Waving Goodbye to Summer at Pinelands Crafts and Drafts

 Special thanks to my team for their hard work!

Special thanks to my team for their hard work!

To set the stage for you, I first have to say that everyone in the crafting community is genuinely kind. You won't find a single soul who doesn't pour their heart into their craft and vibe of the event. We were fortunate enough to have 11 of these souls on our team last weekend. Add to it unique craft beers, a lively duo of bartenders, and a friendly local crowd. That's Pinelands Crafts and Drafts!

From community protector flags to comic book and pop culture merchandise to custom bar-ware and home décor to handmade soy candles, soaps, and all-natural pain management, our vendors offered something for everyone. What stood out most for me was that Thin Line US exemplified the very essence of small business as Officer Nagy's parents and children proudly wore their team shirts and literally built their display on-site. Reese of Empress Herbal Products not only invited a steady stream of customers to her table with welcoming scents, but her calming and educational dialogue about her craft. The warm energy she had after traveling all the way from Philly was incredibly refreshing. I also fondly recall two young women adorned with flower crowns captivated by August Snow's intricate fairy scenes and Sensations Le Soleil's aromatic soap display. To say I wanted to buy one of everything myself is no exaggeration!

For a little added fun factor we challenged customers to meet our vendors with stamp cards in hand. Those with a full stamp card were entered to win a Pinelands Brewing Company t-shirt and growler with their choice of fill. We excitedly brought in the How You Brewin' cold brew and nitro coffee Jeep (tap handles on the side of a Jeep, you guys!) as well as gourmet hot dogs from PJ Dog House. I'm still salivating.

As the day came to a close, we counted it a success. Our marketing efforts via radio, print, and social media and careful selection of vendors leading up to the event brought 200 new faces in front of our 11 crafters. With three other festivals in the area and the most perfect beach weather, it felt good to be a part of “local summer” before we welcome the chilly fall weather at our next Crafts and Drafts at River Horse Brewing Company.


Melissa Nagy - ThinLineUS

Hi, my name is Melissa. ThinLineUS was created with the idea that when all HEROES come together as one, WE can achieve a positive impact on the great citizens of our communities. I am a proud female Police Officer in New Jersey and have served my community for over twenty years. I believe, with the teamwork and intelligence offered by all community first responders, along with those within the protective service professions, together WE can maintain a safe environment.  

Each stripe on the ThinLine represents a particular figure in our community. For instance, the thin "blue" line graphic indicates the following: the top black line represents the community while the bottom black line represents the ones who create fear and disorder within a community. The thin "blue" line represents the law enforcement officer(s) that stand between "good vs. evil" and protect our citizens from the situations which put them in harms way. The ThinLine is intended for all protective service professions with the same community safety mindset. When one of our community HEROES is killed in the line of duty, WE proudly wear the thin line "colors" with honor and respect for our fallen brothers and sisters. 

Please know that at least 20% of the proceeds will benefit the families of fallen HEROES through various charities associated with their immediate families.  ThinLineUS supports our community protectors:

Law Enforcement - BLUE LINE
Fire Fighters - RED LINE
Federal Agent / Military - GREEN LINE
Corrections - SILVER LINE
Dispatch - GOLD LINE
Search and Rescue - ORANGE LINE
Security Officers - YELLOW LINE
EMS - BLUE w/ WHITE LINE
Wounded Warrior - BLACK w/ WHITE LINE

Emily Gunselman - Birch House Candles

Hello! I am Emily Gunselman, owner and creator of Birch House Candles. I am a wife and mother of 2 and I craved having something to call my own. Out of a love for beautiful things and an obsession with candles, I began to develop a handmade soy candle luxury that anyone and everyone would be excited to gift and keep for themselves. The journey has also inspired me to educate on the benefits of burning soy and the self-care aspect of relaxation that comes with burning a candle.

Birch House Candles is a small-batch hand-poured soy candle company. Each candle is made entirely by hand. We use renewable U.S. grown soy wax, which burns cleaner, eco-friendly and non-toxic cotton wicks and premium phthalate-free fragrance oils. We sell a 11.5 oz glass candle and a 8oz tin in a variety of seasonal fragrances. A few of our best sellers are the sweet grapefruit, which is an uplifting blend of tangerine and grapefruit, and in the fall our apple maple bourbon is a huge hit, mixing the classic apple scent with an unexpected maple and bourbon twist. So many exciting fragrances to make your house feel like a home! Each purchase is packaged in a silver bag with bow and label, perfect for easy gifting!

I am super excited to learn about Marketspace Vendor Events and partner with them to boost my customer base as well as other crafters in the community. My goal for my brand is to broaden my customer reach and become a known soy candle company. It is refreshing to see a company like Marketspace for the sole purpose of making better events for customers and vendors alike. I look forward to see how this community will evolve. Thanks for including me!

Kimora Beaupierre-Liberati - Sucre Body Products

Sucre came about one very broke Christmas season while I was in grad school. I committed to making my gifts, as they would be more thoughtful to both my loved ones and my pockets. 

