Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing our Fall Line Up of Vendors!

Meet Meghan Taraszewski from Raising Autumn...
I am a stay at home mom to an almost one-year-old daughter, Autumn. I left my traditional job as an administrative assistant just over a year ago, right before my daughter was born. After a few busy months of raising a newborn, I craved a creative outlet. I had always been interested in the idea of making jewelry, but it always seemed like I never had the time to experiment and get into something like that.

After the first few hectic months, I thought I would slowly delve into it. In the beginning, I used what little time she gave me to brainstorm about new ideas and start some basic designs. With each new piece I created, I became enamored with the jewelry making process!  I really wanted to make basic, modern pieces that were versatile and fun. I wanted to make those "go-to" earrings that you could slip regardless of if you were running to the store in your sweats or throwing on a dress for a party. I wanted to create that gorgeous necklace you could slip on over a tee shirt, or dress up a skirt with- or that bracelet that just "goes with everything." Overall, I just wanted to create fun, fresh designs with a contemporary flair.

I am relatively new in the jewelry making process. I started just about a year ago when I left my job to become a stay at home mom. I started out slowly, and then gradually began making more and more pieces. I opened a store on Etsy ( at the beginning of 2012.

After leaving my job to become a stay at home mom, I realized what an amazing experience it was. From then on, I knew I didn't want to miss a single minute of a single day with my daughter, if I could help it. But in reality, I knew supporting a new family on my husband's income alone would be challenging.  After I decided to open a shop on Etsy, I knew that every piece of jewelry that I created and sold would help me continue to live my dream of staying at home and raising my daughter.

I have always been a creative individual. With a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing, I have always gravitated towards creative hobbies - whether it was writing, art, photography, or jewelry. I find my sense of creativity is constantly renewed by my daughter. At almost one year old, it is amazing to watch her constant state of wonder. Everything is new and exciting to her, even the simple objects and experiences that we take for granted every day. She inspires me every day to embrace the unexpected and not to be afraid of trying new things.
I have always enjoyed handmade goods.  I love the idea of supporting the person behind the product - to know that the item you just bought wasn't made in a factory in some far off country, but literally by the hands of the person you purchased it from. I also love the idea of providing a product that is unique and different, and not a mass-produced item. 

Raising Autumn strives to offer fresh, modern jewelry at an affordable price. I am constantly trying to create pieces that are fun, fresh, and "right now." I aim to create jewelry that will become the go-to pieces your wardrobe - accessories that will go with everything - including your personality. 

This will be my first time participating in an Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show. I am very grateful for the opportunity to showcase my work on a larger scale. Since my jewelry designs are relatively new, I am excited to see how people react to them.

Meet Kelly Zalenski from KLZArt...

I'm a mom of twins, a boy and girl who will turn 4 this summer. They have really changed my artistic focus; they inspired most of my Etsy shop in fact! They have also inspired me to switch my focus to art for kids (that parents love too!)

I've been showing in festivals for 10 years now, and I have had my Etsy shop for 3 years. This year is my first that I'll be showcasing in the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows.

Most of my creativity comes from my love of all things visual, and my inspiration comes from my busy life with twins! I got into my craft because of my kids! I'm able to sit and sew while they play, and it's very relaxing for me.

I decided I wanted to start my own business when I had my twins, I was like, "where is all the cool twin stuff?" I got the same card a dozen times and only got one set of outfits that were actually made for twins. I feel twins are so special and should be celebrated, so I cut up some of my husband's old t-shirts and made my first set 'milk & cookies". I then followed with 'bacon & eggs" and "mac & cheese"! Now I have 50 different pairs that celebrate twins or siblings.
My creative process… when I get an idea for a "pair," I sketch them onto cardboard to create a pattern and then I trace the design onto different colored t-shirts, cut them out and then hand-sewn them all while staying home with my twins.

The thing I enjoy most about what I do is people's reaction to my items. I love the way they smile and enjoy the items I love to make.

The message behind my work is reuse and celebrate siblings!

Meet Debby Romaniw from Deby's Designs...
i'm a Northeast Ohio fused glass artist specializing in unique one of a kind pendants. Started in the late 70's with beading, took it back up in 2004 and started doing shows in 2005. 

In 2007, I took a glass class at one of the Metro Parks with 30 other women and fell in love with the process. I recently took a class in Florida with a well renowned glass artist and am even more infatuated with my designs! 

This year will be my first Avant-Garde show!
My inspiration comes from nature and all of it's colors.

I got into my craft through my mom, she is 71 and does my website, pictures and marketing materials. I started my own business because I couldn't stop making and needed to do something with all of my pieces!!

My creative process is different.. I design on the fly, no sketches, just me and the glass! The thing I enjoy most about creating handmade unique items is the "WOW" I get at shows when a customer sees my pieces. The message behind my work is to love what you do, and do what you love!

Meet Catherine Moore from Catherine Moore Designs...
I am a mother of 3, I like to cook and traval, and enjoying doing crafts and running my own jewelry and cottage rental business. I have been creating jewelry for over 6 years. As a mother of 3, my flexible working schedule and working from home allowed me to expand into my craft. This in turn made me decide turn my hobby into business. My gift shop is located at Geneva-on-the-Lake and you can view my work at
When it comes to my creativity, I like to play with all kinds of beads, fabrics and flowers. Ideas will come out during playing, sometime the result does not always turn out well and I just have to keep on trying!

How I got into my craft… Hobby Lobby is the first craft store I went 6 years ago and when I saw all kinds of jewelery supplies, I decide to make my first pair of earrings. Since then, I kept my hobby and made it into business. This will be my first Avant-Garde show!
When it comes to my pieces, actually making a piece is not very difficult, it’s really the process of thinking and designing that takes the most time.

The thing that I enjoy most about my work is thinking that someone else could enjoy my work as much as I do. The message behind my work is really to provide affordable jewelry that is reasonably priced  and for all women to enjoy.

Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature up to 200 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Drink Local. Drink Tap. a local non-profit that works in communities to educate people about our local water sources and also helps orphans in Uganda gain access to clean drinking water.

2012 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, October 14, 2012, 11:00am-6:00pm
25777 Detroit Rd.
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: