Sunday, April 3, 2016

Meanderer Trunk Show April 8th

Boutique 208 Consignor Susan Fortunato, of Meanderer, is having a trunk show at the Boutique on Friday, April 8, from 11a to 7p.

Her repurposed items, including aprons, purses, pot holder, accessories and more, will be displayed throughout the store.  Come and check out all of her fun, wonderfully imagined products; that all used to be something else.
Her Mantra:

Waste not want not.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Indulgence Bath & Body Trunk Show April 3rd

As a part of our Spring Sales Extravaganza, Bethany Shea, of Indulgence Bath & Body, is having a trunk show at the Boutique on Sunday, April 3, from 11a - 4p.

Her bath & body products, which are handmade from all natural and edible ingredients, will be displayed throughout the store. 

ALL bath and body products will be BOGO, with the second same or lower priced item discounted 50%! This is a great opportunity to pick up some gifts, or try something new! Bethany offers some great "fun" bath products for kids too!
ALSO Bethany will be offering her exclusive hand-etched glass! These items are not usually available in the Boutique, so don't miss your chance to pick up these one-of-a-kind gifts! She'll have some pre-made items, but will also be taking custom orders. Examples: monograms, family crests, customs phrases, etc.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Shopping Extravaganza April 1 - 10!

Join the artists of Boutique 208 for a 2-week-long celebration of spring! The shop will be open extended hours, offering trunk shows, and more opportunities to meet some of our artists!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SuDan Design Trunk Show April 1st

Happy April Fool's Day! Boutique 208 Consignor Sue Danielson, of SuDan Design, Jewelry and Batik, is having a trunk show at the Boutique on Friday, April 1, from 11a to 8p. 

Her hand batiked items, including scarves and clothing for women, children and babies, and unique Rainbow Makers (one-of-a-kind beaded and bowed cut glass prism ornaments) will be displayed throughout the store. 

In addition, her "trunk" table will include a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets and earrings, as well as holiday Rainbow Makers offered at a discount. Scarves, bracelets and Rainbow Makers will be offered BOGO, with the second same or lower priced item discounted 50%. Refreshments are free. No foolin'!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Easter Basket Giveaway!

We have a great new giveaway this week!

Stop in to Boutique 208 between now and March 24, 2016 to receive an entry to win this great assortment of items donated by several of our artists. No purchase necessary for the first entry!  Get one entry just for coming in to see us, then earn 1 entry for any purchase, and then additional entries for every $20 you spend! 

Come down and see us!

Prize includes: Cake earrings from Evan Tillie of Tillie's Clay Treats, an Easter Pin from Tam of Barker's Herbs and Heirlooms, Easter egg earrings from Jenn of Charmed by Jenn, silly soap from Bethany of Indulgence Bath & Body Products, a green table mat from Pamela of A PG Creation, a pair of pot holders from Susan of Meanderer, a pair of tie dye socks from Leslie of LArtC, children's hair clips from Angela of Funnermother - all wrapped nicely in a lovely reversible fabric bowl from Lynn of Textile Gifts!

Winner will be randomly drawn the morning of Friday, March 25 and notified via phone call (or email address depending on which the winner provides on their entry form).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Featured Artist: Eryn Hughes of Apothecary Muse

Eryn Hughes, of Apothecary Muse, is our featured artist from March 9-15, 2016.

Please stop by, enjoy our window featuring her products, and check out her items in person. She shared the following information with us and we hope you enjoy learning about her and her work, in her own words.

Figure 4 Handmade Arcade 2015: bringing the outdoors inside in the midst of Winter.  Photo Courtesy of Joey Kennedy

I like to find inspiration in nature and share it.  This philosophy touches upon every sense that we experience as humans: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing.  Over the years, while my soapmaking was just a hobby, I worked in the bicycle industry as a mechanic, coach, and advocate.  I remember attending a trails conference where the speaker said that when he “paddled with others in nature, he observed nature”… and when he “paddled alone…[he] was nature.”  I’ve also found these solo adventures to give new context to my decisions and sense of purpose in life. (fig. 1)

Figure 1 Product testing in action: mountain biking in Frick Park, testing a thermal skin balm in sub-zero temperatures – crossing multiple barriers. 

Later, I worked in outreach with food access and the music industry, bringing resources to people that would otherwise have barriers.  It was on a section hike along the Pacific Crest Trail that I considered the possibilities of designing a business model around my philosophy.  The demands of back country exploration has inspired me to incorporate medicinal herbs and aromatherapy into Apothecary Muse products that are used everyday, especially by those who spend time outside.  The environmental impact of single use plastics is significant, by and I seek to reduce that with plantable paper soap labels, compostable paperboard tubes for lip balm and deodorant, and reusable glass or tin jars and bottles.  I won’t buy any new plastic.  I test everything I make and have a team of brand ambassadors who are extremely active in the outdoors that also give feedback on seasonal products, although often I’m reusing plastic containers for my own testing. (fig. 2)

Figure 2 Product testing on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail: handmade ceramic diffuser, woodsy warrior soap, bug repellent candle, deodorant, toothpaste, sunscreen and lip balm.

