What’s new at MC2? Just go to our listings over at Facebook and find out!
Here’s a teaser:
Nature + Glass + Drawing + Wire + Sculpture + Drinks + Friends + Fun!
What’s new at MC2? Just go to our listings over at Facebook and find out!
Here’s a teaser:
Nature + Glass + Drawing + Wire + Sculpture + Drinks + Friends + Fun!
After a three year (give or take a few months) haitus wherein alot of stuff happened, we have decided to REOPEN the store formerly known as Makers Connect.
We have heard some of you say, “Location is key!” Yes, we agree. So when this one became available, we did our best to snag it. Very long story short, there was a happy ending and the princess got her prince, the evil stepsisters learned a lesson, and the mean old stepmother grew wings and became a gorgeous hollywood star. But in reality – we moved into 9047 Garland Road, which was the home of Beads of Splendor, a truly gorgeous bead shop that offered not only beads but fantastic classes and knowledgeable and friendly staff to help you with almost any project.
Our landlord was of the mind to keep the space programmed in a similarly local, crafty fashion – and things clicked. Alot of things, involving alot of generous donations and helpful vendors. So despite the straight-forward planning I had hoped for using alot of sleek IKEA furnishings, it’s going to be a more hand-hewn, artfully upcycled situation. Which will be, I am sure, way more interesting than a room full of all IKEA fixtures!
We will be offering So many amazing classes… the list will include painting for adults and for kids, clay and ceramics, enamelling, stamping, resin, concrete casting, hand dying, candle making, soap making, print making, stamp and collage making, and hopefully sewing as well. The class schedule will be available after we open in May.
We look forward to seeing old and new faces in our gorgeous new space at 9047 Garland Road at White Rock Shopping Center, Dallas 75218!
Come see us soon….
Chris Unruh + Steve Dickson
Well, it’s hard to believe but we’ve reached the final curtain. So many of you have already stopped in and showered us with kind, appreciative kudos of all kinds that we’re still a bit glowy and big headed. It’s been such an overwhelming and emotional time…we are truly going to miss seeing so many of you as customers, vendors, and friends.
Just in case you couldn’t make it last week you will have exactly two more days to enter 10242 E. Northwest Highway while it is still called Makers Connect. One more hug around the neck and then we hit the road, soon to be transformed as…. The Art Annex!
We sure hope you go and check them out when they open. Caleb and Lynda make cool stuff, and have a lot of different artists waiting in the wings to show their creations.
Cheers to you, one and all! Mwaaa! xox, Chris (email@example.com)
We’re already pretty colorful and fun around Makers Connect, but just to amp up the volume, we’re bringing in two SUPER colorful folks this weekend to help you gather gifts for the discriminating artsy people in your life.
All day from 11: 00 till 5:00 we host Brad Abrams, a south-east Dallas local phenom known for his sprawling studio compound, where he blows and casts glass. Color and forms are forever trapped in his giant witch balls! Janice Somerville, resident of Old Lake Highlands, brings her one of a kind metal ‘Bots, clay heads, and Jetsons-inspired jewelry! We’ll offer finger snacks and bubbly to enjoy as you browse!
Well we’ve done it again; landed back at the Holidays! It might be time to get our minds off the news of the day and try to really get into the season. And, as we’re come to discover, perfect gifts don’t find themselves. But we can definitely help YOU find them!
Some of the ways we’re doing this is to stock our store up with amazing goods by scads of local artists and crafters…. and then going the extra miles to host parties and trunk shows where they bring even MORE of their amazing creations for you to purchase!
The first show will be on Saturday, November 18 with Janice Somerville and Andrea Smith. Then the following week, we have yet *another* amazing show with three artists; Kim Morris, Kelley Vaughan and Jason from Recovered Cycling!
A little bit about what you can expect:
Janice makes adorable robot critters using cast-off metal parts, aluminum space-inspired jewelry, drilled rock necklaces, and brightly painted masks and crazy heads out of colorful ceramics.
Andrea makes amazing tiny beaded trees set onto geodes, as well as beaded jewelry using her great color sense. She will probably be demonstrating her technique during the show!
Kim will be de-stashing many year’s worth of jewelry findings, beads, and gemstones, plus her own incredible jewelry.
Kelley is bringing her amazing Mid Century Modern styled pottery; from tiny vases with crystal-enhanced lids to her signature round white airplant holders.
