Geek the Halls :: This Weekend!

In my last show of the year, I’m doing something different and participating in a show I’ve never done before.

And I’m SO stoked to be there!

Geek the Halls 2017

That’s right, folks, I’ll be at Geek the Halls this year! It’s makers + geeks = amazingness. I’ve always wanted to do this show, but the timing never worked out. But this year it all worked out.

My friend Sunday of Knitpunk will be there selling her mind-boggingly amazing fiber goods. Seriously, she’s amazing and I want to buy ALL her things.

Like I said, it’s my last show of the season, and we’re creeping up on holiday shipping deadlines, so why not come to the DoubleTree at Lloyd Center and shop in person for some geeky wares?

SHOW :: Geek the Halls
Saturday, December 16 – Sunday, December 17
10am – 5pm both days| DoubleTree Lloyd Center | Portland, OR

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Crafty Wonderland :: THIS WEEKEND!

This weekend is my favorite show of the season- Crafty Wonderland!

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Rad art courtesy of Ryan Berkley

It’s two full days of handmade amazingness at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. This year, we’ll be in HALL A, not Hall D as in past years. 250+ vendors, crafts, and more!

The show is 11am – 6pm both Saturday and Sunday, December 9 + 10. Friday, December 8 is a preview night, where you can beat the crowds and get first pick on all the handmade items. Buy a ticket (they’ve limited it to 500 people to make the shopping experience less crowded!), and you’ll get first pick and a drink ticket to imbibe in a cocktail and buy handmade items at your leisure Friday night. Click here to get tickets:   https://www.ticketswest.com/events/crafty-wonderland-first-pick-pre-show-party!/94474/

I’ll be in Booth 106, near the entrance and next to Magpie Ethel. 🙂 My fellow Astoria Sunday Market friends Shift and Wheeler Bag Co. will be across the aisle from me, so you’ll not only be supporting your local economy, you’ll be supporting your fellow coastal Oregonians, too!

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See you there!

SHOW :: Crafty Wonderland
Saturday, December 9 – Sunday, December 10
11am – 6pm | Oregon Convention Center
Special First Pick Preview Party Friday evening- click here for tickets

THIS WEEKEND:: Seaside Artisan Fair

If you’re in the North Oregon Coast area for Thanksgiving weekend, get your holiday shopping on and not only buy local, but buy handmade at the Seaside Artisan Fair!

Holiday Show Schedule
If you can’t make it this weekend, come see us in Portland and Long Beach, WA!

There will be door prize drawings, a Home Depot kids workshop, and Santa will make an appearance!

Hours of Show::
Friday :: 12pm – 5pm
Saturday :: 10am – 5pm
Sunday :: 10am – 3pm

Friday: Santa visits from 2 – 4pm
Parade of Lights on Broadway at 7pm
Saturday: Santa visits from Noon-2pm
Sunday: Home Depot workshop 10am – 3pm
Santa visits from 10am – 3pm

We hope to see you there! This is our first show of the holiday season, so we’ll have ample stock of items perfect for gifting, such as our spool ornaments and coffee cup sleeves!

 

Shop Local :: Raine and Riley’s in Brooklyn, NY!

Raine and Riley's store window

We are so excited to tell you if you’re in the Brooklyn, New York area, you can shop for MarshMueller items at Raine and Riley’s!

This store recently moved to a new location, and the owner, Sarah, is incredibly nice and has an amazing eye for merchandising. Check out the window they did in September (it’s like a scavenger hunt! Can you spot the MarshMueller Space Explorers bib?):

Raine and Riley's store window
image courtesy of @raineandrileys Instagram

Raine and Riley’s offers a selection of apparel for everyday, fancy party clothes, costume items, and many shoes and accessories.

“We are strong believers in the fact that spit happens and are so excited to expand our collection of uh-oh gear by selling MarshMueller’s absolutely adorable bibs. As Raine and Riley’s nears our third birthday (we’re almost toddlers!), we aim to celebrate designers who create clothing items and accessories with fun in mind,” said Sarah, Owner of Raine and Riley’s.

