Biz Tuesdays with Kara: Resources for Creative Souls

Amazing, SF-based artist, Mati Rose. Find her great work here!

There are tons of resources and opportunities out there for the creative soul looking to build or enhance their business. We thought for this Biz Tuesday we would list a few excellent resources for you all.

CREATE Denver Initiative: Revolving Loan Fund
Have you heard about this? Why didn’t we know about this earlier! This is a great small business capital loan intended to stimulate the creative economy that we feel is growing rapidly in Denver (and that’s why we love CREATE Denver so much!). The loans are for $5,000 to $30,000 for “Creative enterprises are defined as non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses producing or selling fine art, photographic and graphic art, performance art, handcraft and design and media.” These loans have a low interest rate and are available because their goal is to help the creative industry grow, be successful and sustainable. Any one of you looked into this loan or have been a recipient? We’d love to hear your story!

Colorado Small Business Development Centers Program
These centers offer a variety of resources for small businesses. They also offer free one-on-one counseling that would be beneficial for all those questions and surprises that seem to come up when you are starting your own business. Check out their events page to find the latest opportunities.

Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
We have to say the promo video for this book is incredible, take a look:

Although we haven’t read this book yet, the reviews have been outstanding and the two authors, Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho, help you navigate starting up your own business and to make it possible to do what you love. You may have already read one of Mateo Ilasco’s books, Craft, Inc. We definitely poured over this great book full of wonderful advice, simple steps and Q&A from creative folks who’ve struck out on their own.

Flying Lessons: Tips and Tricks to Help Your Creative Business Soar
Kelly Rae Roberts, a self-proclaimed "artist, author and possibilitarian," has a great new e-book "Flying Lessons," to help you create and grow your creative business endeavor. We haven't read it in full, but it has also gotten great reviews. The three-part e-book covers how to create an effective online presence, how to implement effective marketing strategies and how to get press and get published.

Design Sponge Biz Ladies: FREE online resources for business owners
We love, love, love Design*Sponge and their Biz Ladies series is a wonderful place to get ideas and be inspired to run a business and keep doing what you love.

So, there you have it--a few resources to add to your list! Have you found any blog or book helpful in your creative endeavors? Please comment here and share. We think there is nothing better than support, collaboration and feedback from fellow creative souls as you launch your dreams!

Kara Lundquist is a Colorado native that made her way back to Denver after some time in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and rainy Seattle, WA. She lives here with her husband and little yorkie pup, Mochi. She's currently working on her MBA in Marketing at Regis University but also enjoys time outside of schoolwork with embroidery, quilting and collecting fabric

Inspiration Monday

Yesterday, as we were gathering images for Inspiration Monday, we were struck hard with the Sunday blues. We decided to turn our blues into inspiration. Enjoy these lovely blue-hued images. Most of these folks are Denver artists, and like usual, some of them will be vendors at the Horseshoe. Yahooo!
Tell us what's inspiring you this Monday.....

1. Jewish Cowboy 2. Atomic Livin' Home 3. featured Horseshoe vendor, Siouxsiequeue's 4. featured vendor The Craftorium of T Miss Pink 5. Focus Line Art Paintings by Tracy Melton 6. Horseshoe vendor Janssen Designs 7. Vital Vintage 8. featured vendor Thin Air Creations 9. Denver artist RL Walker 3

Q & A Thursday with Studio Lila

artist Robyn Thayer, Studio Lila and Voice

Last week, we had the incredible opportunity to head up to Evergreen for a day of art with Robyn Thayer of Studio Lila! We sat down and played with paint, collaged in her art "womb" room, lost track of time, and ate cucumbers and cherries for lunch. We also toured her amazing studio. The studio is actually a series of sweet little rooms, all filled with her goosebump-inducing art. Read on to hear about Studio Lila, how it came to be, and take a gander at her soulful art. And we are so lucky that we'll be graced with her presence and her art at the Horseshoe!

HS (Horseshoe Market): What is Studio Lila and how did it come to be?