Jason is a cyclist with passion for quality leather goods and customization of your ride.
Please come out, enjoy some drinks and bites with us, and delight your family and friends this year with handmade goodies from your friends and neighbors right here in super cool East Dallas!
Saturday, November 25 has become regarded as the Alternative to Black Friday, a day when folks are encouraged to shop small and local… keep their dollars closer to home while supporting small cottage industries and mom and pops. We have a number of such businesses here in LH, and are so tickled to be involved in this super fun party!
This year the Lake Highlands Chamber of Commerce, of which we’re a member, has taken an interest in promoting our local businesses by elevating this day with celebrations in our Lake Center parking lot and environs.
All the small shops will be taking part by hosting musicians, artisans, amazing vintage cars, food, and drinks all day! We at MC will play host to a number of our own in-house vendors in addition to some new friends; plus we’ll have live music and even demonstrations of art in the making! You won’t want to miss this family-friendly event.
Celebration of Cats at Makers Connect. All day long cat-centered party, featuring local Purrr-sonalities like Instagram Cat Mom, Patti Haskins Critters, Kris Hundt Photography, CatLadyDallas, Kelley Cheek, and work by Robin Ayers, Carlos Zuniga, Beverly Ann Moore (BAM!), Jane Corley, and others!
Okay, the cat is out of the bag…. the truth is, we LOVE cats. We’ve had them in the store, at our homes, and in our hearts for many years. Yes, we love dogs and other animals too. But cats are so quietly unassuming as to not get their fair share of adulation and adoration. We decided it’s time to rectify that.
So we’re having a one day all out festivus del gatos; a celebration des chats – a cat house extraordinaire!
To help us celebrate, we are having these visitors and activities throughout the day:
“Cats on Film” with Kris Hundt:
Time slots are available here for having your cat photographed. You can opt to pose with your cat too! Please bring your cat in a carrier and bring along anything that will help it feel more comfortable. Kris has had lots of experience both with humans and pets, and has a knack of putting everyone at ease.
The fee includes a photo session, with one pose, of approximately 15 minutes and the final selection of one high resolution digital downloadable photo and the availability to purchase additional downloads, prints and much more. ($10.00 of each photo session will be donated to DallasCatLady.org operations to assist feral and homeless cats.)
12:00 – 12:15 Session: 12:15 – 12:30 Session: 4:15- 4:30 Session: 4:30 – 4:45 Session: 4:45 – 5:00
We sent out this press release just last night. We hope our customers, vendors, and well-wishers will stop by often before and after the transition. It’s a very exciting time for us!
An Artful Transition – For Immediate Release
Makers Connect, a quirky family-run gift shop/gallery at Northwest Highway and Easton, has plans to hand over the reigns to another local East Dallas family in the new year, Lynda Sparks and Caleb Jack.
The shop, which has been open for nearly four years, brings in an eclectic blend of local artisan-made goods from over 80 North TX artisans, plus selected goods from other sources that relate to the whimsical and lighthearted vibe the store projects.
The new owners have plans to keep the ‘funky’ and ramp up the fine-art side, which only makes sense. Caleb has spent many years assisting the operation of Artisans Collective, one of Dallas’ most notable local-art galleries. Recently shuttered due to the gentrification of the Bishop Arts district, it’s his hope that many of those wonderful artists will find new space at “Makers Connect – the Art Annex,” while maintaining many of the current artisans in the mix.
Makers Connect, the First Edition, will run through Christmas with a number of unique events and classes! Come shop local and artistically in Dallas.
We appreciate that many of you have taken time to return the love by sitting down and writing a short review or shout out on Yelp, or Facebook, or Square, or Instagram, or….wherever. Really it’s wonderful! Apparently I can share these reviews so I will try to do so here so everyone can be warmed as much as we are! FUZZIES ALL AROUND!
This one is most recent, by a customer, Lisa L.
This one is by a vendor/makers who also teaches classes at our store, https://www.yelp.com/embed/widgets.js</span>”>Kris Hundt.
Professional Headshot for under $50.00!? You must be kidding. Everyone knows they that good ones are *much* more expensive. Not really.
Everyone should have a recent professional headshot on their website or social media page. A Pop-Up session is a great way to own a quality headshot at the fraction of the price. For only $45, you can have your own mini-session with professional photographer, Kris Hundt.
She will be here at Makers Connect for half the day on Saturday, July 29, from 12:00 – 4:00 pm. All you need to do is walk in with your favorite solid color top on and your dazzling smile. She’ll make everything fun and easy.
