Jim Spaven - Crafty Crafts by Jim

Artist: Jim Spaven
E-mail: JimSpaven@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Jim and my business is Crafty Crafts by Jim. I have been a crafter for a number of years starting with wood-working crafts, then candle making. I had some luck selling my wood and candle art at vendor events but wanted to expand my product line to be more profitable.  I started looking into other crafting ideas and began working on wood and wine bottle terrariums.  My wood-working history sure came in handy there!

I first started with Christmas items, mounting small ornaments and the glass wine bottle to a wooden base.  Then, I found cork lights for the top of the bottles.  The best part is that these corks can be removed and recharged using a USB port.  Adding this unique light feature to my wine bottle terrariums was a success!

Last year, at Peddlers Village, my wife and I walked into a store that sold succulents and air plants.  My wife had the ingenious idea of combining these popular, low maintenance plants with my wine bottle crafts.  I have since added them to my product line and have expanded on them by creating beer bottle crafts too.  My biggest challenge is cutting through the glass bottles but with the proper tools it can be done!

It is hard to decide which is my favorite item to make,  but I would say the beer mobiles with decals or the fairy gardens with lights and gnomes.  As far as best sellers go, it all depends on the event.  I find that my light-up wine bottle terrariums are most popular around Christmas, and my air plants are most popular in the spring and summer. 

My major goal is to sell my items in a store of handmade goods, and this was once a near reality after connecting with other vendors at an in-person event.  The store was to be located in Washington, NJ, but relocated to Kansas.  Since shipping glass is unreliable, I have decided to put that dream on hold until a more local option becomes available to me.

As far as Marketspace Vendor Events, I like where the events are being held - at breweries, how bad can that be?! I am looking forward to a long lasting relationship with them as they have events throughout the year.

Crafty Crafts by Jim will be at these upcoming events!
April 29, 2018 - Crafts and Drafts at River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing, NJ
May 20, 2018 - The Marketspace at Summit in Summit, NJ
June 9, 2018 - Czig Meister's 2 Year Anniversary Celebration in Hackettstown, NJ
September 16, 2018 - Crafts and Drafts at Lone Eagle Brewing in Flemington, NJ
October 28, 2018 - Crafts and Drafts at River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing, NJ

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.

Kira Occhipinti - August Snow

Hey, I’m Kira, creator and owner of August Snow- a small business of décor made from air plants and driftwood. August Snow started 3 years ago focusing mainly on jewelry, but has slowly shifted into home décor as my obsession with air plants took over my home. 

My love for air plants started when I was working for Macy’s creating their Herald Square window displays. We used air plants in the Flower Show windows, and I was amazed by them. No dirt needed, minimal water, filtered sunlight and they’re really hard to kill. What?? My brown thumb perked up with this one. I am so bad with plants that I’m pretty sure every plant in Home Depot shudders when they see me coming, knowing I’m an instant death wish! But the air plants, they’re Kira-proof. The driftwood fascination started later when I began volunteering at beach cleanups in Jersey. As I picked up bottles and candy wrappers, I took notice of all the interesting gnarled driftwood. I started a collection at the cleanups, and later at any beach I traveled to like Kiawah in South Carolina and various beaches on a trip to Washington. My collection grew fast and it took a while for me to put two and two together (quite literally!) but when I did, mixing the driftwood and air plants together, August Snow was reborn. 

I don’t say this to be cliché or generic, but I truly take pride in making each air plant and driftwood piece one of a kind. I spend a lot of time deciding which ones are tabletops or wall hanging, which is best suited for a pen stand, picture holder, note paper slot, heart accent, or just a place for the air plants. It’s fun working through the unique characteristics of each piece of driftwood and making it even more special. My favorite piece has a perfect mother-nature-created air plant rest (pictured above) with an added picture holder. I also love the ones with a pen holder, I have one of those on my desk at work with an air plant named Fizzgig. Clearly, air plants have taken over my home AND office. 

Thanks Marketspace community for letting me share my air plant love (read: obsession) with you!