SL (Studio Lila): One day, in a yoga class I heard the sanskrit word: Lila. My heart lit up. I knew on that day I would someday name something: Lila. Lila refers to the experience of delight, just like a child playing peek-a-boo, believing you are really gone when they see you disappear behind your hand and then squealing in delight as they see your eyes again. I did not know at the time of hearing “Lila” that my “something” was ART. (Okay, I had an inkling) That is the way of sanskrit and the sacred teachings, a bell chimes and something is awoken in us. Through time and commitment I, little by slowly, woke up to my inner artist and the importance of cultivating my innate abilities.

HS: For you, what does it mean to be an artist?

SL: I am utterly grateful to express in color and shape. I believe art has a way of speaking straight into the hearts of the beholders, opening doors and windows of the soul, in ways we never could have imagined. The conversations I share while creating each piece is a blessing to my life and it is an honor to witness this adding value to the world.

HS: Can you tell us about your creative process?

SL: My work comes forth in the Womb of Sparkles (you may come visit me at Open Door Studios Tour on September 18th-19th). I carry an imaginary butterfly net, which gets swooped through my days capturing moments and memories and tears and laughter. I am an avid journal-er with plenty of doodles. My artwork is a distillation of my life, from thoughts and feelings to canvas or paper, with words and color. I play with Truth and Wonder (peek-a-boo), chewing away at my experiences until I start to see colors and shapes (usually upon waking) and then I know it is time to get to the womb. When I go “in” I have to remember to bring food and water as the process sweeps me into another realm (my heaven!). As I stated earlier, for me painting is much like a conversation. Mostly I listen (and listen and listen) to the promptings of my heart. It is a slow process, with many layers and long periods of contemplation. My True Nature is revealed to me with the mixing of colors (more peek-a-boo). I laugh and cry and shudder and contend with hours of goosebumps all in recognition of what is. The best part is I learn that fun is not always easy or immediate, rather it is what comes from the deep satisfaction of being with what is, practicing radical acceptance and continuing, knowing my work is to fearlessly express my authenticity and the delight is in remembering who I really am (Lila). The process is seriously playful, vibrantly real, and wonderously delectable!

Inside Studio Lila

HS: What are the challenges and rewards of being a working artist?

SL: I find it challenging to continuously show up for myself, to really look at what is. For, if I cannot see what is REALLY going on I have no fuel for my paintings and some days require a tremendous amount of showing up. And, when I don’t, can I be compassionate with myself? Can I give myself the space and time needed for the art piece at hand, which might take months and months and the building of two new gardens and six weeks of coaching, delving into self worth and pleasure. Can I be that kind and generous with myself? And the reward, as I cultivate these virtues within me I am able to offer it fearlessly through painting and interactions (perhaps shyly and awkwardly at first) with the world.

HS: What have been your greatest moments/accomplishments with Studio Lila? What are your hopes for the future?

SL: Gosh, there are so many! A friend said, “there are really no big deals.” I have been chewing on that lately and I am learning that life is the big deal. Each step, tiny or backward or leaping as it maybe, is to be celebrated and it is up to me to recognize this goodness and experience the Light Heartedness that bubbles up. The world needs our talent AND our celebration.

Studio Lila has been featured a handful of times in several publications, including the cover of Somerset Studio last summer! The growth and popularity of my greeting card line is continuing at a rapid pace, which totally inspires and excites me. Find a store near you!

For the future, I plan to expand my product line and its reach across the globe. I look forward to showing my fine art in more galleries and, in some format, leading conversations with other artists about the process of art making; the value it adds to the world by individuals willing to look inside and draw from their inner strength and offer their unique talent.

HS: Any exciting happenings/events on your plate in the coming months or year?

SL: Yes! Join me in my studio for Open Door Studios, Sept 18-19, 2010, the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market, Oct 2, 2010, and the One of a Kind Show in Chicago, December 2-5th, 2010.

HS: What are your must have tools/resources as an artist?

SL: Space and time! I need time to wander and a sizable space to make and contain my mess. Art dates with other artists are a MUST. Workshops to introduce fresh ideas and stretch my comfort zone. I love Meininger's to excite me and experiment with new products and Dick Blick to order products directly. Of all my tools, I adore my traditional fountain pen with black india ink.