The fee includes a photo session, with one look, of approximately 15 minutes and the final selection of one high resolution digital downloadable photo and the availablity to purchase additional downloads, prints and much more. The fee is payable cash, check or credit card; or prepay here and then forget about it till end of July.
Gorgeous, completely unique and one of a kind creations. You have not seen anything like these; they are so wonderful and wild. Lynda lets her inner child go free when she weilds a torch and does her magic.
The World According to Lynda:
Making jewellery makes my heart smile.
I choose a stone and it tells me how it wishes to be dressed.
I absolutely love buying stones & metal.
I absolutely hate organizing materials.
My favorite color is whatever attracts me at the time.
We’ll be serving cold cava (not to the kids!) so you can relax a bit about mother’s day and get inspired gifting ideas.
We are having a such a fun time hosting our vendors in an ongoing week-end moveable trunk show feast! Take a moment to learn about these upcoming makers; their life stories add to the allure of their work! ____________________________________________________________
Eryn Rosenbaum, Jewelry:
Reception was warm for Selena Dixon and her work last night. We had a blast meeting new neighbors, old customers, and a number of MC vendors as well! Discussions of art were everywhere you looked, in between sips of Cava and wine and bites of cheese and Jordan almonds. Thanks to everyone who came, and to those who purchased Real Art for their homes and offices.
Romanca Mandala – Sold!
Are you running around like a maniac, trying to find the perfect gift? Well, please take a breath. Take two. Sit down a spell in this comfy chair. Here, have a glass of wine.
Now, let us help you with your shopping! We have two exciting events coming up this weekend – expertly timed to help you find the tokens of handmade affection for your sweetheart, good friends, and even yourself.
Saturday, Feb 11: Kim Morris Trunk Show – Fabulous craftsmanship from start to finish. Kim is the *real* deal and if you haven’t seen her work, please do yourself a favor and drop in. We’ll have complimentary snacks and bubblies while you browse!
Kim will be in-house with her jewelry and Japanese silk scarves all day, from 11- 5pm.
Sunday, Feb 12: Valentine Party with Special Guest, the *Mistress of Good Fortunes Foretold and Love Advice,* Miss BAM!
Because we know our customers enjoy having another day to shop for Valentine goodies, we’ll be open from 12:00 till 4:00 on Sunday to help you find the right gift and to celebrate the season of love with yummy bites, bubbling beverages, handmade greeting card making (free! Just bring your creativity! Small children are discouraged from this activity due to sharp scissors.)
And the BEST treat? All day our talented seer of good news (no doom here, folks) will be onsite, doing 15 minute readings for a mere $10 donation; a portion of which she has earmarked for one of her favorite local animal charities. We are scheduling readings HERE – so please go to this link and snag your spot! You don’t want to miss out on this. She only has 11 spaces. See you this weekend!
Wow! We are completely overwhelmed here with so much news to share.
Here are all the new classes, trunk shows, and fun activities coming up at our place! We really hope you can take part in some of them.
Thursday, Feb. 2 – Larry Pile, aka the Kessler Craftsman – is offering his first Fused Glass class here at Makers Connect. Create a set of 4 Coasters/Tiles.
Cost is $40 per person. 6:30-8:30pm. Sign up here! CLASS IS FULL!
Friday, Feb 3 – The Lord of the Ring, a Bracelet Making Adventure with Jessica Barst – moving from Friday, Jan. 20 to Friday, Feb. 3. Price is lowering from $28 to $25. Space is still available so sign up now! ALMOST FULL!
Saturday, Feb 11 – Kim Morris will be here for a pre-Valentine’s Day Trunk Show, all day. 11 – 5pm. Treat yourself and a good friend to a fabulously colorful piece of her gorgeous, uniquely graphic handcrafted silver jewelry with shots of bright color!
Sunday, Feb 12 – Valentine’s Fun! Special guest: “Venus Fortunes & Counsel on LOVE…Saint Valentine’s Amoure Answers…Charmed Guidance & Fortunes Foretold” …with our amazing goddess of good news, Beverly Ann Moore! Plus special drinks, drawings, give-aways, balloons, cupcakes, candy….and shopping all the new Valentines’ handmade gifts.
