when you think of going to see local art, a coffee shop on a Sunday probably
isn't the first idea that comes to mind. But at the beginning of every month
that's exactly the place to be.
Craft Sabbath has been going strong throughout 2009, every first Sunday of the month at Nobrow, you can find some of the best crafters in the city showing off their skills and selling their finest. The events have grown in popularity month by month and have spawned a new interest in the art form. I got a chance to chat with a few of the ladies behind it about their work, the event and thoughts on crafting. And remember to go see them this Sunday from Noon-4PM.
Meg Griggs, Mary McClaugherty, Kali Mellus and Sonya Evans
Gavin: Hey everyone. First off, tell us a little about yourselves.
Kali: I’m the glass is half full kind of person. I love being creative weather its with my art or fixing up our home.
Meg: Just turned 30, I work full time and have a beautiful 8 year old daughter Lily.
Sonya: Mom of 2, Livia-4, Eagan-9 months. Kinda quiet unless in a comfortable setting. Army brat. Moved every year or two most of my life.
Gavin: How did each of you take an interest in crafts, or at least the specific craft you do?
Meg: I began making hair and lapel pins for myself when I couldn't find any that were large and eccentric enough for my own style. Before long I was making them as gifts for friends.
Kali: I’ve always been into jewelry making and crafts. I use to sell my beaded necklaces in the playground as a kid to support my craft supply habit. It just eventually evolved into what it is today.
Gavin: Is it a challenge to develop your talents and make it your own?
Sonya: No challenge what so ever. All my ideas come from just being where i am in life at the moment. My kids interests, grandmas curio, nature, my garden... wherever. Whenever.
Kali: The ideas are not a challenge for me. I come up with new ideas all the time, its the construction and trying a different medium that can bring difficulty. I think its challenging to try something new but by doing so you become better at your craft.
Meg: Well everything has been done before its a matter of taking it and putting your own spin on it, adding your own touch with your personality.
Gavin: How did all of you meet each other?
Meg: Well Sonya and I have been friends since our late teens. I met Kali through Gallery Stroll and her sister in law Mariah Mann Mellus. As for Mary I met her through friends and she married a great guy I've known for years.
Kali: I met Meg when she worked at Slug Mag a few years back and she introduced me to Sonya and Mary.
Sonya: Friends of friends and neighbors and wives of old friends and however.
Gavin: What was it like for all of you turning what you do into a business?
Kali: It felt like that was the next step for me in my life. I enjoyed the creating and making aspect and wanted to do it all the time. I always knew I would do something creative for a living and everything just all came together.
Sonya: It came naturally. I tried it with no stress of making it my career, it just happened. Blessed I am.
Meg: Well I haven't made that step yet, its still just a hobby for now.
Gavin: Where did the idea come from to start Craft Sabbath?
Sonya: We did a holiday boutique at Kayo Gallery, and discussed doing it more often.
Meg: Last winter we banned together to put on a Christmas Boutique. While putting that together I began reading about all the small alternative craft groups about the country and thought, "Why hasn't anyone in SLC done this?" From that we decided to host Craft Sabbath every first Sunday of the month.
Kali: From Meg’s head…she came up with the concept and the planning. I came up with the name.
Gavin: What did it take on your parts to plan it, and why Nobrow Coffee for the location?
Kali: Well first off you need to get yourself a Meghann Griggs to do all the planning. She is great at the kind of stuff.
Meg: It had to be Nobrow, Joe Evans is such a great friend and a persistent business owner. I believe deeply in his coffee shop and I am more than happy to do anything in my power to increase foot traffic through his door.
Gavin: How did everything go the first time you held one?
Meg: The first was a blast as have been everyone since.
Kali: It went very well. The first official one at Nobrow was in January….that seems so long ago.
Sonya: The first one turned out awesome! We had music and cupcakes and a great turn out. Couldn't have been better.
Gavin: What are your thoughts on the popularity of it and how its growing?
Kali: I think its fabulous!
Sonya: I love to see the popularity rise. The more makers the merrier!
Meg: Each Sabbath is different. New people come by, just as the usuals do.
Gavin: How do you go about choosing guests to come every month?
Meg: Just try to find similar people who have the same drive as we do.
Kali: We all usually have someone in mind and then we rock, paper, scissors to see who it is. Just playing.
Gavin: What have you got planned for the one coming up in August?
Kali: That’s a good question for Meg.
Meg: August is our come back group show. Basically due to the summer madness we took July off. We had so many people ask when it was going to be next and who was coming we decided to invite some of our friends to participate. It should be a unique Sabbath we have everything from picture frames, paintings, glass jewelry to homemade salsa.
Sonya: August will be the best yet. There will be several guest artists selling their wares.
Gavin: A little local, what's your take on the local art scene, both good and bad?
Kali: I think the local art scene keeps getting better and better.
Gavin: Anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or better?
Kali: I think there is always room for improvement. I just don’t know what it is yet, I haven’t thought that far into it.
Meg: I personally would be fine if it just stayed as it is. Its an opportunity to showcase my hobby and hang out with my friends.
Gavin: Is it difficult for you to sell your products and crafts, or is there a naturally built-in audience for it?
Kali: I don’t think my stuff is difficult to sell because its affordable and unique. I try to appeal to a large audience.
Sonya: I haven't done anything but love what I do and be honest and genuine with people interested in my goods. I think people like to have a connection with what they buy. When I sell my own products I make that connection for them by telling them a little about my process or whatever they want to discuss. Knowing a little about the artist and that what they are selling is a unique item made here in their community is a huge selling point without mention. It if it's what they really want, they get it. The response has been more than I could ask for. I am very grateful.
Gavin: What is it like for you working with retailers around the city?
Sonya: I am currently only selling wholesale to one store, Hip & Humble. They were actually my very first client that I started doing business with, and the only one I have kept after making the decision to not take the wholesale route. They have been a pleasure to work with from the start and an adorable local place to buy gifts for pretty much anyone.
Kali: I have only worked with a few local retailers and currently do not sell much in stores at this time.
Gavin: What can we expect from both the Sabbath and all of you the rest of the year?
Kali: Always something different and unique… anything is possible at this point.
Meg: Craft Sabbath has some fun things planned for the months to come. September is Carmen Nydeger October is Anna West and Todd Powelson November is unknown at the moment. December has two Holiday Boutiques with 14 crafters.
Sonya: The Full Spectrum Design, thats me, will be selling at the Downtown Farmers Market while the season lasts as well as the Park Silly Sunday Market each week, Craft Lake City, and whatever else pops up between now and then. Craft Sabbath will continue its first Sunday of the month gathering at Nobrow Coffee & Tea. You can find me at www.thefullspectrum.etsy.com.