HS: What advice would you give you someone who wants to quit their day job and become a full time artist?

SL: Find an artist you love and follow them. Start showing your work to friends, then at shows, a gallery and online. As your sales increase with the demand for your work, ween yourself from your day job. Check out this book, Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd. Realize there are a lot of aspects of being a full time artist that are similar to having a day job. It is the change in perspective from working for someone else to fulfilling my life purpose: creating beauty and building community that drives the days at the computers, financials, operations and negotiations.

Thanks so much, Robyn! We are so excited Studio Lila will be part of the Horseshoe. Don't forget to peruse her rich and lovely website,!

Inspiration Monday

We are inspired by this first day back to school! And by a weather forecast we heard that it's supposed to get cooler in Denver this week! Summer is great, but August seems to drag on and on. We want fall weather, football games, cooler evenings, and cozy sweaters. Below is another delectable mix of goodies--and some of whom will be vending at the Horseshoe on October 2nd :) Happy Monday! What's inspiring you this Monday?
1. Fern and Flora 2. Kiwi & Company 3. Harlow Monroe Vintage 4. Studio Yoshida 5. Art by Tony Zellaha. We recently saw his work hanging at City O' City and loved it! 6. Tiddleywink Vintage 7. Whimsy Lou 8. Kaati Rocketts 9. PhotographicAmy

Q & A Thursday with Fancy Tiger Crafts

There are businesses in Denver that inspire us and provide us with great tools to do creative and crafty things. We think the very best business for these kinds of tools is the fantastic Fancy Tiger Crafts! We're very fortunate that Fancy Tiger is one of the Horseshoe's great sponsors!!
Grab your coffee and enjoy this lovely interview with owner, Jaime Jennings.

HS (Horseshoe Market)
: Can you start by telling us how and when Fancy Tiger Crafts got its start?

FT (Fancy Tiger): My partner, Matthew Brown and I opened Fancy Tiger in 2006 as two ideas under one roof. One half of the store sold men’s and women’s clothing from independent designers and the other half sold craft supplies for sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery and felting. In January of 2008, we expanded into a second store so each original idea is now housed in its own location. Also in 2008, I was joined by Amber Corcoran who co-owns Fancy Tiger Crafts with me now.

HS: Where did the name, "Fancy Tiger" come from?

FT: Fancy Tiger was originally the name that Matthew recorded music under and when we opened, we just felt like it was a great name because it could be anything. If we decide to open a coffeehouse one day we can just call it “Fancy Tiger Coffee”

HS: You recently celebrated your 4th anniversary in business. What’s been one the greatest moments/accomplishments for Fancy Tiger Crafts?

FT: Well, the best thing is meeting so many amazing and inspiring crafty people everyday. We are really proud of our yearly craft fair that we put on, Holiday Handmade. We were also excited to be written up in the New York Times, Sunset magazine and Readymade magazine.

HS: Can you tell us about some of the classes and workshops you offer?

FT: We’ve been offering a free, Open Craft Night every Tuesday night from 6 – 9pm since the first week we opened. This is a super fun social gathering where everyone just brings their own portable lap craft and we hang out and craft together. We also offer classes in sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, felting, spinning, and dyeing. This year we introduced our Lost Crafts Series where we have a class every season that features a craft we consider to be “endangered” such as Naalbinding and Tatting. Our most popular class is our Sewing 101 and we estimate that we have taught over 1,400 people to sew since opening in 2006! We have over 30 classes on the schedule right now which is more than ever so classes are definitely an important part of what we do. We also offer Summer Craft Camp and After School Stitch Club for kids.

HS: What’s in store for Fancy Tiger in the coming months? In the coming year?

FT: Right now we are very excited to be planning our yearly craft fair, Holiday Handmade, which will happen December 3rd and 4th this year. Holiday Handmade features the work of over 60 local emerging and established handcrafters. Amber and I are also going on a knitting tour of Iceland later this month with one of our favorite knitwear designers, Ysolda Teague. We will be making Icelandic Lopi sweaters while we journey across the country and we can hardly wait to experience Iceland’s amazing knitting traditions. We are also excited that we will soon be carrying Liberty of London fabrics. We’ve wanted to carry these since we opened and have finally secured them so they will be available right here in Denver CO!