Thursday, March 2 – Kessler Craftsman/Larry Pile will lead Fused Glass Bowl making. Create two 5.5″ bowls. Cost is $60 per person. 6:30 – 8:30pm Thursday
Friday, March 10 – Selena Dixon painting preview. Bright spring tones and sprightly, modern geometries make these paintings so perfect for the season and for our mood here at Makers. Come welcome Selena and her work with a wine and cheese reception from 6- 9 pm.
May 4 – Kessler Craftsman/Larry Pile. Mother’s Day Special! Come and bring your child, or your mom, and create jewelry together. Only $40 per person, $80 for two
*Please go to our Classes & Workshops page for more details on classes and links to sign up. We look forward to seeing you soon around the craft table!
So much coming up – but first I’d like to wish everyone a very happy thanksgiving.
Enjoy all the wonderful things about this holiday – the food, friends, family, and most of all…. our continued freedom.
This was my father’s favorite holiday because there were no other things to focus on (other than football, which he enjoyed a vague passing interest in) and he really did love the opportunity to exercise his amazing cooking skills for the enjoyment of all those who assembled (including random ‘straglers’ – friends or acquaintances who may not have had a place to go on Thanskgiving.)
Now, Steve and I also enjoy cooking at our house; feeding friends and family and keeping our new and old recipe traditions alive – including my great aunt Al’s cheese ball that employs some weird salted chipped beef that will soon be impossible to buy but tastes AMAZING – so obviously,we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll come see us on Friday, Saturday, and even Sunday. (If you want my aunt’s cheeseball recipe, I’ll be glad to share it.) Have a great holiday, ya’ll.
Saturday, November 26 – SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Come in, have a fizzy beverage, and dig your hand deep into our Fish Bowl of treats and Discounts! Lots of great deals and give-aways, so please make it a point to stop in.
December Trunk Shows:
Sat. December 3 – Cindy Bagwell Trunk Show. Sophisticated *and* funny dwell together in Cindy’s earring and necklaces designs, realized in mixed metals, wire, fiber, and gemstones.
Sat. December 10 – Audrey Legatowicz Trunk Show – Bright, soft, and oh so lovely dyed silk scarves; beaded “Baby Boomer” necklaces; felted pillows and garments, and the most amazing woven scarves, shawls, and handbags. You will want to treat yourself; one for you, one for your friend/sister/mom/sibling…..one more for you!
This is one of the cool stories that make our jobs at Makers Connect so special and fulfilling so we thought we’d share:
It begins on the day that one Robin Ayres came sweeping through our door in her energetic way, having decided to attend our Thursday Makers Meetup. She was wearing a giant necklace composed of hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of black plastic which upon closer inspection, were a combination of dominoes and retro celluloid charms layered on top of one another. She took it off to show me how much it weighed; That thing was HEAVY.
After we learned about our mutual commonalities through her day job as the sole product namer for the Richards Group, we delved more into her photo books. It was then that minds were blown all over the place. Her body of work as seen on Pinterest is nothing short of Amazing, Prolific, Colorful, and NUTS! https://www.pinterest.com/foundcolors/my-jewelry-creations/
Robin explained that she has synesthesia, and can taste the colors she’s using as she works with them. There are therefore certain colors that you’ll never see in her work.
Fast forward a few months, and a few meetups later, and we were able to talk her into letting us carry Robins’s amazing watch-case necklaces and upcycled globes at Makers.
As far the necklaces she showed us at that first meetup; no, they were still not for sale. To anyone. She explained they just took so much time (both collecting and making) that she swore she’d never sell them, but might consider lending them for a museum or gallery show.
But what she said was heard by the universe, because about 8 months later… a museum shop came calling… and it wasn’t just any shop. It was Kohei Tanaka from Trading Store Comme des Garcons in Tokyo. Whoa.
He had located her online via her Pinterest pages. Both shocked and honored, she wrote to us saying that she had finally found what felt like the right match in a retailer that would truly be able to showcase these incredible art jewelry pieces.
Best of luck, Robin! We hope they fly off the shelves – we know you’re already busy making more.
Below: Photo from Comme des Garcons in Tokyo. Robin’s work is showcased in plexiglass boxes, inside large glass vitrines flanked by black balls. So mod.
