One facet of Atlanta that may be surprising to some is the enthusiastic and friendly creative community that thrives here. Never in my life have I personally experienced such a positive, enriching community that genuinely wishes success on every single member. The creative community in Atlanta is where Southern Hospitality meets savvy business smarts; it’s where free-spirited ideas meet innovative execution. And through all the mutual uplifting and collaboration comes success to many of these makers-turned-small-business-owners. One of the successful crafters in Atlanta is Courtney Weil of Crafts and Love Jewelry. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are beautiful and dainty, yet stand out to make a subtle statement in a very unique way. “I create simple pieces of jewelry, but I try to do so with interesting or unusual materials, whether it's a unique cut of gemstone, or a vintage finding, I probably spend the majority of my time shopping and scavenging for materials. ” Courtney shares. After growing up in Montreal and North Carolina, Courtney’s family settled in North Georgia, which led her to continue her education at Georgia Tech. “Since then,” Courtney shares, “I have fallen slightly in love with Atlanta's big city/small town feel and still haven't had the heart to leave.” So it was a no-brainer for Courtney to start her business in Atlanta. Courtney has become a staple in the creative community and has even gained close friends through the various market shows and creative events around town. “I adore meeting like-minded creatives in Atlanta! This year was the first year I really partnered with other blogs and brands, and had so much fun working with other creatives,” she says Courtney started Crafts and Love in 2012 and says she wouldn’t have been this successful without such an inspiring and supportive community. “As soon as I decided to seriously pursue selling jewelry beyond friends and family, there were opportunities waiting for me around every corner. Those opportunities started small, with local craft shows, but the small victories at those shows gave me time to grow and eventually opened more and more doors in town.” Crafts and Love jewelry has had success in Atlanta, not only due to Courtney’s hard work and eye for design, but also for her fair price point. Courtney says she wants her jewelry accessible to women like herself. “As a 20-something, affordability is an extremely important part of business for me. I want my customers to be able to fall in love with a piece and not be turned away after looking at the price tag.” Crafts and Love offers one-of-a-kind pieces that are both on trend and exclusively designed—all for an affordable price. Crafts and Love’s newest collection, Versailles, was revealed on January 27, 2013. Shop the collection at www.CraftsandLove.com or stop by The Beehive ,where Courtney works, to shop the collection in person. All Photos by Johnny Cheng Photography.Read More
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Handmade items always have a special quality about them. But add in beautiful materials, vibrant colors, and chic metallics, and you’ve got a dream come true for many. That’s exactly how I’d describe the handmade accessories brand, (r-ki-tekt). Designed and crafted by local artisan Kel Cadet, (r-ki-tekt) is truly a unique line of goods. The brand came about after Kel graduated from SCAD right here in Atlanta. “I have always been interested in designing and creating fashion accessories,” she says. “Shortly after I birthed my daughter in 2008, I went through a period of not knowing who I was from a stylistic perspective. I also didn’t have the time to primp like I once did. I decided to create dual functioning accessories (brooch/hair combs).” And (r-ki-tekt) was born. From colorful jewelry to card carriers, hair accessories and custom measure velvet belts, (r-ki-tekt) has the accessories sect covered. Kel says she prefers not to “put limitations on the materials I use to produce the accessories. I definitely feel more fulfilled when there is a hint of the unexpected.” She has even used plumbing hardware in a previous collection. In addition to family life and the necessity to provide, being born and raised in Atlanta has also had an impact on (r-ki-tekt) and the direction the brand has taken. “I am so excited to be apart of this growing and thriving hub. From working with the Indie Craft Experience to attending events held by CAMP to sponsoring workshops like The BrandMarket Workshop and to simply hanging out with other like-minded creatives, I can feel the pot brewing and bubbling over for the creative community in Atlanta. There is only greatness ahead,” Kel excitedly shares. And she’s right. The creatives in Atlanta are just getting started. With more and more festivals, craft shows and get-togethers arising every year, there’s always something to look forward to. Stay tuned to Groupon Atlanta’s Style & Beauty City Guide to keep you updated on all those events, as well as more Local Crafters. Shop (r-ki-tekt) online at Kel’s Etsy shoppe and at Shop SCAD in Savannah & Baba Souk in Canada. Kel says she also plans to expand to more brick & mortars in 2014, so keep a look out for these festive accessories around Atlanta. Photos by Johnny Cheng Photography.Read More
Here in Atlanta, the creative community thrives on the support of each other. Not only do creative entrepreneurs and makers promote each other, but they also help each other make sales and long lasting customers. Atlanta is a unique city in that sense. It’s not a competition; it’s a community. And when it comes to shopping, what’s better than something that no one else will have? The following are three community-driven creative spaces open to the public for shopping and inspiration. The Beehive Located in Edgewood, The Beehive is unique in concept. The store opened in 2004 as the first ever co-op concept boutique in Atlanta. The idea is that designers and creators rent space in the store in exchange for a high commission on their sales. What I find extra special about The Beehive is that the designers/creators can work in the store for eight hours per month for a discounted rental rate, creating an even bigger sense of community. In addition to a wide selection of locally handcrafted goods, The Beehive also offers creative classes on site. The options include sewing, jewelry making, knitting and crochet, photography, screen-printing and more. And if you’d like to get your kiddos started in the crafting world young, they also offer kids craft classes. Young Blood Boutique and Gallery As the name reveals, Youngblood is more than just a boutique; it is a gallery of art and local beauty. A local establishment for 15 years, Young Blood boutique is very well known in Atlanta. In fact, in 2012 the original owners made the decision to close Young Blood. But local Atlantans Rebecca Hanna and Jessie White wouldn’t let that happen and bought the beloved Young Blood Boutique and Gallery in January 2013 “with the spirit of the founding principles in mind and the goal of presenting a curated collection of the country's most inspired and highly crafted art and goods.” The shop and gallery houses art and handcrafted goods from all over the country, but has a strong focus on the local Atlanta creative community. In addition to offering creative a space to sell their goods, Young Blood also regularly holds local events both on site and off, enriching the creative community that loves the well-known boutique and gallery. Pop Marché at Paris on Ponce Although it is more of a huge warehouse made up of boutiques, Paris on Ponce is certainly a great place to shop for locally made goods. The 46,000 square foot warehouse is a great place to spend the day perusing both handmade items and carefully curated vintage collectibles. With everything from clothing to furniture, Paris on Ponce is a go-to for many Atlanta locals. Within Paris on Ponce, you will find Pop Marché, “a chic and unique collection of boutiques, representing several dozen independent curators, collectors, and designers.” These Atlanta-based boutique owners work hard to curate—and sometimes create—the perfect collections for Pop Marché shoppers. An added plus: Paris on Ponce is located on the Beltline, making it the perfect stop on a leisurely Atlanta walk. They also welcome events and photo shoots to be held in their Moulin Rouge-esque Ballroom.Read More
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