Meet the Maker AP - Norse Ceramics

By Jenny Vickers Chyb

The Asbury Park Bazaar's "Meet the Maker AP" series highlights local and regional artists and makers that you can find at our upcoming Valentine's Market taking place Saturday & Sunday, Feb 11 & 12, from noon to 5 pm in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall in beautiful Asbury Park!

Today's #MeetTheMakerAP is Lauren and Dave Shoemaker of Norse Ceramics. They design beautiful one-of-a-kind, handmade and hand carved porcelain vases, ring dishes and jewelry. I was so excited to buy my first Norse piece from them at last year's Holiday Bazaar - a beautiful white vase that I'll adore forever. Come get one for yourself or a loved one tomorrow, Sunday, February 12th, at the Asbury Park Valentine's Market!

1) How did your business get its start?

Our business grew out of hobby. Lauren had studied at Haystack Mountain School of Craft, which further inspired both Dave and Lauren to continue making ceramics. Many classes and workshops later, Norse was created and we began selling our pottery to local vendors such as Red Moon in Asbury Park and Sickles Market in Little Silver.

2) What motivates you as an artist and maker?

Norse is inspired by the exploration of process and refining the forms we create.

3) Where did you grow up and where do you live and work now? What is your favorite part about living there?

We grew up on the Jersey Shore and both spent vacations in Maine, with our respective families as children. Maine has a special place in our hearts and inspires a lot of our creative process.  We now reside in the woods of Howell, NJ where we enjoy open space & nature.

4) Walk us through a day in the life in your work space.

Norse Collective is a creative endeavor that began to grow just before our son was born, so our time spent in the studio is a bit of a balancing act between full time jobs and being new parents.  Dave typically works during the day and Lauren will do most of her hand carving and making at night.

5) What are you most looking forward to at the Asbury Park Bazaar this Valentine's Market?

We always enjoy meeting the people who are interested in and collect our work. 

6) Why should people shop small / shop local for Valentine's and year round for that matter?

Personally, we've always been attracted to handmade craft and local/small shops because of the connection you create with shopkeepers and makers.

7) What are you Valentine's weekend plans other than selling?

We may try to go roller skating... otherwise just squeeze in a smooch or two😍

8) If your planning to join us at our Roller Boogie in Convention Hall, what would be your perfect roller skating outfit?

Birthday suits! Hahaaa, just kidding!😍

Meet the Maker AP - Dark and Delicate

By Jenny Vickers Chyb

The Asbury Park Bazaar's "Meet the Maker AP" series highlights local and regional artists and makers that you can find at our upcoming Valentine's Market taking place Saturday & Sunday, Feb 11 & 12, from noon to 5 pm in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall in beautiful Asbury Park!

Today's #MeetTheMakerAP is Judith Kerrisk and Frank Natale of Dark and Delicate. Together, they make unique, one-of-a-kind mugs to fit your unique one of a kind personality. Each mug is delicately hand pressed at their home studio in Bradley Beach. They've been long time vendors at the Asbury Park Bazaar, so it's been exciting to watch them grow. Be sure to shop their goods tomorrow, Sat. Feb 11th, at our Valentine's Market! They'll have plenty of perfect gifts for your love - handmade coffee mugs with over 30 different designs, as well as handmade wood home decor. 

1) How did your business get its start?

Dark and Delicate was born in a small kitchen in Wilmington,NC. When we started out we were hand painting coffee mugs, wine glasses, and liquor bottles. Now, we have tripled in size and are expanding everyday. This is our first time at the Valentine's Bazaar as we couldn't be more excited! 

2) What motivates you as an artist and maker?

The fact that people come out and support us and constantly buy mugs from us is what motivates us the most. The better we do, the more it motivates us to create different things and to grow. 

3) What are you most looking forward to at the Asbury Park Bazaar this Valentine's Market?

Like many of the other bazaars, we can't wait to see all of the vendors that are participating. We have been a part of these events for about a year an a half, and you start to develop relationships with other businesses and become this weird little vendor family. 