HS: What are some of your must-have handmaking/crafting resources?

FT: We mostly get inspired by blogs and seeing what people who shop at our store are making. is a must if you knit or crochet. We also love the blogs Film in the Fridge, Anna Maria Horner, Brooklyn Tweed and of course, Ysolda Original Patterns.

HS: Favorite spots to craft in Denver?

FT: Our favorite coffeeshops, parks and of course, Open Craft Night!! Amber and I are there hosting every Tuesday night!

HS: Favorite place to eat?

FT: Potager, Fruition, Root Down and our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm parties. We both belong to a CSA from Pastures of Plenty farm and their farm parties are the best meals of all time!

HS: Best coffee?

FT: How did you know we love coffee?! Matthew and my first business was a coffeehouse so it is a passion of mine! Here is my opinion of the best lattes in Denver: Metropolis, Aviano, Crema, City o City, and Novo.

Thanks so much, Jaime! For a list of Fancy Tiger classes, go here. Also, don't miss their Amy Butler Trunk Show on October 1st and the Holiday Handmade show on December 3rd and 4th. Also, check out the Fancy Tiger Blog and Facebook page for more fun, crafty happenings!

Craft Talk

I stumbled upon this video by Leslie and the Ly's (she became an internet sensation with her gem sweaters) and find it quite hilarious and bizarre--a great combo. What's also funny is that Leslie is from my hometown of Ames, Iowa. And yet another funny thing--while watching this video, I realized that the yarn shop they're filming in is in Ames, and it's called the Rose Tree Fiber Shop. This where I learned to weave ten years ago! I was living at home after college, figuring out what to do with my life. I went in the Rose Tree one day, met Rosemary the owner, and told her I wanted to learn to weave. I spent about three nights a week at the Rose Tree with Rosemary and a bunch of older women, weaving and talking and learning. I would then head next door to meet my younger friends at Thumbs bar, drink a few beers, eat peanuts and contemplate eating the pickled eggs at the bar. I never tried a pickled egg. Anyway, it was a magical time. I can't tell you how satisfying it was to weave--to lose total track of all time, and then pull the finished product off the loom.

Here's the lovely video that will make you laugh:

My poor loom has been abandoned these days...I don't even want to say when I started the scarf below, but I'm going to take my inspiration from the video, "work through the pain," and finish this thing!
What is everyone working on these days? Any craft talk?

Biz Tuesdays with Kara: On making it legal and tax collecting

We promise that this blog won’t be a major downer as one could assume by the title! It’s good to have all your ducks in a row when it comes to what the government requires, particularly for being a vendor at Horseshoe Market and collecting state and city sales tax on your items.

Here’s the info from the City of Denver and State of Colorado about special event tax licenses that are required for the Horseshoe. We hope this information will be helpful as you plan for your successful day at the Market:

If you don’t already have a tax license for either the City and County of Denver and/or for the State of Colorado, you’ll need to apply for these licenses to collect the total 7.72% sales tax.

State of Colorado Special Event License
-You can apply for either a single ($8) or multiple (usually $16 but now $12 and valid through end of 2011) event license. If you plan on vending at Horseshoe next year, it may be to your advantage to apply for the multiple event license that will cover you for as many events as you need over a two year period.
-Colorado State Tax: 4.1%
-Questions? 303-238-7378
-Still more questions? You can attend a FREE tax class!

City and County of Denver Special Event License:
-This application has a $5 fee per event and is required to collect the 3.62% owed to the City and County of Denver.
-Questions? Call 720-913-9446.

It’s important to do your research with the State and City to make sure you have everything required of you as a vendor. We’ve provided some numbers above, so if you have any doubt, give them a call!

Once you have the license, how will you keep track of what you need to pay in taxes back to Colorado and Denver? As you are pricing your treasures, you may want to include tax into the price so that on the day of the Horseshoe you won’t have to spend precious time with your calculator and you can focus on showing off all your hard work!