For some reason, the rain is making me question my existence…. and why my patient husband, feisty mother, and loyal / hilarious helpmate have joined hands in supporting…. this retail endeavor we call Makers Connect. The other day, I overheard someone say, “Your store has a stupid name.” Well, perhaps. It’s not the funniest or catchiest… most of those had already been taken. Originally I loved the name Local Talent. Three years ago, the dba was already in use and I couldn’t have it… I checked a few weeks ago and it was available again. But now we’re here and we’re not going to buy another lighted sign (do you know how much those cost?? Shocking.)
For the sake of clarity and to clear away any cobwebs in case there are others who also think our name is ‘dumb’, I offer this explanation:
Makers Connect – to their tribe.
Makers Connect – to their market
Makers Connect – to their talent
Makers Connect – to meeting other artists
Makers Connect – to learning new talents
Makers Connect – to one another, to neighborhood… to new possibilities.
If you still think it’ dumb, then write to me and we can have a dialogue. Also, your mother dresses you funny.*
*Just kidding. I know you dressed yourself.
**Really kidding… your mother is absolutely lovely.
Summer can seem like a game of frogger – dodging out to the car, into a shop, back to the car, into another shop, then back to the house…exhausted and hot. But what if the shop had fun things to look at, nice folks, music, food, cool drinks, and wonderful art and accessories to browse? What if there might also be something fun to do with the kids that you can bring home and keep or give as gifts?
Hear us now; we have TWO such events coming up – so mark your calendar now! For the next two Saturdays, we’re having a couple of our wonderful maker/vendors in the shop with a trunk show and charming make-and-take: Here are the details:
Vendor Spotlight: Lynda Sparks, Jewelry
How does one end up doing what one is doing in life? It’s almost never a straight-arrow path. The story is often as interesting as the items of art one creates, but sometimes we lack the time to ask the questions or to spin the more in-depth stories about our artists. I started asking Lynda because I was really curious how she came to her level of craft after retirement. Also, the sheer variety of the jewelry she brings in is really on another level. It appears that jewelry making for her seemed to come from a wellspring of desire to do something creative after a lifetime of other professional endeavors, from accounting to running a day-care facility.
“I retired twice; but just had too much energy to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs. I needed to express myself with something.” She adds to that, “Art is for your soul; math is for your mind.”
She had clearly spent enough of her life working with math. So she started creating greeting cards, which she sold at the Artisan’s Collective, a gallery of local art located in the Bishop Arts area of Oak Cliff, in Dallas.
“But I soon realized that it takes the same amount of time to make a card as it does to make jewelry, and I could sell jewelry for more!” So, she started watching jewelry videos, and learned how to create wrapped wire jewelry. She believes that if you want to know how to do something, the best money is spent on materials and practice rather than expensive courses. “I guess I’m too opinionated for some teachers but in the end I learn more by just doing it myself.” Her favorite metalsmithing DVD courses were by Lexi Erickson, available through Rio Grande.
“Whenever I hit a glitch, I tell myself to not get discouraged – and eventually I would keep at it and got to a point where I felt pretty good about what I was doing.” What did she do after mastering wire wrapping? Why, she just moved on to pouring resin. Then she took the resin pieces and wrapped those!
Now she’s making folded copper cuffs and rings, as well as large funky stone-set rings and necklaces. The fact that was able to teach herself to solder bezels and set stones demarks a major line in the sand that sets her apart from many jewelry makers. Every time she drops by, we’re always pleasantly amazed to see what wonderful new creations she’s whipped up.
We like her attitude a lot. She sums it up, “My advice is to just keep at it. If one thing isn’t working, try something else!” There is clearly no keeping this gal down. Go, Lynda!
Please take a moment to vote HERE... thanks! You can vote again every day through Sunday June 12.
Regardless of what is going on around me in the world or our lives, we try to keep the doors open to new artists with intriguing ideas and creations. These past few months we’ve brought in these terrific new folks; we hope you can come see their work soon.
(Also we have new work by our OTHER 85 local artists! Yesterday we received a neat bunch of adjustable rings and man-worthy pendant necklaces by Lynda Sparks.)
Amy Marks – Funky Finials: Upcycling those one-off vintage salt and pepper shakers and giving them a new lease on life as funky lamp finials! Also soon to come, Treasure Handbags!
Zunlan Designs – Carlos Zunlan and partner create handbags, satchels and totes from scratch. Some with leather accents and others with fashion-mag worthy handpaintings by Carlos. Also colorful patterned coasters.
Shauna Young – Reticulated (heavily textured) silver jewelry paired with her own hand-lapidaried stones….. all coordinated into beautiful pendants and cuffs.