4) Where do you live and what inspires you about living there?

We have recently Moved our studio from Asbury Park to near by Bradley Beach. We love being in this area because of the beach, the history and all the local artisans. When you meet a lot of the people here they are so inspiring, people don't give up here. The town is filled with young musicians, and artists, and everyone pushes and supports each other.

5) Why should people shop small / shop local for Valentine's and year round for that matter?

I think shopping small is so important. Like I said, the more people buy from Us the more we want to do. The more it pushes us to create. So make sure you come! We cant wait to be a part of the Valentines Bazaar this 2017! See you all there! 

Love Stories: Wanderlove Press

By Kate Devine

Wife and husband team Kelli and Brad of Wanderlove Press love finding creative ways to celebrate your story. Together they specialize in hand lettering, drawn illustrations, calligraphy, stationery & paper goods. 

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When did you two meet and how did you get together?
My husband, Brad, and I met through friends back in 2007. His best friend was dating (and is now married to) my best friend, so we found ourselves spending a lot of time together and figured out pretty quickly that we were into each other. Cue a few awkward moments in between, (but what love story doesn't have those?) and we've been together ever since. 

What was it like deciding to start your business together?
My first job out of college was in a less-than-creative field, so I found myself spending nights and weekends toying with graphic design tools and learning the principles of design. A few years later, with quite a few designs and freelance clients under my belt, I listed a few greeting cards online for sale. It was always surprising to me when I'd get a notification that I had sold a card, and that my designs were being used to celebrate big and small events, and honestly, it still is!

In the last few years, as my design aesthetic has changed and developed, and as our relationship has changed and developed, Brad has become my go-to for brainstorming ideas, bouncing designs off of, and more. While I'm in charge of the design and creative, he'll be the first to admit his hand lettering isn't quite up to par, Brad is a huge part in the logistics behind our operation. He's the reason packages get out the door and that the setup we have at festivals and craft shows all comes together.

What is your favorite part about working with your husband?
Our business is just an extension of our day-to-day partnership. Without Brad's support, I'd spend a lot of our already limited hours together in my office getting work done. But working together, we have the opportunity to spend that time together, building something we love and watching it grow. For us, we know each other so well that working together just works for us. 

What will you be offering at the Valentine's Market?
We offer a variety of hand lettered stationery, paper goods, wood signs, and home goods. We'll have a ton of greeting cards that are perfect for Valentine's Day, along with wood signs, coffee mugs, and more that make great presents for all the people you want to say I love you to!

Be sure to stop by and pick up a gift from Wanderlove Press at the Valentine's Market on Sunday, February 12th - noon to 6 pm in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall!

Love Stories: Big Spoon Little Spoon

By Kate Devine

I adore a good love story. Just thinking of all the beautiful and unlikely forces that unite people over time and circumstance makes me swoon! As we near our Valentine's Market (this weekend!) we're celebrating our family of vendors and their love stories. 

Matt and Amy, the couple behind Big Spoon Little Spoon Naturals create handmade soaps and products for our bodies, spirits, and planet. The story of how they met, fell in love, and started a business, is rooted in fate and heart.

When did you meet and what brought you two together?
We first met at a punk show at Hamilton Street Cafe in Bound Brook, NJ when Matt was probably around 16 and Amy was probably 13. Matt was from a suburb outside Philadelphia and Amy grew up not far from the venue in NJ. 

Matt: My old band played a show there, and we first crossed paths at that show when we were kids, not yet knowing I was standing in the same room with my soulmate, the mother of my future children.  

Maybe 8 or 9 years later, Matt was on tour and played a house show in Los Angeles and Amy just so happened to attend another one of Matt's band's shows, but this time, on the other side of the country, all the way on the west coast, while Amy was living out in LA. 