We’d love to hear from some seasoned vendors out there about getting all the paperwork together for the fairs and markets they’ve previously attended. Let us know if you have any tips or tricks!

Kara Lundquist is a Colorado native that made her way back to Denver after some time in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and rainy Seattle, WA. She lives here with her husband and little yorkie pup, Mochi. She's currently working on her MBA in Marketing at Regis University but also enjoys time outside of schoolwork with embroidery, quilting and collecting fabric.

Inspiration Monday

We are inspired by gardens this Monday morning--and particularly raspberries! We came home from vacation to find a nice little harvest of berries. The raspberries shown below are from our very own garden. Yum! Most of the pics below are from Denver artists, designers and crafters and many of whom will be at the Horseshoe! Yahooo!
What's inspiring you today?

1. Fern & Sprout (Denver crafter) 2. Sherbet-looking dress from Polyvore 3. Hot Butter (Denver crafter) 4. Our raspberries! 5. Denver's own Marmalade Creations 6. She's Crafty (Denver hand-maker and jeweler) 7. reclaimed skate board earrings by Denver's Mukee Designs 8. awesome boots from Nana Pat Project, Denver designer and vintage collector 9. Another Denver creator, bring about {art}

the Horseshoe went shopping and got lucky!

We stumbled upon a pretty dang superb estate sale in the Sloans Lake neighborhood this morning. Groggy from traveling back from Stone Harbor, we could not resist our favorite Saturday morning pastime.

It was so fantastic--an amazing array of furniture, vintage clothing, jewelry, tools. All of it. We took home some goodies for great prices--two turquoise chairs, four cute butterfly plates, clown tv trays and the ultimate prize: a 1963 Schwinn Traveler in great shape! I'm about to take it out to a get a nice cold PBR :)

We had so much fun! Afterward, we split the best, and I mean BEST, cinnamon roll from Cake bakery, in the Berkeley neighborhood. Yes, the great neighborhood where the Horseshoe will be on October 2nd! We ate the cinnamon roll so fast that we have no pictures to share.

Hope you're all having a joyful, fun Saturday!

Dive In

Is this not the perfect imagery for doing something despite fear--despite the dark unknown?? Not only am I surrounded by the ocean this week on vacation, but I had a dream last night about diving into a big dark pool of water, and then I came upon this video this morning and had to post it.
Our hearts and dreams long to be known, but it's scary as heck sometimes since we don't know how our dreams will be taken by others, and we have so little control as we dive into the unknown. But you have to dive sometimes, right?? Especially when it comes to art, creativity and expressing yourself.
Anyone diving into the unknown these days, despite fear? We want to hear!

Biz Tuesdays: Horseshoe How-to for Vendors

So, you’ve started thinking about being a vendor at Horseshoe but still haven’t filled out your application? Now's the time--applications are due in less than a month on September 5th! Here's a super fast checklist to get you on your way:

Step 1: Fill out our online application. It's quick and painless, we promise!

Step 2: Get accepted! Yay! We will notify you of your acceptance through email within a week or so.

Step 3: After receiving your acceptance email, you will officially reserve your space by paying for your booth with PayPal (PayPal link will be included in the email). You can also pay by check. We require you to pay within 5 business days of receipt of acceptance since booths are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Step 4: Get crafting, creating and collecting to get ready for the market on October 2nd, 2010! We’re so excited to see all your hard work and get this market started!

*We’ll be blogging about checklists to get you ready the market in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for those.*

Here are some FAQ’s from our site and some of the basics of what you need to know about Horseshoe:

When and where is the Market and what are your hours of operation?

The Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market is on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 8 am-3 pm at 46th and Tennyson behind the Olinger Moore Howard Chapel (4345 W. 46th Avenue, Denver, 80212)

Who can participate?

We are currently accepting applications for the following types of vendors:
 artists, hand crafters, jewelers, designers, and vintage/antique collectors. We are looking for unique, funky goods made (or collected) with great quality.

How big are the spaces and how much do they cost?