Vera Guillan – Embroidered jackets. The blessed Virgin of Guadalupe comes to life when Vera and her sister come in contact with vintage jeans jackets.
more photos to come!
Mother’s Day is officially behind us – and we had so much fun feteing our vendors and the many customers who have become fans and collectors of their work and of our shop. As someone in politics once said, ‘it takes a village!’ but I wish to add, ‘momentum = time + perserverence + mass of awesome sauce!’ Which is to say- we’re hitting our stride. And we’re always trying to stay one step ahead with new surprises in everything from classes and events as well as artisans – so do please add yourself to our mailing list if you haven’t yet, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (chris_makers_connect)
Here’s a taste of something we’re getting excited about coming up – hope you can make it out!
We’re so thrilled it’s SPRING! Aren’t you?
Getting more done every day thanks to extra hours of sunshine; plus all the perennials are gently reemerging, along with bees, butterflies, and birds! We’ve noticed an increase in a several species around our far east Dallas neighborhood (that probably is a result of global warming) such as white doves, blue hairstreaks (with freaky orange bodies!), more Robins and seemingly more woodpeckers too.
At the shop, we’re experiencing a vernal bloom as well in terms of brand new product that has just walked in this week! From the soft, easter-egg colors of silk and antique linen scarves by Lisa Payne to the light purple and peach tones in Robin Weiss’ newest glass bowls, to the radiant kaleidescopic tones of Kim Morris’ newest sterling and copper earrings and the sassy little cotton jackets and hats by Reid Barnhart….plus the newly repackaged 100% soy candles by GLO and by Dylan and Co! Whew, and that’s only One Week!
You simply must do yourself the favor of a visit and see what else we forgot to mention, and keep in mind that Mother’s Day is right around the corner and we’re celebrating with tables of handmade goods made locally just with moms in mind. Come to our artists’ party Friday, April 29th in the evening, and meet some of your favorite local creatives!
Are you sick and tired of hearing blowhard politicians ranting about how he or she is going to “bring America back” and “make it great again”? I sure am. For one, my idea of what makes a country great is probably not the same as that guy/gal thinks it is… so we’re not even talking apples to apples. Of course we all love America, but some of us think the best cure is from the roots up and not from the top down. But when do speak of produce, I know exactly where to find it – at the Farmers Markets. And I am super excited that it’s THAT TIME AGAIN!
If you’re a crafter who sells your work at shows, this is probably the second most exciting time of year for you (following Christmas!) Not only is the weather warming up, the flowers and trees are all in bloom and the days are suddenly (magically) longer by an hour… AND there’s the official beginning of a new round of farmers markets!
Here in East Dallas, we have enjoyed the wonderfully curated White Rock Local Market and watched it grow from a twice a month affair to an eight time a month market, changes in venue and even a change in name! (to Good Local Markets)
Now there’s also a new couple of shows on the block that we’ll be checking out – The Marketplace Casa View – and hoping that theybring good things to an area of town that is in need of some uplift and on the brink of some serious revitalization efforts by neighbors and businesses (Ferguson Road Initiative and Greater Casa View Alliance).
The shows are sponsored by an independent organizer for the benefit of the churches and the hoods themselves, and will be occuring twice monthly from 9am – 2pm: first Saturdays at St. Pius X Catholic church at 3030 Gus Thomason Road, and same times every second Saturdays at Ridge Point Fellowship at 11440 Ferguson Road.
So when you wake up on Saturday or are out and about on Sunday – remember to stop by a friendly local market; pick up some fresh basil and tomatoes (and coffee, and eggs, and bread!) and stroll past the craft vendors. We might have a perfect bangle bracelet or planted pot for you and a gift for your mom’s birthday. You will have something one of a kind, and also support your local, American neighbor. Isn’t that what keeps America strong? Well, that and zombies. Of course.
These guys are dear to our hearts here at Makers. They have been great friends to us from the ‘time before the brick and mortar,’ right up till this very day… so it’s fantastic to see them receiving not just success in their endeavors but also the press recognition! Read on!___________________________________________________________________
Photos by Clare Miers
David and Rebecca Day finish a batch of their Soapgirl artisan soap for one of their retail clients. Their soap making began as a hobby and has since grown into a flourishing gig for the couple.
Rebecca and David Day combine their art backgrounds to blend a fresh, new soap product line called Soapgirl.
