My name is Arpan Shrestha and I have been living in Cleveland, Ohio for almost 10 years after I moved from Nepal. I owned a handicraft business back home. I had been introduced to handicraft products since I was a kid. My uncle owned a couple of stores that sold handmade souvenirs to tourists. I used to help him manage his store during winter vacations. The craftsmanship and the intricacy of the handcrafted products always fascinate me. That’s what inspired me to open my own handmade souvenir store shortly after I graduated high school. I ran a handicraft business for 11 years.After I moved to the US, I went to a college and landed on an internship and a contracting job for few years. However, I was never content with 9 to 5 job as I always yearned to follow my passion, to open my own handicraft store.
I started an online business in Amazon in 2017 where I sold toys, party supplies and products in other categories but I still had this feeling inside that I could do much more.
While visiting Kathmandu, Nepal this summer, I came across handmade glass bead products that are passionately crafted by skilled women artisans within and outside of the Kathmandu valley. I found that these products were beautifully made and were crocheted in different colors and patterns. The variations in colors, design and craft skills that have been put into these items really intrigued me. This is when I decided to work with the organization in Kathmandu who trains and employs these artisans that empower them to become independent. To commemorate these skilled artisans and to promote their products NepaliArtisans.com was born.
We were searching for a platform to showcase the handmade products and came across Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This will be our first event and I believe this would be the best way to connect with handmade enthusiasts like you. My plan is to participate in such festivals in future as well. With intent to give back to the community, I am hoping to donate a portion of our profit to women artisans.
Meet Katie Ferren of Miracle Wreaths in the Making...
My name is Katie Ferren and I am a creative wreath maker! I live in Findlay, OH with my husband, daughter, and two dogs. I am a band director and in my free time I love to create beautiful wreaths to share with others to admire on their doors, mantels, etc. My business has been active for about a year now.
So many things inspire me to create these beautiful wreaths. I love going to a variety of unique places and putting together wreaths that represent that place. I recently was commissioned to make a wreath for Rich's Auto Body Show in Amherst, OH and I customized the wreath to fit their shop! It was so much fun to do! I love all the interesting signs I can find or material and create my wreaths. My beautiful mother is who I received my creative talent from and we work together making our wreaths and handmade towels. I have always been creative and have dedicated my life to art and music.
Miracle Wreaths in the Making was created to help my husband and I on our infertility journey as we pursue IVF to conceive our 2nd child. Three years ago, God graced us with a beautiful daughter, Cora Rose. She is the sunshine to our heart and the best gift that we have ever received. We have tried to expand our family but have had great difficulty. I learned that over the past two years, I am one in eight who suffer with infertility and PCOS. In all the emotions and stress that this journey has brought, I started making wreaths with my mother, Cathy. My beautiful mother is who I received my creative talent from and we work together making our wreaths and handmade towels. This creative outlet takes away my stress and emotions and I am able to create beautiful artful wreaths.
With each season, I get the creative bug when I see everything around me. I am inspired by my surroundings or the little things I find.
In five years I see myself continuing to create beautiful wreaths and passing my gift to my daughter and hopefully in the future her new sister or brother. I see myself dedicating my proceeds from the business to advocating for infertility coverage and supporting others that struggle with infertility. The message behind my work is how Miracle Wreaths in the Making - there are miracles in everything.
Meet Christin VanAtta of Cleveland Clicks...
I'm Christin VanAtta, maker of Cleveland Clicks I’ve been creating photos and other types of art since I was in middle school but just recently began to learn more about the craft professionally in the past 3 years.
This will be my first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show and I am very excited! What inspires me to create is The Ignatian principal of finding God in all things. I love to photograph the intersection of nature and urban life when I can because to me it represents the beauty of God’s natural creation mixing with all the amazing things we as humans can dream up and create too. When we create, we mirror God in our own worlds.
I’m inspired by beauty in general and I love to find beauty in unusual or unexpected places, so I just began taking pictures of those times when I was caught off guard by something striking, and my hobby grew from there and I am still discovering my talent each and every day.
I try to create images people haven’t seen much before, or re-imagine things that are very common. I try never to take the same picture twice, and when I’m shooting I try to ask myself “how can I make this new?”
In five years I'd like to have a website within a few years where I can consistently showcase and sell my work. I want everyone to look at my work and see the message of how God is in all things. Beauty in all things.
Meet Meg Smith of Shabby Chick By Meg...
I'm Meg and I am a mom of two girls. I quite my job at the hospital as soon as my first daughter was born to stay home with my kids. My husband has always encouraged me to have me time and sew. I started sewing at 15 years old, but opened my etsy page in 2016. I love what I do and I love being able to stay home and spend time with my family while also being able to do my favorite thing...sew.
This will be my first show with Avant-Garde Arts and Crafts Show and I am super excited to participate and be able to show everyone what I can do with a needle. What inspires me is my two daughters because I make things I want as a mother. I love making things and having my daughters wear them, it makes me so happy.
My grandmother taught me how to sew and it's a memory I will forever treasure. I have always loved to create, but once I had children it became clear to make things I can use every day as a mom. I relax and find comfort in making things for little ones that I would use as a mother myself.
I am always making new things to grow my business. I will continue to do that for years to come. I create baby items that I use as a mother of two. I only pick fabrics that are soft and perfect for babies soft skin.
Meet Theresa Bynum...I'm Theresa Bynum and the thing about me is...l come alive when I am painting abstract paintings. Its like a dance and I enjoy playing with colors! We never know what we are going to create together but it makes me smile. I see something different in each one. The bonus you can get from it and something that is so completely different from so many other paintings. I prefer not to sign my work but i will leave it up to the customer. I been doing paint for 2 years and I still am in the learning and improving stage.
This is my first ever Avant-Garde Art and Craft show and I am super excited because I want everyone to experience my story and everything about my paintings. What inspires me is the technique and I just run with it and see's where it takes me with whatever I am painting. It is so much fun and always makes my day. I also have been combining beads from jewelry and putting it on my paintings to make it pop just a little bit more.
A friend told me about painting techniques on YouTube and that I should try it, and I would compare myself to a kid in a candy store wanting to try all the techniques out there so I looked into tit. After some digging I found out that what I like working with the most is acrylic paints, alcohol inks, and acrylic pouring. When I first started crafting, I started with jewelry making and I taught classes at the YMCA. Then my friend introduced YouTube and I have been in heaven ever since. It was a life changer for me and my work.