Each space is 10 X 10 feet, and $65 per space. Two spaces cost $100 and we have discounts for full time students and Denver Handmade Alliance members.

Is the Market juried?

Yes. We are looking for vendors with unique goods, and folks who take pride in their work, have a sense of professionalism, and are excited about their art, design, craft and/or collecting! If you haven’t done a market, don't fret. We encourage people who have never done a market to apply! Submissions will be reviewed and we will notify you of your acceptance within one week of receiving your application. Our hope is to not have many duplications at the market.

Can I share my space?

Yes. However both parties must still submit applications and be approved first. When one party makes a payment, please indicate with whom you are sharing a booth.

Do I need any special permits to sell at the Market?

Yes, all exhibitors must be in compliance with state and federal tax laws. Look for an upcoming blog post on this!

What happens if it rains?

The Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market will go on rain or shine!

Is there a place to purchase coffee and food nearby?

Yes, there are many coffee shops and restaurants between 38th and Tennyson. We will also have food and coffee at the Market. Check out more about our great Denver neighborhood where the Market will be held: The Berkeley District.

Feel free to email us at or leave a comment here if you have any questions!

Inspiration Monday!

Good morning, friends. We're at the beach, loving the water and the sunshine. We've also been loving the painting/mixed media vendor applications that have been coming in for the Horseshoe! We're inspired by all of you who paint, draw, collage, and do your thang with mixed media and encaustic. Anyone want to share what you've been doing with your art? Comment here and post your blog/website!

1. Denver artist, Kate McPhee Studio 2. Colorado artist bluedoor 3. Smilin' Moon Studio 4. Colorado artist, Gray Sparrow 5. San Fran artist Mati Rose 6. Yellena 7. Denver artist, swan, swan hummingbird 8. barking bird art 9. Jenn Ski


Congratulations on making it to Friday! As promised, we’re here with an ultra fabulous giveaway (above) graciously donated by Kayla Blincow, one of our vendors!

Kayla is a Colorado native currently living in Seattle, WA. She graduated from University of Puget Sound with her B.A. in Fine Arts. She specialized in large-scale sculpture and recently spent a year in Banff, Alberta at the Banff Art Centre. Currently, Kayla’s been venturing into making jewelry through her store thingsviapost. Additionally, super sweet On a Lark in Wash Park (Ohio & Emerson) sells her lovely necklaces!

HS: What do you enjoy about your artwork?

KB: I enjoy just the process of making a physical object. I have never been able to work purely with theoretical concepts without envisioning them in a physical form. I learn the most when I have I get to build or shape something new. It’s just how I make sense out of everything for myself.

HS: What projects are you currently working on aside from jewelry making?

KB: I am learning how to blacksmith right now and I love it. Forging steel has given me an entirely new perspective of the possibilities and properties of steel. All of which filters down into how I will treat various materials in the future.

HS: After college, you spent a year at the Banff Art Centre--what did you do up in Canada?

KB: I went hiking a lot. But seriously, I did go hiking a lot; I was in one of the most beautiful places ever. I was a work/study in the Visual Arts department where I primarily assisted incoming resident artists with their projects as well as studio and facility maintenance. The “study” part of the gig was dedicated to our own practice as developing artists. I spent my time building large outdoor sculptures with wood, branches, linen and steel, while also getting to learn all kinds of stuff such as bronze casting, papermaking, mold making etc. It was a pretty sweet life. (You can read about some of Kayla’s work in Banff in this article.)

HS: What else can we expect to find at your booth at the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market?

KB: Hopefully I will have more metals mixed in with my jewelry and I am working on some postcards and greeting cards that use the geometrical shapes from the preliminary sketches of my sculptures.

Kayla has graciously donated one of her fantastic necklaces (above), this one entitled tailfeathers, for our first GIVEAWAY. You know, the giveaway we've been talking/blogging/tweeting about all week!

Here are four ways you can enter to win the giveaway:

1. Visit Kayla's etsy shop, thingsviapost, and then leave a comment below with your favorite item.

2. Tweet about this giveaway using the tag @horseshoemarket so that we can track your tweet then come back and leave a comment with a link to your tweet.