The Richardson husband-and-wife team is really onto something, with retailers knocking on their door wanting more soap. Their busy Cedars studio is delivering.
The soap making really just began as a hobby in 2010. Rebecca’s graphic design talents motivated her to play around with the packaging and branding. In 2012, she tested them online.
Maker’s Connect in Dallas, which supports local artists, then started carrying the line. Whole Foods picked up Soapgirl in the Dallas area and later began carrying the line in its southwestern stores. Posh Dr. Delphinium soaped up, too.
The business was solidifying like a big chunk of raw, room-temp cocoa butter. Urban Outfitters caught a whiff of the vibrant, textural soaps and asked for a few hundred bars for its stores. Not long after, the chain wanted 11,000 more.
A lot of preparation
David focuses on the soap base mixtures and pouring. Rebecca is in charge of blending essential oils, garnishing and packaging.
“A lot of soap making is preparation,” David says. “We make our own lye.”
They were cranking out more than 700 bars for Urban Outfitters this week.
Their son Jasper, 11, chills on a sofa playing a computer game while keeping an eye on all of the soap action. His dad points a remote temperature gun at a bucket of soap base and then starts mixing. Rebecca mixes the essential oils.
With protective gear on and surrounded by mounds of cocoa butter solids melting nearby, David blends and pours large buckets of fragrant, cantaloupe-colored soap. Rebecca sprinkles salt on the exposed ends of the soaps.
The soap medleys range from grapefruit and salt scents to more contemporary patchouli and black-lava salt concoctions.
When two artists collide, the result can be pretty dynamic. Rebecca earned an art degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and David has a ceramics degree from the University of Dallas.
In the late ’90s, Rebecca was introduced to David on a blind date through an art friend.
“David was a potter at Old City Park and I know, he was just so cute. I was a graphic designer at Greensheet. We just hit it off,” she says.
The like-minded artists merged and created some impressive things. Over the years, their building has shifted from a clay studio to the soap workshop it is today.
David had a garden-pots line at Redenta’s in Dallas for years. And La Madeleine tapped into the Days’ talents, too. From 1998, the memorable Quimper-faience-inspired tiles with primitive glazes and hand-painted images were made by the Days. They even made those oversize mugs with French sayings and translations.
“I was the painter and he was the potter, and it was a match made in heaven,” Rebecca says. “We just sort of became their artists-in-residence in 1998.”
Right in the middle
You can feel how artists are drawn to the edgy Cedars vibe. A stone’s throw away, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary is taking root and planning for major expansions. The Days enjoy being in the middle of it all.
“We love this place and hope to renovate and turn our place into a live-in and work studio,” Rebecca says.
A recurring theme with artists today is that they often have a war story about how they survived the economic hardships of 2008 and 2009. Creative industries were hit hard, and ingenuity and resilience got many artists through it.
“We had a kid and a mortgage and we couldn’t be goofing off in the clay studio,” Rebecca says.
In a bit of a detour from their respective art paths, David went into real estate and Rebecca studied architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington. She picked up a graphic design job.
“We’d worked together since 1997, then we had to put our kid in day care. He was just 3 and it was hard,” she says.
They even sublet parts of their studio to fellow artists, to hang on to their building.
When the soap concept arrived and flourished, there was the rush of collaboration again.
“It is wonderful for us to work on something together again,” Rebecca says.
Clare Miers is a Dallas freelance writer
The Dallas Observer has included us in the their Top Ten Places to Shop for Local in Dallas! Wow! We’re so honored. Check it out below. And come see us this soon. East Dallas doth rocketh, tis true!
10 Places to Shop for Locally Made Gifts That Don’t Suck
If you haven’t already started your holiday shopping, you’re going to want to get on that pronto. December 25 will be upon us before you know it, and unless you’ve decided to forgo the exchange of material possessions on the holiday as some kind of protest of capitalism, you’d better get your act together. Otherwise, you’re going to end up at Wal-Mart at midnight on December 24, scrambling to find something, anything, for your picky girlfriend.
Fortunately, you don’t even have to head to the mall or big-box stores to find awesome gifts that won’t result in massive credit card debt. Instead of skipping gift-giving altogether as a middle finger to materialism, support a few local businesses who could definitely use your cash. These 10 spots are a good place to start.