These days, I plan my adventures around possibilities for foraging, exploring new places and environmental risks, while balancing skin care needs with herbal infusions and aromatherapy.  I study herbalism with Sage Mountain and aromatherapy with Aromahead, and I'm a regular at my local library consulting Eastern and Ayurvedic Medicine texts to find parallels in philosophies that I might use in my product development.  There is so much to learn and I believe these skills in sustainability and self-sufficiency will be rewarding for many years to come.

Figure 3 Farm To Table: Teaching how to make soap.

And since I believe information can be empowering, I have sought my teaching certification and now offer classes.  The next one is coming up on March 18th at 10:30am at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, in the Farm to Table Conference and further upcoming learning opportunities can be found on the SoapGuild Teacher Guide.   I aim to bring nature to the people - or people to nature - in a very intimate way.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Featured Artist: Susan Fortunato of Meanderer

Susan Fortunato of Meanderer is our featured artist this week!
Her Mantra:

Waste not want not.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Susan says, "I give new life to items others find unusable.  Old becomes new, practical and pretty items.  Worn jeans and feed sacks become aprons, potholders, or bags.  Old coats become purses.  Ill fitting tee shirts can be a new skirt.  Sewing, creating, recreating, making new from old is a happy challenge."

Stop in and check out Susan's fun, eclectic work featured at the front of the Boutique from 3/2-3/7!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Special March Gallery Crawl: Make & Take Bath Bomb Workshop!

Boutique 208 is excited to host a Make-and-Take Bath Bomb Workshop during the Gallery Crawl on Friday March 18th. Help kick-off the City of Pittsburgh's Bicentennial Celebration with us!
Bethany, of Indulgence Bath & Body Products, will be teaching you to make a fun fizzing Bath Bomb from ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Scent your bath bomb with nourishing herbs, and learn a little bit about caring for your skin at home.

The workshop begins at 5:30 PM, and is FREE while supplies last.
Bethany’s “Kitchen Cabinet Beauty Recipe Booklet” will be available to all shoppers during the Gallery Crawl on March 18th, so be sure to stop into to Boutique 208 for some great local art, even if you won’t be participating in the workshop!

Friday, February 26, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Giveaway!

We have a fabulously GREEN giveaway just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

Stop in to Boutique 208 between now and March 10, 2016 to receive an entry to win this great assortment of items donated by several of our artists. No purchase necessary for the first entry!  Get one entry just for coming in to see us, then earn 1 entry for any purchase, and then additional entries for every $20 you spend! 

Come down and see us!

Prize includes: a pair of Kiss Me, I'm Irish earrings and card from Jenn of Charmed by Jenn, a green floral cotton baby bib from Jody of The Point Needlecraft, a bath cupcake and green silly soap from Bethany of Indulgence Bath & Body Products -  all wrapped up nicely in a lovely reversible fabric bowl from Lynn  of Textile Gifts!

Winner will be randomly drawn the morning of Friday, March 11th and notified via phone call (or email address depending on which the winner provides on their entry form).

We'll be having more giveaways in the coming weeks - stay tuned!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Featured Artist: Sue Danielson of SuDan Design: Jewelry and Batik

Sue Danielson of SuDan Design: Jewelry and Batik is our featured artist this week. She specialized in one-of-a-kind batik pieces, among many other things. We asked her to share a bit about herself. Enjoy!

My first batiks were created in a class at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center in 1975 that was a Christmas gift from my husband, Earl. I had been making arts and crafts works all of my life, but the serendipity and surprise of this ancient Indonesian craft really inspired my imagination, much like photography and dark room work does. There's always something exciting, even magical, about seeing how the dyes have seeped into cracked wax, how the colors have combined, and ultimately, the excitement, surprise and delight when the wax is removed to reveal what has been created through the multiple steps of waxing and's like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis! 

After those initial classes,  I quickly produced a wide-variety of batik items, including magical window hangings that glowed like stained glass, large framed abstract and pictorial wall prints, unique and unusual stuffed dolls and clothing. Unfortunately, back when dyes were not as permanent, it was difficult to sell batik items at a price that would reimburse my time and materials, as well as make some profit. So I took a hiatus from batik to focus on making a living; then on to loving and raising two wonderful daughters. While working full time as an office administrator, I encouraged my girls' own creative endeavors, which included demonstrating batik, as well as other arts and crafts. Later, when I was working as a human resources specialist at a community college adult education program, I began taking various art classes, including beaded and wire-wrapped jewelry. Another love was born! I couldn't stop, and once again produced a large inventory of items, purely for the love of creating beautiful pieces. Although I gave away most of the pieces I made to friends and family, I often sold things, and was encouraged and assisted by Sarah, my fashion and business savvy younger daughter, to create a batik and jewelry shop on Etsy. Still busy with my job and other commitments, I appreciated and trusted Sarah's design sense and marketing experience, and she assisted me in creating our SuDan Jewelry and Design shop in that massive global marketplace, where she worked as business manager until I retired from my college position in April of 2013. 