3. Fan us on Facebook--then come back here and leave a comment that you've fanned us!

4. Become a follower of the blog and leave a comment that you're a follower.

Alright, four chances and you can be the new owner of this lovely necklace! You'll have until Sunday, August 8th at midnight (mountain time) to enter. We'll use the random number generator to choose the winner on Monday. GOOD LUCK!

Q & A Thursday with DHA!

Hello all,
Welcome to our first Q & A Thursday! We are thrilled that our first interview is with the lovely Becky Wareing, Denver Handmade Alliance Board President. The DHA is a fantastic, inclusive group of hand-makers in the Denver area. Gobble up all the good stuff that DHA has goin' on!

Horseshoe (HS): Can you tell us a little bit about how Denver Handmade Alliance came to be? (when you started, inspiration…)

Denver Handmade Alliance (DHA): The DHA started with a conversation in the summer of 2009 between a group of crafters who wanted more from their local scene and decided to do something about it. We had our first official event in October of 2009, Art by Craft, which was a month long exhibit focusing on craft based mediums shown in a fine art setting. The closing reception was a craft market to help further connect the local community to it’s local hand-makers and we are excited to be hosting the 2nd Annual Art by Craft Exhibit and Market this coming October with the support of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

HS: How many members do you currently have?

DHA: We currently have about 70 members but applications are flooding in on a daily basis.

HS: What does it mean to be a part of the DHA? What are the benefits of membership? Can you tell us a little more about what the committees do?

DHA: The DHA is a completely volunteer run organization so membership fees go directly back to the members, whether it’s for social events, workshops, markets, etc. The benefits of membership are numerous, you get to stay in the loop with our monthly member’s only e-newsletter, a nifty membership banner for your website, a membership to the DHA Etsy Street Team, discounted rates for DHA workshops and markets, but best of all you are part of a wonderfully, supportive group of hand-makers in your area.

The committees provide other opportunities for people to get involved with the group. Since we are volunteer run we are always looking for more people to get involved with event planning, markets, workshops, social events, website, blog, you name it. It’s a great way for people to get their voices heard.

HS: What’s been one of the greatest accomplishments/events/milestones for the DHA?

DHA: We are in the process of applying for non-profit status and with the help of our trusty board and our fabulous Secretary we are well on our way to finishing mounds of paper work and in my book that’s pretty darn exciting. It’s also been just incredible to see the support from the local community, it hasn’t even been a year and we’ve partnered with so many wonderful organizations, hosted two craft markets, three workshops and various social events.

HS: What’s in store for the DHA in the coming months? In the coming year?

DHA: We are busy with planning the Art by Craft Exhibit and Market for October (applications will be out soon) and some great workshops for the fall to help get our local hand-makers get ready for the holiday market season. In the next year we plan to add a summer market to our yearly schedule as well as continue on with our Spring Market the Crafty Ballyhoo! that we did this past spring in correlation with Create Denver Week. But I think most of all we just really want to continue uniting the local handmade scene, while educating the public about buying local and handmade.

HS: Where do you think the future of handmade in Denver is going? What is DHA’s role with that?

DHA: I see so much opportunity in this city, the handmade movement is taking off worldwide and I really think Denver can be one of the leading forces in that movement. We already have an amazing art, design and music scene so I am really confident that our city will keep moving forward and really make a name for itself in the global scope. I see the DHA continuing it’s efforts in getting people involved and opening up a dialogue about more craft-based mediums that I think have been a bit shunned by the art and design world in the past.

HS: Do you have any advice for a novice hand-maker looking to get connected to the crafting community in Denver?

DHA: I think the most important step to take is to get involved. If you don’t see what you’d like to see happening then get out there and do it. We love empowering our members to take ownership of their ideas and make something incredible happen. Find a local craft night in your neighborhood, I met so many wonderful people at Fancy Tiger Craft’s Open Craft Night that they host Tuesdays from 6pm-9pm. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people and get exposed to different crafty mediums. Oh yeah and join the DHA!

HS: What are some of your must have handmaking/crafting resources?