Raine and Riley's in Brooklyn store interior
image courtesy of Sarah of Raine and Riley’s

We are so thrilled there are fellow small businesses who know the work it takes to run their own business from the ground up, and it’s one of the many reasons we love to celebrate and feature these stores on our blog!

So whether you’re looking to have the most stylish baby at mommy and me, or have the most fashion-forward tween in town, you’ll find it at Raine and Riley’s in Brooklyn!

SHOP LOCAL :: Raine and Riley’s
9002 3rd Avenue | Brooklyn, NY 11209 | 347.497.3450
Facebook | Instagram

Shop Update :: Wisteria Chic in Manzanita

One of our most resilient retail partners, Wisteria Chic in Manzanita, could literally write a book on facing challenges in life and business and how to remain amazingly poised.

Debra, aka Debbie, made her first order with MarshMueller last fall and ended up having to push out the order by a few weeks. No big deal, life happens, right?

Well, she had a pretty good reason.

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A tornado (yes, you read that right), blew through the small Oregon coast town and hit her shop.

So what did Debbie do? Did she close up shop? Did she wallow in despair (it’s probably what I would have done).

No. She assessed the damage (thankfully most of her inventory was spared), found a temporary location, and opened back up within TWO WEEKS. I know. She’s amazing.

You can read more about it here.

Fast-forward to May 2017, and the store has been completely rebuilt and Debbie was getting ready to re-open back in her previous location.

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ABOVE: Debra, aka Debbie, of Wisteria Chic

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Debbie not only is a master merchandiser, buyer, and shop owner, but also faced her store being destroyed just before a tough time in retail for the coast. In the same year, she also experienced loss in her family, was diagnosed with breast cancer and BEAT breast cancer! Debbie would get up at 4am, every weekday, make the two hour drive into Portland for breast cancer treatment. Then she would drive two hours back home. She did this all summer. Now, scans say the cancer is gone, and we all hope it stays gone.

So go check out this amazing store and if you see the amazing Debbie, tell her I said hi (and be sure to buy something- there’s so much good stuff she has in stock!).

SHOP LOCAL ::
Wisteria Chic | 387 Laneda Ave, Unit B |Manzanita, OR 97130
503.368.3870 | Facebook

Celebrating Six Years!

This week marks our sixth year in business!

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We are so thankful that our little business that could has reached another year of making rad, practical accessories for you and your little ones.

And we have you to thank- without amazing people like you who buy our handmade items online, see us in person at craft shows, or shops locally at an independent brick and mortar in your area, we would not be here.

We’d like to know more about what we can improve and what else we can help with, so we created a quick and (relatively) painless survey, and you can enter to win a $25 gift card to marshmueller.com!

Take the survey here: https://marshmueller.typeform.com/to/h0ZYmV

Thank you for six incredible years!!

 

Shop Local :: Gifted in Jackson, CA!

I’m featuring a new stockist and I have the best story about them!

First things first: sometimes I pitch my line to stores. They don’t always find me- and it’s totally understandable, so I need to find them! Owning a store or being the buyer for a busy large brick and mortar means you not only wear all the hats of a creative entrepreneur, you wear the hats that come with running a store.

So I try to make it a little easier by sourcing shops where my line may be a good fit.

Gifted, in Jackson, California followed me on Instagram, and I naturally followed back. I have a system where I send a postcard and email followup to potential stores, and I sent Gifted a postcard in April, and Jeannette, the owner of Gifted, replied back right away. Mid-summer was going to be a better time for her to buy, so I told her I’d follow up then. I LOVE when store owners give me some insight into their open-to-buy (an open-to-buy is basically a budget that tells buyers when they’ve got budget to buy goods again). Being a former buyer, I understand this challenge, so I always appreciate store owners and buyers being up front with me.

Fast-forward to later in April, and I’m teaching my class on Gamaguchi Clutches at Craftcation in Ventura, California, and you would never believe who is a student in my class:

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None other than Jeannette! It was such a pleasant surprise. It was so good to meet her in person, laugh together (she is hilarious), and craft together. She even complimented my approach to stores, which was the ultimate compliment.

About mid-summer Jeannette was ready to put an order together, and now the MarshMueller line is in stock at Gifted!