Amy: I actually recognized Matt from when we were teenagers, which was strange for me because I have the worst memory, it's somewhat of a problem, and I'm especially horrible at remembering faces and people in general, but not him. It wasn't until we crossed paths again while both living in Philadelphia a few years later that we finally "got together." Our first date was in my tiny cement patio backyard in South Philadelphia. We lit a chiminea fire, and sparklers, and we haven't left each other's side since then. We've been together every day, making a life together. 

What was it like deciding to start your business together?
It was a pretty easy decision, since we kind of stuck together like magnets right from the start of our relationship. We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to work together and work for ourselves. We never really felt that we "fit in" with any of our previous jobs. Neither of us felt complete in the job department, and we wanted so badly to carve something out for ourselves. Right before we ditched our jobs to pursue soapmaking full time, Amy was a substitute teacher and Matt was a bartender at a local TexMex restaurant. Soapmaking sort of fell into our laps like fate much like how we fell together. 

We started making soap not long after our first kid was born in 2013. Lake, our oldest boy, was born with rashy, super sensitive skin; his rashes seemed to be triggered by washing him with certain commercial baby soaps. Seeking a gentle, more natural alternative to clean our then little baby's tush, while on a limited budget, we started making our own soap from scratch using soothing herbs from our own backyard and organic, high-quality nourishing food-grade oils we'd get from the local Trader Joe's. We took out books from the library and watched Youtube videos on how to do it, and got pretty damn good at it. 

Matt: Amy apprenticed on a medicinal plants farm for a few years so knew the basics of natural, plant-based ingredients, and is naturally so very talented at everything artistic, especially when creating packaging and display designs; she's a genius.

Amy: Matt is a natural artist also. He's more attune to rhythms and motions. I think because he's a natural born drummer, he's really good with his hands and has a genuine connection with the manual, handcrafted scope of our business; he's the true soap artist, and our company would be incomplete without him and the passion for his craft that he brings to the table. 

Soap making, product design, and now store design, really gives us an outlet to do what we always felt we were meant to do as humans. It allows us to create and to put products that are meaningful, useful, and sustainable out into the world for our fellow humans to really bond with and enjoy.

What is your favorite part about working with your partner? 
Amy: For me, it's that he completes me in every way. We always joke that we are two incomplete halves. Only together, do we make up a complete whole. I feel so lucky to be in such great company all the time and you can't complain about having nothing but love in the workplace. Don't get me wrong, it's not all sunshine and lollipops always, running a small business when you started out dirt poor with a little baby to feed and bills and real life to juggle is TOUGH; we bicker and disagree all the time, but at the end of the day, he's me and I'm him, and our kids are us, even the people who work with us have turned into family and joined in on the oneness all around. We all carry each other, and it feels great being a part of the Big Spoon Little Spoon Naturals work family community. It feels like home all the time.

Matt: We work hard for each other, and for our kids and have all the same motivating and driving forces. We're doing this to give our kids a good life and future. It feels good to be in it together, building something for them and creating sustainable products for the future of this planet. And not to mention, It feels good to be able to make soap naked if I wanted to (I don't for safety/hygiene reasons!!! BUT...) if I wanted to, I could and she wouldn't mind a bit. It's nice working around your wife while being your own boss because the option of working naked without shame is always there.

What will you be offering at the Valentine's Market?
We're so excited to be a part of the Sunday, Feb. 12th Asbury Park Bazaar Valentine's Market! In addition to all the usual products we offer this time of the year, such as an array of handcrafted plant-based soaps made with love, natural body products, dried flower bouquets, and all kinds of gifts inspired by nature for everyone you love, we are teaming up with The Market's Winter Workshop Project and offering a Soapmaking Workshop for those interested in learning how to make soap during the Sunday Valentine's Market. See The Market Asbury Park's event page for more information on how to sign up.

Nothing to Wear to Roller Hall? Vintage Lounge Has You Covered

By Kate Devine

You've probably heard about the pop up roller skating hall coming to Asbury Park's Convention Hall this weekend. You'll probably agree that it will be incomparably the best date possible this Valentine's weekend. There will also be food, libations, and DJ Atom Worth modeling the music and atmosphere after the late ‘70s to early ‘80s roller boogie scene! So get your skates ready, reserve a spot, and don't forget to dress for the occasion... in vintage.

