Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Featured Exhibitor: Earth Wick & Fire

Who are you and what do you do? 
We are Ed Vidmar and Julie Beal, we hand- craft one of a kind stone Oil candles. Earth, Wick & Fire is a small, family-based business located in Minnesota. Our hand-crafted stone oil candles are made from natural slate that varies in beautiful mineral colors and textures.
What sets your designs apart from others?  
 Earth, Wick & Fire has created a maintenance-free, low-profile candle that you will enjoy for years, just add oil. Our fiberglass wicks do not burn away and each copper wick holder is hand-crafted. The reservoir holds 1 oz. of lamp oil and will burn for approximately 5 hours before putting itself out. The addition of essential oils to the reservoir will add a wonderful aroma to your space. Citronella oil may be used outdoors.
What are some inspirations for your work?  
During the creation of each candle the characteristics and design are controlled by the composition of the slate and the artist. With the use of a small rock hammer and the controlled pressure of the strike to the slate, the design simply starts with that first strike to see how it will fracture. The break inspires us to continue to move around the piece, in a fashion of interest and inspiration, allowing the slate to come alive. There are never two candles exactly alike.
What has been your favorite moment since creating your art/business?
Our favorite moments are when a customer comes back, expresses gratitude and love for their candle, and purchases more to share as gifts. It brings us so much joy creating our candles and we hope that you will enjoy your hand-crafted candle for years to come and share them with your family and friends as a unique gift that will hold memories.    
What is the latest thing you have been working on?
Our latest candle design is a 3-wick candle with a center accent piece in the shape of a heart. All our newest designs and creations will be available at the Gift & Art Expo 



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Posted by Admin at 9:34 AM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Featured Exhibitor: Ellekin


Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Keyona Elkins, and I started my Minneapolis-based online boutique, Ellekin, after struggling to find cute, fashion-forward clothes that met my personal sustainability criteria. At Ellekin, I curate affordable, sustainable women’s clothing in sizes XS-3X. The pieces are colorful, fun, bold, and all priced under $100. Everything is made with ethical labor practices and low-impact fabrics, giving you fun fashion that doesn’t come at the expense of people or planet.


What has been your favorite moment since creating your art/business?

Being selected to participate in Fashion Week Minnesota last spring was a highlight! I showed six looks from Ellekin on the runway, did a short interview about our sustainable practices, and hosted a pop-up shop that allowed attendees to shop the looks straight off the runway. It was amazing to meet so many like-minded sustainable fashion lovers!



What is the latest thing you have been working on?

I launched semi-custom embroidery this year! Using organic cotton T-shirts, I embroider various fun designs that customers can customize with their preferred colors, names, favorite slogans, etc. These pieces are also more sustainable because they’re made to order, which reduces unsold inventory and waste!


What will you be bringing to the Gift & Art Expo for attendees to purchase?

Ellekin has so many cute sustainable winter styles, perfect for gifting or just treating yourself! I’ll have all the best recycled polyester sweaters, organic cotton tees, recycled cotton sweat sets, and organic bamboo basics there to shop!


What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your art/business?

I got my Bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University in Apparel, Retail Merchandising and Design in 2017, and interned at a trend forecasting agency in college. I then worked for Target as a Technical Designer on womenswear brands for six years. During my time there, I interned for a local fashion magazine and earned a Certificate in Sustainable Product Design and Supply Chain from Utah State University and the Outdoor Industry Association. Running Ellekin now lets me have a hand in every part of the business, from creative directing photo shoots to selecting specific fabrics, which I love!



What sets you apart from others?

There are lots of cute, cheap clothes out there, but very few of them are sustainably and ethically made like Ellekin’s! The material a garment is made from accounts for most of its environmental impact, so I only offer fabrics that are low impact when it comes to factors like global warming potential, fossil fuel depletion, chemistry impact, and water usage. My brands and factories must also ensure safe working conditions and pay workers a fair or living wage. I also give preference to brands whose factories are third-party certified (WRAP, Fair Trade, Fair Wear) to be ethical.


What do your customers love most about your product(s)?

Ellekin customers love that they have a one-stop-shop for sustainable, ethical clothes that are also cute and trendy! They don’t have to do a ton of research, since all our items meet their sustainability criteria, and they don’t have to spend a fortune on a new outfit, since all our pieces are under $100.
Social Media: @ShopEllekin on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube


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Posted by Admin at 12:52 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS