I am Heather Bunker: Designer, branding genius, mom of 4 and DIY lover. This blog is a mix of business and fun - full of helpful tutorials, marketing insights and design inspiration!





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This is the second part of my blogs about my recent trip to Nashville Tennesee for the 39th Annual Fall Tennessee Craft Fair 2017. It was a busy week of work with my friend and client Teresa Merriman with Mind's Eye Journals. The first few days were focused on making edits and getting her new website launched and then I had the chance to attend the show and meet some really awesome makers and artisans. This is my second post about the show...I guess I liked quite a few more artisans than I thought! 


Here are a few MORE of my favorite artisans from the show:



SKwira pottery


I have to be honest, what drew me into Paddy and Greg's booth was that is said ROYAL OAK MICHIGAN right on their sign. Being a native Michigander (yes I said Michigander) I had to stop in and say hello to "my people". I'm so glad I decided to stop in and say hello. Paddy and Greg were seriously awesome. I learned a lot while visiting with them in their booth. Paddy was a teacher and Greg was a writer for years. So I am a bit nervous as I write knowing that he will probably be judging me while he reads this. I'm sorry I dont have the best grammar. ;)


Skwira Pottery


Paddy and I had a long conversation about motherhood and what that means...and why our husbands probably don't understand the breadth of what we do in a day. I loved her candidness as she and I discussed this right in front of her husband. She and I got along amazingly and I had the most wonderful time talking with them. 


Skwira Pottery  and Heather Bunker Branding

We also discussed that they would no longer be doing art shows and will only sell in Galleries. I also learned that they have some work in Traverse City, Michigan which is where my husband is from and where I moved to after college. If you have ever been to Traverse City one place that I like to frequent is Fustini's Oil and Vinegar shop. They commissioned Paddy and Greg to come up with a dish for their oils and many kinds of vinegar. I LOVED that story.

They were so sweet to send me home with a little candle holder to burn while I worked or when I needed a bit of stress relief from my toddlers. They were such a joy to meet and I hope someday I will see them again. Perhaps when I head home to Michigan again. 







I saw Ben's work online a few months before the show in Nashville and I knew I had to meet him. He was very sweet and I felt at ease in his booth. His work is gorgeous. Perfect for any home really. I would love to have one of his large bowls. They are amazing. Anyway, I am so glad I got to meet him. He even invited me to take a tour of his studio sometime which I would love! That would make a great extended weekend trip with my husband. What a great excuse to take a good long weekend away. 


Ben & Lael

We talked for a short bit about his work and his process and I commended him on his branding efforts. He is doing a great job. He has started something wonderful and I can't wait to see where it goes. 



BUBO - Handmade leather goods

I was hoping that Kristen would have a computer bag large enough for my daily haul. I often carry my laptop, sketchbook, notes, diapers, snacks, art supplies, a change of clothes for my kids, and a million other things with me on any given day and all I have is an old bag from an agency I worked at ages ago and quite frankly I hate it. It is time for me to upgrade. I am bummed she didn't have anything large enough...or maybe I am too picky because she had some amazing bags, purses, and wallets. I loved her setup and she has done an amazing job with her brand so far, really I am impressed. I would like to see more about her story on her website but I think that's about it. Her product photography is good and her website is done well. 


BUBO Leather



John SELlBERG Pottery

I didn't get to talk very long with John but we did agree on one thing. Potters have to find a niche and a different style. Well, actually every maker has to find something different. You have to have a differentiator, something different about your product. I liked Johns pottery, the glaze was different and had a touch of natural whimsy because of the glazing technique. Thanks John for our short talk. Your work is beautiful. 


John Sellberg Pottery



Mirra johnson


Mirra was so lovely and sweet. I really enjoyed talking with her about her weaving, school, and what to do next. I always love meeting new artisans because the whole world is in their hands. We talked about what she is thinking and some new techniques she might include in her work. I was so intrigued by her humbleness and excitement for her craft. 


Mirra Johnson Textiles





Lindsay Walker Jewelry


I didn't get the chance to speak with Lindsay but I did meet her boyfriend/fiance and talked briefly about her business. He is very proud of her and should be. Her work is lovely and she has a great brand started. She had great packaging and the cutest and most well-designed mini-booth. Her business cards are lovely and her work got quite a bit of interest while I was there. She didn't have her prices listed and her boyfriend didn't know them off hand so it would be a good idea if she could list them so they were visible. I have a feeling she is a brand to watch. I loved that she also offered a little mini craft project where you could make your own little tags. I shamelessly made one for each of my children. I thought they would make cute name tags for a backpack without someone seeing them right away. It's dangerous to have your kids' names visible on a backpack. lol Anyway, I thought that it was a nice touch.



Suzanne & angelique juneau 


Suzanne & Angelique were the sweetest mother and daughter duo metalsmiths. Which is so cute! I met them on Sunday of the show and I am so glad I did! I should have bought the necklace that I was looking at while I was at their booth. I really loved their style and their work looked great on me. ;)


Suzanne and Angelique Juneau


We talked briefly about their show booth and photography but we didn't get much of a chance to talk about anything else...I was ogling their work. 



Susan Glazer


Susan was such a joy to talk to. I actually stopped in because another Artisan suggested I talk with her. Originally I was hoping she might have a pink Unicorn that I could bring home to my desperate 3-year-old...but we ended up talking for quite a while about her illustrations and what direction she could take with them. Her work is really lovely but she had two very distinctly different styles. As you can see below one is very simple line drawings with adorable illustrations and the other is this sort of raw watercolor silk effect. Both are quite different and would have very different target markets. We talked about her business and her work for quite a while and I really enjoyed meeting her. I bought an illustration for my Christmas tree which I do on every trip. It is the perfect little addition to my Holiday and I can't wait to hang it. 







Jake and his beautiful wife were the last artisans that I visited at the Tennessee Fall Craft Show and I am so glad that I got to meet them. They reminded me of my own family, actually I think they would get along with my in-laws perfectly. They are the kind of people that you could sit around a fire with for hours. Not only were they amazing people, but Jake's knives were simply unbelievable. His knives are simply gorgeous and such high quality that the photos I took just don't do them justice. Not only does he craft amazing knives he makes each one a handmade leather sheath and offers the coolest stands to display them on. 


We had a really long conversation, well actually his wife and I had a long conversation about his brand, growth, keeping up with things, production, demand, and I feel like there was quite a bit more we discussed too but that would require a blog post all to itself. You could tell Kitrina really loves her husband and is such a support for him and his passion. I love seeing such a good team. She seems to be so excited to see their handmade business flourish. Keep up the awesome work! 


Jake 2 Jake Custom Knives



Jake 2 Jake Custom Knives






IF you were an artist I mentioned in this post please feel free to call or email
me anytime to talk. I would love to continue our relationship and look

forward to more conversations. 




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