who will be vending at our 4th annual Handmade Holiday from 11am - 6pm on Saturday, December 20th at The Uniun, smack-dab in the heart of Somerville’s Union Square. Next up: Happy Owl Glassworks.

Pairing her training in graphic design and glass-making, Happy Owl Glassworks creates custom-made, beautifully crafted night lights and accessories, adorned with her original illustrations. Tracy Bull, the talented lady behind Happy Owl, grew up the Midwest where she was inspired by birds, trees, and the simple curiosities around her.<PREVIEWEND> After several cross-country moves to California, Montana, and upstate New York, she has finally settled into a cozy spot in Concord, Massachusetts where her creativity is fueled by her three young kiddos. In the early days of Happy Owl, Tracy worked in a cramped 4x4 utility room. As her business grew, she was able to move her operation to a basement, then on to a slightly bigger basement. Now you’ll find her working out of her very own studio, making her art/business world a whole lot brighter. After all, a kiln requires a proper space! Tracy’s line of not-to-be-missed nightlights features a menagerie of alpacas, cassowaries, lovebirds, markhors, sloths, and bunnies to name a few. In addition, Tracy recently introduced a line of glass feathers that are definitely on this writer’s Christmas list. 

Be sure to stop by Happy Owl Glasswork’s booth as well as the booths of the other 25+ Makers we will be hosting at this year’s Handmade Holiday! Bring a friend, an empty stomach (there will be food vendors!), and your dancing shoes (there will be a DJ!). See you there!


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2014 Holiday Market Vendor Spotlight: Made In Lowell


The gather here elves have been working hard behind the scenes to craft our 4th annual Handmade Holiday Market and frankly, we’ve outgrown our stockings. In years past, we’ve happily hosted a dozen or so merry vendors at our 370 Broadway stitch lounge. This year, there were so many Boston-area crafters on our “good kids” list, we simply had to expand. We decided to take the show on the road...to Union Square!

gather here will be hosting our 4th annual Handmade Holiday Market at The Uniun, smack-dab in the heart of Somerville’s Union Square. We have invited 25+ talented vendors who have been working tirelessly to supply you with unique handmade gifts that will surely impress every single person on your “good kid” list. <PREVIEWEND>

We know you just can’t make all the things, so come see us on Saturday, December 20th,

11am-6pm. Bring a friend, an empty stomach (there will be food vendors!), and your dancing shoes (there will be a DJ!).

Over the course of the next two weeks, we will present to you vendors spotlights meant to introduce you to just a few of the magnificent Makers who will be vending at this year’s Handmade Holiday. First up: Made In Lowell.

Picture this: A historic textile mill in Eastern Massachusetts sits next to a peaceful canal in a town once known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution. The interior of this historic mill has been repurposed, rearranged, and rebuilt into artists’ studios. Inside one of these artists’ studios, in the year 2014, sits a woman named Liz Smith and a cat named Chester...Smith, I presume. In that studio, Brazilian jazz from the 1960’s plays on the music player. Art supplies; wool, polymer clay, and paper to name a few; are stacked floor to ceiling. Artwork made by Liz’s friends hangs on the walls. Liz, inspired mostly by color and texture, sits in her cozy studio making cute and fun items that contain a touch of elegance. Taking her inspiration from vintage items, kitchenware, and textiles from the mid century right into the 1970’s, Liz has been making pretties to sell at craft fairs since the 1980’s. It was 2007 that Liz was able to make Made in Lowell her full time job. Liz details the top three reasons folks should stop by her booth: 1) The cute! It burns! 2) Gifts for folks who sew! 3) To buy something lovely for yourself.


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A gift that keeps on giving


The rumors are true. gather here is a Bernina retailer. No longer must you beg/borrow/steal a car and drive outside of the Route 128 loop to procure your forever machine. You can test drive, compare, and talk to experts about what makes a Bernina worth every penny right here at 370 Broadway. You can also have your machine serviced, just drop it off and we'll leave it in the capable hands of Tom and Erin Daly, certified Bernina technicians. Or pick up some extra bobbins. And perhaps an invisible zipper foot to make your next garment come together with ease.

<PREVIEWEND>

If you are thinking about investing in your forever machine there are some incredible Bernina offers going on right now. Some of them are quite time sensitive. Like the Bernina 800 DL overlock. After just a couple of hours, Virginia whipped up a Linden sweatshirt and a pair of Anima pants. It took her longer to hunt for the perfect pair of classic high top Reeboks than to make her new totally awesome '80's outfit. The 800 DL is priced at $899 until December 10th. It's regularly $1,249.

TODAY is the last day to purchase a Bernina 530 for the incredible price of $1,999 instead of $3,099. This is a machine for the ambitious stitcher who is looking to grow into and spend a lifetime with his/her sewing machine. With a short and long-term memory, knee-lift, and 9 automatic buttonhole options, you can really explore garment construction techniques.

And if you learned to make a tote bag at gather here, you likely stitched it with a Bernina 215. This workhorse mechanical is currently $699 through December. Normally $1,199, you won't regret owning this no-fuss, durable sewing machine that you will rely on for years to come. Simple stitch selection, speed control, and needle up/down options make sewing with a 215 enjoyable.