5331 E. Mockingbird Lane
Art is a pricey gift that makes someone feel special, like you actually surveyed their interests and picked a thoughtful gift instead of grabbing the first thing on the shelf at Target. At Atama, though, you can find one-of-a-kind pieces at seriously budget-friendly prices. Plus, who doesn’t love artsy toys that also happen to be adorable and look great on an office bookshelf? A stroll through the shop’s art gallery will also provide some much-needed zen during the holiday madness.
The Dallas Farmers Market
1010 S. Pearl Expressway
Thanks to all the renovations, the Dallas Farmers Market is home to more crafters and purveyors of non-edible things than actual farmers. Consider it more of a bazaar with locally made gifts and the occasional snack. Here, you’ll find all-natural bath and body products, terrariums filled with succulents and air plants, even custom-made superhero capes for a special kid in your life. Or, you know, yourself.
412 N. Bishop Ave.
This quaint shop in the Bishop Arts District is packed with locally made baubles and accessories, and you’re going to want to buy each and every one of them. Pieces from Dallas’ own Sonya Renee, Costilla Creek Jewelers and more are all insanely high quality and reasonably priced. Also look for locally designed T-shirts, candles and other goodies.
1909 Greenville Ave.
If you live in Dallas, you inevitably know two people — one who LOVES the Big D, and another who entirely loathes living in North Texas. Find a snarky T-shirt for both at Lower Greenville’s Bullzerk. You can find tongue-in-cheek takes on neighborhood pride, Dallas sports fandom, and even a T-shirt that says “Dallas Fancy As Fuck,” which is not something any fancy-ass Dallasite needs in her closet.
We Are 1976
We Are 1976
313 N. Bishop Ave.
In addition to a host of well-curated oddities, We Are 1976’s in-house letterpress shop is a great place to find the perfect holiday cards, stationery and unique art prints. If you’re looking for a particularly special gift, you can have the shop custom-make something for the lucky recipient. Also consider gifting your artsy friend an experience at one of We Are 1976’s hands-on workshops. Past workshops include how to make herbal “good vibes” bundles and aquarium-scaping.
10242 E. Northwest Highway
This art market on Northwest Highway is a one-stop shop for locally made goods. You can find everything you’ll need for everyone on your list here, including homemade pens, steampunk jewelry, hand-printed tea towels and locally poured candles. Plus, you get the bonus of directly supporting local artisans, who sell their wares on consignment at Makers Connect.
Dallas Pin Up
2928 Main St., No. 102
If you or someone you know is into the 1940s, Bettie Page aesthetic, the only gifts you’ll need are at Dallas Pin Up. This entirely woman-owned co-op features 13 local vendors making and selling everything from slinky lingerie to jewelry made with repurposed antiques. If you’ve got a nerdy friend into burlesque, vendor Rara Avis specializes in hard-to-find books and cards related to vintage burlesque and memorabilia from the golden age of Hollywood.
Make + Made
2144 Irving Blvd.
In addition to art classes and workshops, Make + Made features an impressive collection of locally made goods. Handbags handmade by local crafters are a particular favorite with regulars, as are the inexpensive classes and workshops on everything DIY that are perfect for your friend who just can’t stay off Pinterest.
The Gypsy Wagon
2928 N. Henderson Ave.
You may have to poke around a bit, but The Gypsy Wagon generally has a good selection of locally made jewelry and accessories that is definitely worth perusing for your picky Mom. Even if you don’t end up purchasing something (like the perfect holiday dress … for yourself) that was made right here in Dallas, you’re still supporting a local business and that’s what counts.
3699 McKinney Ave., Suite C-305
Okay, so she’s totally gone global, but Kendra Scott is a Dallas girl. Her insanely popular earrings can be found on the earlobes of just about every young woman in Dallas, particularly those who live in Uptown or attend SMU. If you know a particularly fashion-conscious woman who could use a pair of sparkly dangle earrings, Kendra Scott’s West Village boutique is the perfect stop.
Happy Festivus, ya’ll!
This Saturday December 5, we’re welcoming Jane Corley and Marcy Stollon here at Makers Connect for an in-house trunk show. Meanwhile across east Dallas, there are going to be more artists showing under our banner at the GOOD LOCAL MARKETS! Holy Craft Choices! Wherever you go, there is beauty!
Who is at Good Local this week? Bob Hamilton (upcycled retro lamps): Peggy Schmidt (sophisticated and biker-inspired jewelry), Madison Dolph (pretty, chic youthful jewelry) and Denise Daniels Royal (Crocheted scarves, necklaces, and more)