Thursday, June 23, 2022

Featured Exhibitor: Spriggan Stone | Yellow Bird Arts




Who are you and what do you do?
We are Spriggan Stone LLC dba Spriggan Stone, Yellow Bird Arts, and Yellow Bird Fine Art. We got our start when two jewelry designers, Quay Flom and Kenny Albrecht decided to join forces. We have two Art galleries/jewelry studios, Yellow Bird Arts & Yellow Bird Fine Art. We sell an assortment of artwork such as paintings, pottery, glass, jewelry and more with a combined total of over 100 local (Duluth, MN & Grand Marais, MN) and regional (Northern Midwest) artists. We also sell an assortment of handpicked Fair-Trade items such as leather goods, candles, incense, teas, and more.

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
Kenny and Quay are both into the Renaissance, mythical, sci-fi, fantasy, anime worlds. They are both jewelers, so that is where the Stone part comes in, Gemstones. And Spriggans are mythical tree fae. And a lot of their designs resemble jewelry you would see in those types of worlds.

How did you get started in your business?
Quay and Kenny both started creating for themselves. Soon thereafter, they started participating in local and regional art and craft shows, as well as online. And later added brick and mortar stores.

What has been your favorite moment since creating your business?
The sheer joy and beauty we bring to people and their lives. There is nothing like putting a smile on someone’s face.

What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
Our customers love that we hand create our jewelry. They also love our wide selection of hand-picked Fair-Trade products and well curated artwork from over 100 local and regional artists.

What is your favorite item that you sell?
That is a really tough question. If we had to pick just one, it would probably be the handcrafted jewelry that we create. Seeing someone's face light up when they have found just the right piece is amazing.


Have you always been passionate about art and design?
Yes, we both have been passionate about the arts and design our whole lives. We are both 4th generation artists. We both believe in helping artists create a sustainable living from their artwork, versus living in the starving artist stigma.

What was your first memory of making something?
One of Quay’s first memories of making something was when she was about 4 or 5 when she got her first mini sewing machine. She was going to monogram her dad's handkerchiefs. Well, the funny thing is she sewed them all shut, LOL.

Why did you start working in this craft?
Quay got started creating jewelry for herself as she has metal allergies and couldn’t just wear anything off the shelf at the stores. Her jewelry business blossomed when friends and family members wanted her creations and then convinced her to go into business for herself.
Kenny got started in jewelry thanks to the influence of his grandfather who was well renowned while he worked in the jewelry industry. He always dreamed of having his own jewelry studio/gallery.

What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
We specially hand curate all the stones, handmade glass that go into each piece. Quay has amazing attention to detail and design ideas when it comes to her wire weaving and silversmithing. Kenny can think outside the box and turn leftover pieces of metal from other projects into something truly beautiful.

What are some inspirations for your work?
We both live along the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior which provides us with tons of inspiration. We also find inspiration in architecture, nature, and just about anything else that tickles our fancy.

How does the city you live in influence your work?
We have access to some amazing materials due to where we live. Some of those materials include Lake Superior Agates, Lake Superior Beach Glass and hunks of metal found along the shores of the beautiful Lake Superior.

What motivates you to create?
There are many different things that motivate us to create. Gemstones and playing with fire and metal. I suppose that is part of why we love creating jewelry. Seeing how we can manipulate metal with our hands and fire is truly mesmerizing.



Where do you see your business in 3 years?
We hope to continue to grow the show circuit, as well as our brick-and-mortar locations. We are hoping to have 1-3 new stores open in the coming years.


Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
Hiring people with characteristics and beliefs that did not align with our company's values and mission. However, it helped us hone the characteristics and beliefs we are looking for in future employees.


What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Kenny grew up in his Mom’s business, The Trestle Inn. An amazing restaurant smack dab in the middle of the Superior National Forest. He also learned a lot from his grandfather about gemology.


What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
Kenny and Quay both come from lines of entrepreneurs and artists. So it is not surprising that they became entrepreneurs themselves. Their knowledge, expertise, and characteristics complement each other helping them to be a successful team. They both dreamed of being in business for themselves.


What are some tips or suggestions you would like to offer to fellow makers?
Find like-minded people in your field and work together as a mastermind or get a mentor. We all bring different talents, expertise, and knowledge to the table. Having others to inspire, bounce ideas off of, and seek out advice is crucial. Never stop learning, be open to criticism, and continue to improve. Kenny and Quay are students for life and are always working to be a better version of themselves today than they were yesterday. And never stop creating. You bring beauty into the world, and we all could use more beauty in our lives.


What do you love most about craft show vending?
We love traveling, meeting new people, and connecting them with amazing products. Whether made by an artist or from our hand-picked line of Fair-Trade products.



Will you be featuring any special holiday items?
We have a number of amazing great gift giving items for the holiday season. We will have leather-bound journals, purses, wallets, candles, incense, sage, pottery, teas, jewelry, and more.


How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?
We are normally preparing for the holiday season starting in April, it never hurts to have a head start.


What is the latest thing you have been working on?
Currently we have been working on restocking our jewelry inventory after just ending our season at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.






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