Throughout the years, Sucre underwent several logo changes and formula changes until arriving at where we are today. The most substantial change was the conscious effort to carefully select only simple natural ingredients for each body scrub. In my daily life, I try to live relatively healthily, and have a love for multipurpose household and pantry items.  I’ve been known to eat half of an avocado, and then use the other half for a hair masque!  Therefore, it is no surprise that Sucre Body scrubs use nature’s exfoliators, moisturizers, and scents to smooth and condition the skin while invigorating the senses.  Sugar acts our main exfoliant, while fractionated coconut oil delivers serious moisture! Our aromatics are provided by the 100% natural essential oils used in each scrub—no ambiguous “fragrances” here! 

Sugar, coconut oil, cocoa butter, coffee, rosemary, lavender, citrus, ginger… 
What’s in YOUR body scrub?

Scott DeCaro - Author Extraordinaire

It’s not often that, as a writer, I find I have no story to tell. Yet here I am, asked to tell my story, and I find that I don’t really have a story to tell. It’s not that I don’t like to tell stories about myself. In fact, I have quite a few of those that I could tell you, but unfortunately none that really pertain to how I became an author. I suppose, because I’ve always enjoyed reading, that writing came naturally to me. I don’t just mean short stories or novels either – I’ve always enjoyed poetry as well, so in some ways even that came naturally to me. I started from a young age, though not with anything worth publishing. That came much later, after high school and some varied studying in college and seminary. So there you have it. That’s my story – or lack thereof – and I’m sticking to it. My name is Scott DeCaro, and I am what I have always been at heart: an author.

Naturally as an author I have the products you might expect an author to have: Books. Of course, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that you might not expect. I’ve got variety, whereas most authors I’ve read do not. If I say Stephen King, you probably think horror. John Grisham, and legal drama comes to mind. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter. But if you say Scott DeCaro and expect to find a single genre, think again. When it comes to writing I’m a jack of all trades. I don’t fancy myself master of any, but then again, if an author doesn’t grow over time, neither will their stories. Thus far, I’ve published two novels, two books of poetry, and a devotional. If you had to pick a common theme out of all of my work, I guess that you might say my relationship with God comes out in all of them. Not that you’d expect a person with a Bachelors Degree in computer science who works in shipping to have gone to seminary and enjoy writing so much that he self-publishes, but in my case, that’s what you get. Of course, that means you get books that are as varied as the man who wrote them. Twin Lights is a dramatic, reality-warping tale, whereas Theology on Tap is a simple story about a bunch of bar flies whose conversations are turned upside down when one of them begins to attend church. Holy Haikusand Theological Tanka are what you get when you combine Japanese styles of poetry with a deep, life-altering faith in God, and The Technology Devotional is a devotional series which focuses on the ways technology can bring us closer to God.

Alright, so maybe something like The Technology Devotional is what you’d expect from a computer scientist-turned- preacher. But that’s not true of all my work. The next book I’ve got in the works is about Christian Meditation, combining influences from Zen Buddhism, Christian mystics, and even martial arts. Beyond that, it will likely be another novel, but who’s to say for sure? All I know is that I will continue writing and publishing. My hope is to continue to partner with Marketspace Vendor Events to help generate interest not only in my own works but for their other partners. Naturally, I’ll continue writing for them as needed for their endeavors – like this blog, for example.

Kevin Kraemer - CozyGrayHouse

Hi! My wife and I opened an Etsy shop together in 2014. The idea came to us pretty suddenly. She had hand-made a wooden growth chart for our twins and hung it in the hallway of our house. Every so often, a family member or friend would see the 6ft. ruler growth chart and ask where we bought it. Once they found out we made it, they immediately followed up with “Please, can you make me one?” After hearing this maybe twenty times, I turned to my wife and said, “You could sell these!” Three years later, we have six different stain finishes and a multitude of design options for our growth charts. We branched out and started making wooden signs, blanket ladders, and chalkboard serving trays.

Not too long ago, we decided to bring our products to some in-person vendor and craft fairs in New Jersey. The idea being that engaging an audience face-to-face would give us a chance to demonstrate and explain our product to those who may not have found our small shop otherwise. Also, it is exponentially easier to hand-deliver our growth charts instead of packing and shipping them cross-country. Unfortunately, we were completely frustrated with the way in which each event was run and the minimal advertisements for local NJ craft fairs. I turned again to my wife saying “You could do this better!” And so is born Marketspace Vendor Events. I admire that her focus of the company is on very visible, smartly promoted vendor events that serves the vendors first. She has a unique perspective from both sides- as the craft vendor, and now as the vendor fair manager.

Handcrafting growth charts has given us a way to earn a supplemental income as well as bond with our children. Our six-year-old twins love to help us create products and track sales. They even take our scrap wood to make their own mini growth charts! We are working on getting our seven-month-old to start pulling his weight :) The time we spend in the Cozy Gray Workshop or at local vendor events is a great time to catch up with each other about our otherwise hectic lives.  It truly is a family business!