I also create one-of-a-kind Rainbow Makers and Memory Keepers that are sold in the shop. These are joyful crystal ornaments that are assembled from cut glass prisms of various sizes and shapes that are strung on ribbon, wire or chain, and enhanced with jewels, metals, charms, ribbons, and bows. Many of these ornaments have a holiday theme, with vintage and personalized photos added. The crystals and beads catch and reflect light when hung in a sunny window, and cast colorful rainbows around the room. Personal photos of beloved people and pets may be added by custom request to flat backed glass prisms, and themed charms are often included to create special remembrance gifts for display in a window, car, or on a Christmas tree. 
I also make handmade photo and linoleum block print greeting cards which are available at the Boutique during the winter holiday season.

In addition to batik items such as scarves, clothing for babies, children and adults that I sell at Boutique 208, there are pillows, windows, wall hangings, and framed art in the works...and always a new design or product idea percolating in my brain!

I am happy to offer these original, handmade gifts at Boutique 208, and hope that the folks who stop by to visit this unique shop will be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety and ever changing assortment of unique batik clothing, a variety of scarves and other interesting items that are enhanced with batik designs.

I hope that Boutique 208 customers will love my designs as much as I love making them!

Stop in and check out Sue's beautiful work featured at the front of the Boutique from 2/24-3/2!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Featured Artist: Mimi Antonetti of Nautilus Creations

Mimi Antonetti of Nautilus Creations is our featured artist this week. She creates beautiful, unique chain maille jewelry. We asked her to share a bit about herself. Enjoy!

A native of Northern NJ, I currently reside in the Greater Pittsburgh area by way of Miami and Houston. With a degree in geology and paleontology, the Chambered Nautilus has always been my favorite invertebrate - I love the way it will build a new living chamber when it outgrows the current one. This has become a metaphor for my life....creating new as I outgrow the old.
In 2011 I took advantage of corporate downsizing and decided to follow my heart in several different ways. I have parlayed my love of animals into a dream job of taking care of other people's four footed (and hooved) friends as a full time job. On the side I started to stoke my creative fire and stumbled upon chain maille; little did I know it would become something verging on obsession!

 I love the direction mailling has taken me and have branched out to include everything from Kumihimo to torch-flamed scales and rings in my pieces. I prefer to work in stainless steel, bronze, copper and niobium although I still will make pieces in brass, bright and anodized aluminum.

Stop in and check out Mimi's Nautilus Creations featured at the front of the Boutique from 2/17-2/21. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meet Your Makers: Kathy Mazur

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.

Hi. My name is Kathy Mazur. I retired from Highmark in April 2015 after 20 years of working there as a web and UX designer. I wanted to do something that was more creative and not corporate, so I found an old canvas and played with some spray paint to create a fall leaf design. It came out even better than I expected, so I started creating more artwork.

How did you come up with your business name?

I don't really have a business name, but I sign my pieces with Kathy M. Since my maiden name began with an O, I was called Kathy O as I was growing up. A friend of mine started calling me Kathy M after I was married. It continued the same theme, so now that's my signature.

Where do you live?

I've lived in the North Side for six years and love it there. Before that, I lived in Murrysville while raising my kids.

Who’s in your family?

My husband is Cole. We've been married for 14 years. I have two grown children, Devin and Dani, who both live in Pittsburgh. I love having them nearby.

If you could sit down and talk to any person, living or dead who would it be, and why?

I can't pick just one! So, one is my grandmother who I miss a lot and sometimes "feel" her around me. I want to ask her what it's like on the other side. Number two is going to sound cliche, but it's Jesus. I want to know the secret to why we are here. Number three is Andy Warhol. He seemed like a very interesting person and he's a Pittsburgher.

What inspires you?
People who are happy for who they are, not because of what they have. 
What is your favorite item you make for Boutique 208 and why?
So far, I've only made spray paint art, so I guess that's my favorite! In particular, my favorite is the long canvas of birch trees.

What is your favorite item at Boutique 208 that’s not one of your own and why?

I've only worked there one day so far, so I really need to look around more. I saw several things that I thought were amazing and want to buy.

What advice can you offer to someone who would like to start selling their handmade creations?

Be confident in your abilities. I was nervous about asking to sell my items in a shop, so my husband sent a picture of one of my pieces to a shop owner without telling her who did it. She loved it, wanted to see more, and then took a bunch into her shop to sell. That gave me a boost of confidence, so I stopped in at Boutique 208 to ask if I could sell items there, too. And, now, here we are!