Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spot light on: Artists & Fleas

As soon as the weather is a little bit better, so the driving to the City is not as bad, I am planning to go to Artists & Fleas. I have this market already quite a while on my to do list. And today I got an email in my inbox featuring one of the artists there, which seems worth while checking out. It's location is 129 N. 6th Street. Between Bedford & Berry.
Artists & Fleas is a weekly Williamsburg market created to give emerging designers, local artists, collectors, and shoppers-with-a-good-eye-and-a-need-to-buy a place to BUY, SELL and HANG OUT.

Located in a large warehouse in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the market brings together emerging designers' collections, jewelry, art, accessories, vinyl, kitsch, crafts, vintage finds and more. With an ever rotating cast of up to 32 vendors, the market offers some of the coolest and most interesting finds in Brooklyn.
With art, clothing, antiques, one-of-a-kind designs, t-shirts, books, photography, records, jewelry, tchotchkes, leather goods, imports, food, live dj and more!!
Doesn't it sound fun to visit?

The spotlight this time was on Carla Venticinque-Osborn & Aaron Osborn of HEARTISANS. *Carla & Aaron are extending an offer of a 10% discount to anyone that mentions the email* Here is the Q&A:
What makes Artists & Fleas such an amazing experience? The vendors!!! Here is your opportunity to learn more about the creative and enterprising individuals who have helped to make Artists & Fleas an experience and a destination.

Q:How do you describe your business?
C/A: Heartisans is a husband & wife artist- run business committed to creating beautiful goods, with a good cause. Our inventory is a constantly changing collection of unique and fun products, ranging from fine art prints, hand selected fair trade products, to accessories and apparel. We often work personally with cooperatives throughout Guatemala to produce fair trade products from design concept to completion, and are proud to donate a portion of sales back to these cooperatives. We are also excited to announce that we are launching a t-shirt line this spring featuring designs made in collaboration with Love The Child Orphanage in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Q: How did you get started?
C/A:My husband and myself are both working artists. We were looking for a way to make additional money using our creative ideas and skills, but also start a business that served a charitable purpose. My husband had spent 4 years in Guatemala pioneering art programs in children's orphanages, so we naturally had a foot in the door to working with communities and social organizations there. Our gracious uncle started us off with a business plan, start-up funds, and we began our journey into the retail business world, suffering through a huge learning curve this first year...but it was sort of fun.

Q: How long have you been doing it?
C/A: Heartisans has just celebrated its first official birthday in Feb. 2008.

Q: How did you learn your craft?
C/A: My husband and I both have fine art backgrounds; I have a Masters degree from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and my husband has a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Naturally as artists, we like to think that we have a good eye for cool designs and products.

Q: Where do you seek inspiration when creating new flavors?
C/A: The inspiration in creating our products and designs truly depends and varies on the product that we are working on. I really love the fact that we always have several different products being worked on, and that we can utilize different skills for different products, and also be involved in every step of the creative process. For example, in making fine art prints, it involves a strict artistic personal vision being expressed. Whereas, in working with our amazing weavers in Guatemala, we think about issues like color, marketablility, material, seasons.

Q: What is your most significant accomplishment since you started the business.
C/A: I think the biggest accomplishment has just been being both a creative minded individual and running a business. I don't think that many artists are equipped to be very good business people, so it is a constant challenge to be organized with our marketing, business records, inventory, and learn customer service skills.

Q: What are your plans/ hopes for the year to come?
C/A: I hope to keep Heartisans alive this year with new and evolved products and designs, all the while crossing my fingers that people love what we sell. I also hope to have outgrown some of this past year's growing pains.

Q: What else do you want people to know about you?
C/A: In addition to visiting us at artists & fleas, we can also be visited at

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