Remember the days of helping friends pick a perfect outfit for a first date? I'm talking about the hopeful, giddy ritual of pairing countless tops and jeans, dresses with tights, and of course the perfect shoes. We made messes of our bedrooms but floated with unparalleled thrill for the possibilities of romance to come.

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Revisit that time and find the perfect vintage outfit to wear at Roller Hall, at our vintage lounge! Whether you're taking your new boo, your long-time love, your best friend, or family member, dressing vintage will make Roller Hall even more rad. Our vintage vendors are stocked with clothes from the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s for you to rock all night long. Let our vintage experts outfit you like a best friend would.

Three vintage shops on Saturday, Feb 11th and four on Sunday, Feb 12th will be all set up near our newly constructed vinyl cabin, where you can play records (choose from ours or bring your own) and relax with a hot toddy. Serious nostalgia happening all around. 

Why shop vintage? Not only is the hunt for a certain unique, perfectly fitting garment a joy unlike any other, but shopping vintage promotes a greener, more socially conscious earth too. Fashion recycles itself, styles come around again and again. Shopping second-hand and vintage frees you from consuming fast-fashion clothes that don't last the way they should, and keeps you in one-of-a-kind outfits. 

"Vintage clothing makes old stories new, sees no color, no race, no boundaries, bringing people together in perfect harmony across the universe and across times," says Janette MacKay, owner of Harmony Revolution. 

On Saturday, Feb 11th find Penelope Traveling Boutique, Modern Hex, and Junkyard Angel.  

Penelope Traveling Boutique is New Jersey Shore's first traveling boutique and fashion truck, a store front turned pop up shop that hit the road in April 2014. Owner Jillian Jaques is a Jersey Shore native and has worked in fashion for over 15 years. Her boutique features feminine clothes with a bohemian, free spirit style.

Modern Hex is owned by Rebecca Crouse and is based in Philadelphia. Rebecca has an amazing selection of curated vintage clothes from the '40s to 90's. A lot of rare and unique pieces, in addition to handmade jewelry and hand knit scarves.

Junkyard Angel features a hand-tailored curation of select unique vintage meets modern wearable style. Each piece has been carefully selected and most often, hand-altered to enhance the modern esthetic and overall functionality, by creater and owner, seamstress artist, Nadine Fischl. Junk Yard Angel has been a pioneer of renewed vintage fashions, operating since 2004, and previously operating shops in Manasquan, San Diego, and Asbury Park.

On Sunday Feb 12th find Harmony Revolution, Moonmind Vintage, Open Roads and Wooden Tower Vintage Clothing & Finds

Harmony Revolution, based in Ocean Grove, is a treasure trove of fashion from the past that makes its way into your present, all thanks to owner and curator Janette Mackay. Her shop offers truly unique duds you will just won't find anywhere else. 

Moonmind Vintage is inspired by the French tradition of 'pecheurs de lune' or fishermen of the moon. Owner Kate Devine (blog writer as well) believes that the clothes we wear and items we carry become an extension of ourselves, an emblem of our personal stories. I hand pick colorful, unique vintage clothes from across the U.S. and abroad to stock a shop full of pretty pieces to accent your wardrobe and story. 

Open Roads is a collection of vintage and unique clothes from the travels and adventures of Shawnee Naughton. Shawnee travels the world to rock climb, and adds to her shop along the way.

Wooden Tower Vintage Clothing & Finds is an Asbury Park based shop of vintage clothing, boots, shoes, jewelry, art, tchotchke's and other treasures. Owner Maggie's own style and taste is influenced the modesty and practicality in the dress and craft of early 20th century tradesmen, and the rock and folk culture of the 1960's and 70's. "Not only for the music and poetry, but for the expression of individuality and rebellious freedom."

Stop by our vintage lounge and find that perfect Roller Hall outfit. See you there!