DHA: Etsy! It’s a great resource not just for shopping but they also have an incredible blog with all sorts of great information for individuals looking to start or improve their small craft-based businesses. I also really enjoy Ravelry for knitting and crochet patterns. As far as local goes, Fancy Tiger Crafts has been a huge support to the handmade movement in Denver and they offer really amazing classes.

HS: Favorite spots to craft in Denver?

DHA: Well of course craft night at Fancy Tiger, busses, parks, a friend’s house, really anywhere I find myself with materials in tow.

HS: Favorite place to eat?

DHA: I love Le Central! They have the best mussels and it’s incredibly affordable.

HS: Best coffee?

DHA: I actually don’t do coffee; I have enough energy naturally so it just kicks me into over-drive. Although I love the hot chocolate at Sweet Action, they use their hot fudge to make it, yum!

Thanks so much, Becky! Get involved, all you crafty-folk! Also, become a member of DHA and you will receive a discounted booth at the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market! Also, don't forget to Fan us on Facebook and follow this blog to be eligible for upcoming crafty GIVEAWAYS.

As DHA likes to say, GO CRAFT :)

We like this.

It makes us happy. In a world where we're always "connected" (like right now), this video reminds us of how important it is to have some solitude.

Favorite line among many: "if you have an art that needs practiced stop neglecting it."
Happy hump day. Follow our blog & and Fan us on Facebook to be eligible for an awesome GIVEAWAY at the end of the week!!!!!

Biz Tuesdays with Kara

Intellectual property--something that you may not think twice about until it’s too late. In the world of economics, intellectual property is more frequently becoming some of the greatest assets of companies and people. It is difficult to put a value on it because it doesn’t take a physical form, it can’t be traded or saved and it’s not a line item on the accounting ledger. It just exists: in people’s minds, brilliance, capabilities and knowledge.

A growing problem no matter if you are your own business or if there are companies with hundreds of employees, intellectual property can be violated. In the handmade communities this is particularly a growing issue with the great web presence of all things handmade on Etsy, blogs, twitter, and even at craft markets. In some cases, because of the growing popularity of the craft industry, people will capitalize on others ingenuity and basically recreate the same work and sell it as their own.

It sounds awful, right? Exactly. Among the many stories that circulate about copies, it happened to Ink & Spindle, a fabulous textiles company based in Melbourne. Thanks to some faithful customers and friends of their company, they were alerted. You can read more about this here.

Ink and Spindle's beautiful wall decals and the rip off-on the right.

It’s also our duty to let the original designers/artists/crafters know if you spot a rip-off. But, as a seller, don’t expect that someone will let you know each time someone else is making money off your hard work. It’s best to protect you and your lovely goods before something happens that you never thought could. Check out this great video from Creative Commons, a great site with all sorts of resources for protecting you or letting you know how to share, too!

Add a visit to Creative Commons and the other resources listed below to your to-do list as you are getting ready for the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market or before you launch your Etsy store and post your work on your blog. It will be a good bit of insurance for you and your intellectual property.

Additional Resources:
U.S. Copyright Office
Nolo Press
Design*Sponge's Biz Ladies series feature on copyrights
Colorado Small Business Resource Guide

Also, don't forget our up-coming GIVEAWAY at the end of the week. There will be options for multiple entries so it will be a fun way to wrap up the week!

Kara Lundquist is a Colorado native that made her way back to Denver after some time in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and rainy Seattle, WA. She lives here with her husband and little yorkie pup, Mochi. She's currently working on her MBA in Marketing at Regis University but also enjoys time outside of schoolwork with embroidery, quilting and collecting fabric.

Inspiration Monday!

Good morning, Friends! We're inspired by the beach this first Monday of August. We're headed to the Jersey Shore on Friday! And by Jersey Shore we don't mean Snooki and the Situation :) What's inspiring you this Monday??

1. vintage beach 2. Leigh Viner (Denver artist) 3. we love Willie & Lu 4. towels via design sponge
5. vital industries (Denver artists/designers/crafters) 6. 7. lisa congdon 8. Leigh Viner (Denver artist) 9. Objects of Affection (Colorado crafter/artist)