Since we moved to KCMO just over a month ago, Donnie and I have been trying to soak up as much of the city as fast as we possibly can. Kansas City is such a vibrant place to be - with First Friday events, amazing restaurants, and the most creative and badass business owners and entrepreneurs I think I've ever met. What a cool place to be!
Yesterday, Donnie, his sister Lauren, and I went to check out the Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair -- it was the 6th Annual Summer Swing, and despite the high of 101*, it was a wild success. I seriously don't think I've ever seen a fair with such a remarkable level of talent at EVERY SINGLE BOOTH. Crafts, artwork, and passionate vendors (somehow) smiling through the heat. It was seriously the best day!
There was hardly enough time to check out every single vendor at the fair, but I did find some favorite shops to spend some extra time (and money) at. I'm pretty obsessed with all of our purchases, so I thought I'd give a shoutout to a few of the vendors who made me smile!
Kristin Smith Creative Studio
This is Kristin with Kristin Smith Creative Studio! She makes badass prints of all things Kansas City, awesome birds, and very sassy animals. I loved chatting with her about our mutual love of birds, especially Charlie Harper's rendition of a cardinal. (Have you seen it?? I'm obsessed!) But her own birds are pretty dang good too. I am loving following her on Instagram - she has the most bright, vibrant feed!
Hello Happiness Card Co
This is my new buddy Josh with Hello Happiness Card Co. If you're not following him on Instagram, I don't know what you've been doing with your life. Josh is hilarious, kind, and giving, and he (and his wife Jenny, who I haven't gotten to meet yet!) are rockstar photographers. I've actually been following Hello Happiness Card Co for about a year, long before we even though about moving to KC - so imagine my surprise (and awkward fangirl status) when we were introduced at our KC chapter of Tuesdays Together. I was like, "I FOLLOW YOU ON INSTAGRAM!" Ha. Keep it cool, Kinzie. :) Anyways, go give them a follow, and buy his cards because they are brilliant. (And sassy. Heh.)
Meghan is the #bosslady at Rakun Shop, and she had an awesome DIY flower crown and earring booth, among other things. You knowwwww I can't get enough of flower crowns, so it killed me that I wasn't able to go back and make my very own. But I'm sure we'll be in touch in the future, because we're going to collaborate on a flower crown boudoir shoot, and I am SO PUMPED about it!
Sadly Harmless Art
This is Sally Harless of Sadly Harmless Art (GET IT??), and I found out after an appropriate amount of Etsy stalking that she actually lives in St. Louis which bums me out because I think she is awesome and I was planning on making her be my friend. But alas, I'll just have to admire her art from afar and commission a giant art print from her someday! The guy in the booth next to her (who I totally missed taking a photo of - I blame the heat!) and I totally nerded out for a while about the Golden Compass series, and I think we got Sally convinced that she needs to read the trilogy now too! But guys, go stalk her work because it is seriously my favorite thing I have ever seen. I mean LOOK at this ELEPHANT. Cat-with-heart-eyes emoji for dayyyyyssssss.
Wood + Wick Co.
Oh DANG y’all. One of my mom’s favorite things to tell me is about how I would make her stop while I smelled EVERY. SINGLE. CANDLE. in the store. Any store. Walgreens, gas stations, the grocery store. Forget about taking me to Yankee Candle. We would be there all day. But the thing is? I know my candles. I am extremely picky, and tend to only like scents that are … really good. They can’t be over the top, they definitely can’t smell like old lady perfume/potpourri, and if they say they’re going to smell like something, they better smell like that thing! Is that so much to ask?!
Enter: Wood + Wick Co. They had an amazing range of scents, and I liked every single one of them. Even the two that had sweeter names, which made me think I wouldn’t like them. (I tend to prefer masculine and/or rugged scents, ya know, with notes of mahogany and cedar and camp fire and whiskey!) But one of my very favorites was the Pear and Fig! Probably because it actually smelled like ... fresh pear and figs. Totally wild, and brilliantly done! We had an awesome conversation, and snagged a Pear and Fig candle, and a Soft Flannel (which is already burning in our bathroom, as I type!), and lots of ideas for client gifts. Thanks, ladies!
Travis is the face behind this awesome company Roundhouse. He sells household products that are sustainably made, and locally sourced. I’m pretty obsessed with the ice cream scoop he sells, and Donnie and I were tempted by it until we remembered that we almost always eat ice cream straight out of the carton with a spoon. :-p But it’s so dang pretty!! I met Travis originally because of an interesting composting project he has up his sleeve, and I can’t wait to see where he goes with that. Oh, and fun fact? My brilliant sister-in-law designed his logo! I love her style!
Buffalo Roam KS
I absolutely adored Allison of Buffalo Roam KS. She’s as delightful as she looks in this photo, and I loved chatting with her and about all things embroidery. I have big plans to work on a series of embroidered birds on dish towels that my great-grandmother made many, many years ago (we have found three of the set of seven, so they are begging to be completed!). Her eyes lit up while we were talking about this - you can tell this woman loves what she does!
Steph Hathaway Designs
Steph and I didn’t get the chance to talk for very long (we spotted her amazing alphabet flash cards from afar and snagged the set on the way out, because, I mean… how could we not??!) but I am obsessed with all of her work at Steph Hathaway Designs. Also, she makes art prints of wedges of cheese, so clearly we should be BFFs. I can’t wait to hang our new gorgeous alphabet series in our kitchen!!
We bought a very special gift for a very special person from KwanaLee Art, but obviously I can’t say much more about that, now, can I? HOWEVER, I can definitely take a moment to shout about this excellent print of Neville Longbottom. Oh dang, it’s so good. She also has an amazing Hermione print that I am obsessed with, which is impressive because I feel like most people make her look like she’s got a stick up her butt. Instead, Kendra shows her off to be a smarty pants firecracker full of strength, which I totally dig! (Duh.) Oh, and she actually has a ton more outside of Harry Potter themed art (including Dr. Who, Grand Budapest Hotel, and Fantastic Mr. Fox!) but we all know where my brain goes when anything HP is around... Ha! Kendra, it was so nice meeting you today! I love your work so much - and I’m glad we connected! (Especially since you seem to take your Harry Potter really seriously...)
Well, first of all, y’all know I love a good necklace. Lacy with Madre Beads makes the most darling statement pieces that are made of teething beads and t-shirt yarn (soooo stretchy and soft!!), and you can even add delicious-smelling essential oils to the beads and they’ll carry the scent all day. Sign me up. When I deal with bouts of anxiety, I lean pretty heavily on my stress oils, so I could see this being an awesome way to keep them close when I need them. And also, regarding the teething -- my nephew Oscar always tries to chew on my necklaces, but they aren’t designed for that, so they mostly just get slobbery and probably don’t taste very good. This is a way better option!! Lacy, I loved meeting you, and I can’t wait to rock my necklace, and smell delightful at the same time!
What a brilliant day, and an amazing fair. Strawberry Swing, you killed it! Seriously, this was bigger and better than I could have ever dreamed of. I am so glad we prioritized this lovely exploration of our new, sweet Kansas City. Thanks for being awesome, KCMO!
Lovely makers, please reach out if you'd like a high-resolution copy of the photo I posted -- I'd be more than happy to support your businesses. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send it your way!!