It’s all about COMMUNITY.
When you buy a gift at Walmart or Target, you are a world away from the human beings who created the product. And who knows what conditions it was created in?


When you buy local from crafters whose hands you can shake, you’ve touched the hand that created. Revolutionary? You wouldn’t thing so, but it is! Supporting your local artisan is a magical trunk full of connections: you are helping the economy, encouraging entrepreneurship, investing in the future, building bridges and bringing the work home to the USA.

Kathy Dolude   Sunshine Corner

The Sunshine Dolls are a variation of the old rag dolls my grandmother used to make. In recent years I’ve added my own spin to these dolls by adding lots of hair, a belly button, an embroidered heart and a hidden sunshine tag. Each doll is as unique and quirky as all of the children of this world.

Pamela Mayer-Caes

When my grandmother died, I was given the task of going through all of her stuff.  She had a lot of jewelry, most of which she never wore.  She had several amber necklaces that were beautiful, but very plain and old fashioned.  As a way to remember my grandmother, I decided to take the necklaces apart and make bracelets for all of the women in my family.  I had no idea how to do this, so I went to a bead shop, took a class, bought some beads to mix in with the amber, and jumped right in.  Today, I still like to take old jewelry and other "found" objects and remix them with newer things into necklaces and bracelets. 

Stephanie Miller

Being a family with an autistic child, we worry about our daughter’s future.  How will she interact with society?  What will be the quality of her life?  She is much too intelligent to bag groceries, yet we can’t see her capable of holding an office job.

Our goal is to establish a small family business that she can grow into.  She loves soap and she loves color.  We hope to provide an opportunity where she can feel satisfaction and pride by being a productive member of society.

Thank you for helping us build a future for our daughter.

Being a family with an autistic child, we worry about our daughter’s future.  How will she interact with society?  What will be the quality of her life?  She is much too intelligent to bag groceries, yet we can’t see her capable of holding an office job.

Our goal is to establish a small family business that she can grow into.  She loves soap and she loves color.  We hope to provide an opportunity where she can feel satisfaction and pride by being a productive member of society.

Thank you for helping us build a future for our daughter.

Amy Struckmeyer

 http://www.etsy.com/shop/formwork

form*work design.  Hand crafted modern goods to accessorize your home or yourself. Canvas aprons and bags, felted wool jewelry and pillows, screen printed tees, soft toys, and many other fabulous creations stitched, printed and constructed.  Made with vintage, new and repurposed materials, each form*work item is a one-of-a-kind object of crafty coolness.

Visit my blog to find out more about me and what I do!  www.formworkdesign.blogspot.com

Lisa Polderman  poldapop.blogspot.com

After reading Julia Childs' memoir My Life in France, I decided that I was not too old at the age of 40 to learn to sew.  If Julia could learn to cook at the age of 39 and then have a long and wonderful career with it, then I just might be able to become a successful sewist. A year after I started taking classes I opened my business, PoldaPop. Most of my work is fashioning custom made clothing and handbags for local ladies. I love the process of creating something with another person and the satisfaction of giving someone a garment that fits well and is unique. I also love playing with fabric - mixing colors or prints or textures in some way to give the garment a bit of umpf.  I'm an avid thrift store shopper and an expert at getting fabric scraps for free, and I use what I glean as often as I can in my work.  I am excited to be sewing at a time when interest in domestic arts is on the rise - Viva la handmade revolucion!

Jan Kroeschell

Custom Cookies by Jill customcookiesbyjill.etsy.com

Maureen Fahey preppypeasant.etsy.com

I love new fabrics and materials too but in an effort to be "green," most of my items have at least one upcycled element included in it's design. Vintage buttons, thrifted wool sweaters, and repurposed linens are my favorite materials to reuse. All items are made by me with love in my Chicago Area home.

Caitlyn Wilp www.weakenedweekend.com

I am Caitlyn Wilp, the artist and designer behind the products from Weakened Weekend.  I received my BFA in graphic design from the University of Iowa and currently work as a graphic designer in Chicago. Weakened Weekend is my line of paper goods that include stationery, greeting cards, journals and planners.

The patterns and designs are mostly inspired by vintage artwork and vintage illustrations from children's books.

I like to explore various textures and unexpected color combinations in my designs, and humor almost always plays a part.  

Paula Cisar  paulaknits.com

For me, it’s all about Color and Texture.

    Paula Knits began with the discovery of exciting ingredients which, when combined became a wonderful stimulus to creativity.

    Yarn…..limitless.  Many of my items are double creations as they use yarns which are hand painted or hand dyed by fiber artists are then knit into one-of-a-kind pieces.

Creativity is not limited to knitting.  I dabble in whatever medium catches my fancy, buttons, neckties, felting are but a few.

    There is a serenity, tranquility and rhythm of knitting that when combined with a dash of spice, sweetness, boldness and/or a bit of whimsy, allows limitless creativity.

    Hope you enjoy Paula Knits!

Abby Reish

I like to find the humor and whimsy in everyday life.  This is evident in my sculptures, drawings, paintings and jewelry.  My work for AHR art is fanciful fun for everyone.

Sometimes a little sparkle is all that is needed to brighten up your day.

Lauren Davies

Jennifer Moore

Alix Mikesell http://alixmikesell.com

Alix designs and creates jewelry in her Oak Park, IL studio.  She focuses on the creative reuse of alternative materials such as laminate countertop, reflectors, buttons, bicycle chains, beach pebbles and swizzle sticks, often pairing them with silver and aluminum. Alix¹s work lets you see the world through her eyes, where discarded, everyday objects are given second acts as adornment and decoration.

Amanda Bornfree

Pat Newman sewbearynice.com

My sewing career began at the ripe old age of four. I've always been interested in creating, crocheting, knitting and dreaming up cute ideas. About 10 years ago, I found a pattern for a teddy bear and have been making hand-crafted personalized bears (about 1,300) ever since.

I've added many other items to my "Sew Beary Nice" line including dolls, blankets, baby toys and children's accessories. Bright, colorful fabrics seem to make everyone smile!

Susan Charrette

Our Trunk Show on May 12 was a great success. Thank you to all the crafters and shoppers for making it such a wonderful day!

Nellie Schultz