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Here’s more about Jeannette and Gifted:

Owned by a mother-daughter team, Gifted strives to create a store featuring locally made and American manufactured gifts and goods. Terry Scott and Jeannette McDonald believe that tomorrow’s heirlooms are being made in our own backyards, studios, and garages (seriously, that gives me all the feels).

Gifted Storefront

They overhauled a space on the ground floor of a three-story Odd Fellows building in 2011 in Jackson, California, and continue to seek out new artisans and American-made product to feature at the shop.

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Many times if a store isn’t geographically close, I may never meet the owner/buyer, and it was SO amazing to actually meet Jeannette in person (at Craftcation, of all places!).

So if you’re in the Jackson, California, area, be sure to shop local at Gifted (and tell Jeannette hi for me!).

SHOP LOCAL ::
Gifted | 8 Main Street | Jackson, CA 95642
(209) 223-1558 | Instagram | Facebook

Pop-Up Shop at Astoria Vintage Hardware!

I am over the moon excited to be part of Astoria Vintage Hardware’s pop-up series!

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Astoria Vintage Hardware is one of my absolute favorite places to shop in Astoria. Part art form and part conscientious salvage, Astoria Vintage Hardware brings our community an exhilarating shopping experience for home furnishings, couture upholstery, and findings for the home that are truly unique and literally one of a kind.

Paul Tuter and Becky Johnson, the owners, met at a flea market. Their talents as a furniture builder and upholsterer respectively combined to form Astoria Vintage Hardware.

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Not only do they value enhancing our community with their business, they continue to support other small businesses in our area by offering a part of their retail space as a pop-up opportunity! Naturally, when they began selecting and scheduling businesses for pop-ups, I jumped right on it!

The pop-up runs from Saturday, October 14 to Wednesday, November 8. I’ll be there for a meet-and-greet from 5pm to 8pm on Saturday, October 14!

Pop-Up Shop :: MarshMueller + Astoria Vintage Hardware
1162 Marine Drive | Astoria, OR | 503.325.1313
Pop-Up Dates: Saturday, October 14 – Wednesday, November 8
Meet and Greet :: Saturday, October 14, 5-8pm

RSVP on our Facebook Event here: http://bit.ly/m2popupshop 

 

 

DIY Ninjago Costume

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at least in this house)!

Between the months of August and September, Rob and I go into full R + D mode….

…to develop concepts for our kiddo’s Halloween costumes.

Two years ago was the first year we channeled our theatre and construction experience (that’s construction with sets and textiles, not buildings and skyscrapers, natch) and Rob created an amazing R2D2 costume from cardboard, poster board, and duct tape. It helped Oldest Boy win first place in the costume contest at the Monster Bash and was a huge confidence booster for him in a difficult year for him, full of new baby brothers, moving to new homes, and difficulty at preschool due to emerging neurological revelations.

Last year we realized we set a precedent with Oldest Boy by making the elaborate R2D2 costume by hand, and he was going to expect nothing less for his Halloween costume. Challenge accepted!

The timing of Halloween usually marks the time of year where the production for my business increases, as I’m fulfilling wholesale orders, making more items for my own inventory, and building up stock for holiday shows.

Thank goodness Rob took the reins on this one.

DIY Ninjago Costume Cardboard Template

He started with a cardboard template after using this little guy as his guide throughout the costume building process:

Oldest Boy was pretty insistent on being Jay the Ninjago, so Rob used Oldest Boy’s minifig as the guide for proportions, shape, and details.

 

He then built the initial shape out of cardboard and those super stiff tubes used for construction (check out the little circular indents in the back of the leg! Rob is WAY more detail-oriented than I am, so it was better for him to build this costume this round).

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Onto paper maché! This wasn’t Rob’s first paper maché rodeo, and he’s used this method in previous costumes, even dating back to our college days. It helps keep the cardboard together and smooth out everything for a cohesive look.

Yes, we let our five-year-old paint indoors. On carpeted floor. He was pretty careful to paint without making a mess, but this is literally the only carpeted room in the house (and it’s the dining room- WTF, previous homeowners?!), and we hate the carpet, and we’re tearing it out this weekend (for REAL!!).