If you still think a Bernina is out of reach, you might consider a Bernette. The Seville 4 is truly attainable at $149. Simple with just 6 utility stitches and a 4-step standard buttonhole, this Bernette is not only affordable but also versatile and reliable. Great for the beginner stitcher who isn't sure sewing will be a serious lifetime craft. 

But you can always just come in and rent some studio time and use these amazing machines at gather here. We've invested in these Swiss machines because we know there isn't anything out there we'd rather sew our wedding dress or our sweat pants on.


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Meet Team GH: Sara




Meet Sara Honeywell, Children's Sewing Program Coordinator, and we think the first person to host a birthday party at gather here. You might recognize her as a trombone playing member of a local band or two. Perhaps even seen her marching in the Honk! festival. The stars aligned and Sara was able to come aboard this fall. 

When did you start making things? My grandmother taught me how to sew by hand when I was 5 or 6, I would make outfits for my dolls - sometimes just sewing the garment on indefinitely. Luckily for them, I got better. <PREVIEWEND>

What's your favorite thing to make? I really enjoy making scarves out of fabric scraps, so it ends up a functional art piece. Usually in loud colors and patterns...plus you can add embroidery, etc. I will never buy another scarf.

What are you looking forward to the most about being a part of the gather here community? I'm going to mostly be working with small humans, and am really looking forward to helping them bring their ideas to life. Let imaginations run wild, and challenge our skill set!

What's your favorite tool? Seam ripper- because mistakes happen, and then we move forward.

What do you do when you aren't making things? Usually MAKING music. Or MAKING mischief. Or both.

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Meet Team GH: Julie



Meet Julie Vician, we are positive you are going to love getting to know her. She is also a super skilled stitcher - from sewing garments to embroidering the cover art on one of Sarah Jane's patterns, Julie is a whiz with a needle and thread. For more inspiration go check out her Instagram feed where she posts pictures of things she's making or has made.

When did you start making things?
I started out with a Peter Max embroidery kit when I was 6 or 7. Then I had a toy sewing machine that 'stitched' fabric together with glue. I had very well dressed stuffed animals. By middle school I was making my own clothes. I've never NOT been making things. It's as vital to me as food or water. <PREVIEWEND>

What's your favorite thing to make?
I love to make anything that's complicated and detailed. There's no such thing as too many pattern pieces.

What are you looking forward to the most about being a part of the gather here community?
I am really looking forward to all the new sources of inspiration! The streets of Cambridge, new friends and customers, new products and ways of doing things, etc. will all get my creative wheels spinning.

What's your favorite tool?
My favorite tool is my six-inch ruler. I believe that precision is one of the most important aspects of sewing, from cutting out the pattern pieces to adding the final touches. Measure twice, stitch once is a favorite rule of thumb.

What do you do when you aren't making things?
I'm fortunate to have two great kids and a wonderful husband. So, when I'm not stitching or creating, I'm busy making memories with them! I also am a media junkie. I love film, TV and music and usually have one of these playing in the background throughout my day.

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Meet Team GH: Monta


 
Introducing Monta Lertpachin. Monta was Virginia's first ever private lesson back in 2011. She made a tote bag (like hundreds of other have since) and she carries that robot tote bag to this day. A trained and working architect, Monta reminds us that making things is so important. Even when you design structures all day, every day.

When did you start making things?
When I was 10, I was obsessed with saving the environment. So I braided a wreath from dried up bamboo leaves I found in the garden. <PREVIEWEND>

What's your favorite thing to make?
Clothing, because I feel like I'm sticking it to the man when I don't have to buy them.

What are you looking forward to the most about being a part of the gather here community?
Being surrounded by other creative folks! It's infectious and makes you want to make _all_the_things_.

What's your favorite tool?
Rotary cutters... because I like Olfa knives in a parallel universe.

What do you do when you aren't making things?
Complaining about bad architecture, pouring over building codes, sitting in front of a computer making the drawings. Also, epic TV show marathons with the husband.

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Meet Team GH: Susan




Susan Wilson is a stage manager who really likes to make things. A graduate of one of those way smart science schools in the neighborhood, Susan is probably on of the smartest craft consultant you'll ever get advice from. So if you have math questions...you know, she's your gal.

When did you start making things?

I come from a long line of makers, and my mother taught me the joys of crafting pretty much from birth: starting from about my 4th birthday on, all of my birthday parties centered around craft projects (drawing on quilt blocks, painting shirts, constructing flower fairies, marbling paper, etc.). I started making gifts for family members when I was around six, and it's just accelerated from there! <PREVIEWEND>


What's your favorite thing to make?
Wedding/baby/special occasion gifts (especially with lots of hand embroidery): I love using the long amounts of stitching time to think about my relationship with the recipient and invest some tactile good wishes into their new endeavor.

What are you looking forward to the most about being a part of the gather here community?
Being surrounded by talented, passionate people who encourage me to be the most creative version of myself. This community supports inspiration and artistry with such generosity--there is no person too new to making things, no problematic project too irredeemable, no crafting victory too small, and that's a refreshing, invigorating, empowering perspective.

What's your favorite tool?
Seam rippers: they make an otherwise discouraging process of undoing mistakes oddly satisfying (and provide a good way to get rid of any lingering mistake-related frustration).

What do you do when you aren't making things?
I cook up a storm, develop experimental theater productions, tend to a jungle of houseplants, design a few websites here and there, and spend as much time reading outdoors as Boston weather allows.

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