Here we go...My First. Blog. Post. Ever!
This weekend was a very important step for me and my new small business: Studio Schmidt. Yesterday was my first time exhibiting my work at an art fair. It was also the first time that I was able to show actual products made with my own surface pattern designs to the public. Best of all, it was my first opportunity to make actual sales (which felt pretty great)! After only a few months of being in business, I feel like I have accomplished a lot.
I spent the last month and a half prepping for the art fair and getting everything ready. Countless hours went into designing the patterns, sourcing printers, rebranding my logo, printing labels and even making and sewing many of the products myself! After many late nights, a LOT of caffeine (and a few minor meltdowns during the process), I finished everything just in time for the What's Blooming on Harrison Art Fair & Street Fest on Saturday, May 21st. It was a lot of hard work, but in the end, I am so proud of what I was able to accomplish in only a month and a half!
When I started planning my product assortment, it was important to me that everything that I make and sell (both at the fair and, eventually, through my online store) be made in the USA. I am passionate about made in the USA products and I wanted to help contribute to the US economy by supporting US fabric and paper printers. I am also very passionate about the handmade maker movement, so it was also critically important to me, that the items that I designed and sold were each handmade or sewn by me in some way. Finally, as an Oak Park-based designer and artist that has lived in the Harrison Arts District for 2 years, I could think of no better place to exhibit for the first time than at What's Blooming on Harrison in the Oak Park Arts District! Oak Park is a very inspiring and supportive community and I feel blessed to be able to call it home.
Being able to unveil, and sell, my new products and artwork at the art fair felt amazing! Everything that I was available for sale featured exclusive Studio Schmidt textile and surface pattern designs. Some of my best sellers were the handmade journals, which featured hand-stitched bindings and custom printed covers - these were available in 5 different designs and in 2 different sizes (mini and regular). Another favorite of customers were the handmade fabric covered magnets! The greeting cards, notecard sets and kitchen towels were also a big hit! Some of the other items that were available for purchase were custom made tote bags, mixed media artwork, rolls of printed gift wrap, recipe card sets and bookmarks.
At the fair, I was able to connect with many new people, as well as other talented artists. The conversations that I had with those who visited my booth have given me several ideas of potential ways to expand my business in the future (including possibly teaching surface pattern design lessons, selling my items wholesale to boutiques, exhibiting at church sales and other craft events, and working on private projects and design commissions). These are all exciting possibilities that I look forward to exploring in the near future! Additionally, I will begin selling some of my Studio Schmidt products online very soon! Stay tuned!
I was also lucky to receive tremendous support from several of my friends, who attended the show! The last 6 months have been difficult for me, at times, since not everyone in my life has been so supportive of my recent career change. However, I have been very blessed to have such an amazingly supportive husband, family, and group of friends that I know are always rooting for me and cheering me on! They encourage me to keep going, reach for the stars and to always strive for my best! I just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to all of you for being so supportive (you know who you are!) I feel truly blessed.
Life is definitely an adventure and I am excited to see what new opportunities await for Studio Schmidt Designs in 2016!
Hello there! I'm an Atlanta-based surface pattern designer, illustrator, and maker. I would describe myself as a color enthusiast, creative entrepreneur, baker, lover of life, and fan of all things festive! Traveling to new places - whether near or far - is one of my favorite things to do. Please join me as I explore life and embark on new creative adventures!