Then came more complex pieces that required shaping, and Rob used foam and scraped and shaped them to their proper form for this costume.

I’m a weirdo and have a huge aversion to the sound of styrofoam scraping together, but this job was messy so Rob shaped the foam in the garage, so I missed out on having to put in earplugs during this part of the project! 😀

Rob created sword handles out of wood and affixed the foam swords with the wooden handles for the perfect swords for Jay.

He also had to shape the head and designed the costume to have a section between the head and torso piece to hold the crafted shoulder pieces and the back piece that would hold the swords.

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Then he outlined all the details as shown in our Jay minifig friend:

While Rob did 99% of the work on this costume, I did help a tiny bit and sewed the suspenders out of webbing material. Looking back, I would have made them a little bit shorter and would have devised the center straps to adjust better, as they kept falling off his shoulders.

Then, to create the mask for the headpiece, he used spray starch and cheesecloth and overlaid it on the eyes of the headpiece and painted the cheesecloth. Once dry, he cut out the eye portion of the foam headpiece, and then affixed the cheesecloth to the headpiece.

And of course, had to test it out himself. 🙂 (above, right photo)

Kiddo Test Drive! Oldest Boy tried it on, complete with lego hand gloves (Amazon), and he was SO excited. Jay was coming together.

Looking back, Rob realized he should have trusted his instinct and added in “hinges” of some sort at the knee, as we discovered Oldest Boy had a hard time walking around during trick-or-treating.

Overall, he was so stoked to have a Jay the Ninjago costume of his very own, made just for him, by dad.

Happy Halloween and Happy costume building!

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SHOP LOCAL :: Dustmuffin in Silver Lake!

We are thrilled to tell you MarshMueller goodies can be purchased at Dustmuffin in Silver Lake (in the Los Angeles area)!

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Image courtesy of James Clark and Kerry Vitiello

 

Do you ever encounter a store and realize you have a ton in common, love all their products, and have no problem spending ALL your money there in a heartbeat?

That’s how I felt when I encountered Dustmuffin. The owners adore stocking handmade and American-made products, they have a quirky aesthetic, and they have a fantastic collective sense of humor. Just my type. 🙂

Thankfully they thought so, too, and are now carrying MarshMueller Bibs and Burp Cloth Sets!

Owners Diana Jacobs and Kerry Vitiello started Dustmuffin initially as a jewelry company and walked the typical maker path of farmer’s markets and trade shows. While the jewelry was successful in selling, people loved the displays they used, which consisted of vintage and bakery-style fixtures. Diana even make stuffed satin muffins to display their jewelry.

The name Dustmuffin came from a rescue cat; during kitty’s first day home, the cat appeared from under a couch, covered in dust bunnies, and the name stuck. It was only natural to name the business with the same moniker; their jewelry was sold in muffin boxes and displayed on baking sheets, so Dustmuffin was perfect.

They developed a “severe allergic reaction to trade shows,” and were encouraged to open a brick and mortar store. Kerry’s husband James Clark loved the idea and joined the team, and they opened up shop in the Los Angeles area in 2011.

dustmuffin storefront

When I asked Kerry to provide a blurb about her business, I loved the fact that she was candid and honest in their journey to where they are now.

“Our struggles at first included over ordering (we had to have EVERY COLOR and EVERY SCENT of a candle line and at like 12 pc. per candle it ended up being 1000 candles and we hardly had any storage).  Loss of inventory was a problem. The way our first location was set up it was super conducive to theft – stolen watches, earrings, necklaces ..my purse.  I also took my fair share of counterfeit money – we were too trusting just leaving everything out for people to handle unsupervised.”

They had to move locations when the owner of their building sold the property, but Kerry said she is happy to be where they are now in the Silver Lake area.

Over the years, they honed their buying skills, tightened security, and zeroed in on their eclectic aesthetic that their customers know and love today.

So if you’re in the LA area, more specifically the Silver Lake area, go check out Dustmuffin!

SHOP LOCAL ::
Dustmuffin | 3204 Sunset Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90026
323-644-2828 | Instagram | Facebook