Bon Bon Atelier is a darling little business owned by creative sisters Betsy Blodgett and Emily Blodgett-Panos in Kansas City, MO with both a retail storefront and a web shop for the rest of us. Their store looks so charming, doesn’t it? Nice store, ladies. I love seeing young women in business for themselves like this, it inspires me all the more to someday open a shop of my own.
Bon Bon Atelier carries a varied mix of everything from Andrea Yates ceramics to Sheila Blodgett decoupage furniture and doors, wallets by Loop, and Japanese Decole and those iBride trays that are slowly taking over the world right now. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve seen them on!
And Bon Bon Atelier isn’t just a shop ‘n go establishment, these ladies genuinely care about their community of creatives. If you live in Kansas City, they host a monthly get together on the 2nd Wednesday called the Bon Bon Sewing Circle. They set up sewing machines and also stations with glue guns and such for those who do not sew. The goal is to get together and share ideas, gain inspiration, and hopefully finish a project. I love this idea and hope to see mini events like these spread to other cities because we all need a little support and motivation without having to drop a ton of cash on formal classes. Classes are great, but not so much if you’re on a budget and not really in need of learning anything, you just want to be around other creative types for an evening to sew and tell. Ha! Sew and Tell. That would be a cute name for a sewing group wouldn’t it?
Are there are stores in your local area that have small business events, networking events, or free (or really cheap) classes that you’ve attended? How did they benefit you (or not)?
(images from bon bon atelier)
With a shop called All Things Original it must be quite a challenge to curate, as the name alone gives hope that you will not only be exposed to designs not seen already a thousand times over, but that everything is handmade by the maker and very, very special. All Things Original does a fantastic job at living up to it’s name…
As I click through their gorgeous product offerings, I’m reminded of how much exists out there that we still have yet to discover and it excites me because I think many worry that all this instant gratification on the web will leave us high and dry at some point with nothing left to blog about. Many readers ask me about this and my reply is always the same, I think we’ll always have plenty of new designs to be exposed to as long as these designers are supported and products are being purchased. Schools are releasing thousands of design-hungry motivated grads each year so as long as they have a place to show their work and others pushing them along to succeed, we’ll continue to have designs to drool for. In addition to the grads, we see growing numbers of men and women who may have missed their earlier calling in the arts to pursue an unrelated field only to return to art and design later in life. The massive following that the indie craft culture has right now is exciting and though I believe it will continue to gain popularity, I think that at some point it will level out a little and growth won’t be quite as aggressive as it is now. But despite all that, there is enough to go around so don’t worry. The well isn’t drying up anytime soon!
The curated collection of wares found over at All Things Original exposes us to some amazing work from homewares to furniture all from independent British designers. Ceramics by Hanna Melin, lighting by Rose Cobb, and Jo Heckett ceramics are a few of my favorites all shown above. Thanks Beverly for writing in about your unique shop!
(images from all things original)
One thing I’d love to do this summer when I spend it abroad in Germany is to meet with artist and designer Sandra Monat of Herzenart and chat with her about her work. She’s only a few hours away by train from where I’ll be based, so perhaps I can arrange a visit… If I have time. There is so much work for me to do there this year — my head is spinning! I still cannot figure out so many things about furnishing a German apartment. It’s such a new, exciting, sometimes frustrating experience because here I know all the shops to hit for what I need and have my favorite eBay sellers and Craigslist standing by, and know where all the area flea markets are, and rely on places like Target, Anthropologie, Homegoods, the Boston Design Center, and most of the online shops I frequent (who won’t ship to Germany). Living in two parts of the world is completely new to me but I hope it will force me to learn more about my new country and Europe in general when it comes to the best places to find what I need to furnish an apartment from scratch. Currently sitting in my flat over there is our television and some of my design books, a few boxes of clothing, and china passed down to us from oma.
If you live in Germany and can suggest any online stores that would be lovely. Now on to Sandra because it’s not nice of me to talk about myself here in a post about lovely Ms. Monat now is it?
I’ve been watching this German artist since early ’06 (mentioned here), and I’m encouraged by the progress she’s made and the international exposure she now receives and for good reason, her handmade art toys are unique and extremely well made. One of many things that excite me about blogging is that after a few years at it, you start to notice change more — either some who fade away and move on to other goals or those like Sandra who experience steady growth and become successful small business owners through patience and a constant keeping at it. Much like the storybook most of us were raised reading, The Tortoise and the Hare, don’t you think?
(images from sandra monat)
I’m really enjoying BlueFlip Art lately, like I needed another place to find gorgeous prints, right? But seriously, it’s a wonderland of delightful work that I’m sure you’ll really enjoy peeking at and here’s why…
The sheer variety of affordable quality prints from artists located around the world is reason enough to visit Blueflip, but another perk is that each print you click on reveals a bio and the charity that the artist will donate a percentage of sales to if you purchase their print. Now that’s smart shopping!
(images provided by blueflip art)