The Research Triangle Park

Meet the Vendors of the Mistletoe Market | Part 4

By Dec 05, 2017

Welcome to … December!?! I honestly cannot believe how fast the holidays fly by. We are now in full-steam-ahead mode getting things ready for The Mistletoe Market on December 14th. It will all be going down at The Frontier from 4:00-7:00 pm, taking over multiple spaces on the first floor.  Besides more than 40 fabulous vendors, vocal performances, free beer & wine and a food truck on site, you can expect even MORE fun surprises at the event. Keeping those under wraps for now… Looking forward to seeing you all later this month.

Company: doora
Mastermind: Dr. Doreen Jakob

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?
A:  I have worked as a social scientist researching art and culture and economic development for over ten years in Europe, India, Australia and North America. When it was time to find the next challenge, I decided to practice what I had preached and trade theory for practice, the office for the studio!

Q: Tell us a story about a time things did not go according to plan with your business. What did you learn?
A:  I began building my business by renting a small private studio space within a larger community clay studio (sort of like The Frontier but for clay artists only). Being able to rent space and equipment was tremendously helpful in jumpstarting my business. Eventually my business outgrew the services that a community studio is able to provide. For example, when I was working on my first larger corporate commission (90 pieces), the design models were glaze fired in a kiln that also contained a student’s piece of green ware. The student work exploded in the kiln, broke the three models and covered them with splinters and shards. Both the client and I were puzzled about the incident, since I did not load the kiln and only learned much later about what had happened. The project was extremely jeopardized by the insecure firing situation – I nearly lost the commission because of it. It was then and there that I knew that a time would come when my business demands would exceed the infrastructure available to me at the time. I applied to and won an arts business development grant and built my own studio.

Q: What’s next?
A: I really enjoy working directly with clients. So instead of growing larger and wider, I want to grow deeper. I am looking forward to more bespoke work that directly connects my clients to their own history and brings meaningful object into their lives. For example, last week I finished a large place setting as part of a wedding registry commission where the couple brought the wedding dress, his shoes, belt, flowers from the bouquet and additional meaningful things like a leaf from their avocado tree into my studio. Creating meaning is what motivates me to step into my studio every day.

Company:  Vivian Blanco Jewelry
Mastermind: Vivian Blanco

Q: Where do you draw inspiration?
A:  I call my jewelry Unpredictable because I never know exactly what I’m going to create. I start with a straight wire and using my tools and a little bit of imagination, I make my designs. I work with what I have and I let the wire move to where it wants. Q: Tell us a story about an experience that left you feeling like you had succeeded in your business
A: I remember the first show I attended to as a vendor. At the end of the day, after receiving all the compliments, and seeing that it really was not just words, that the clients were not friends but people who genuinely felt an affinity towards the style of my jewelry made me feel a sense of approval, and that I had accomplished my own style and people had liked it.

Q: Tell us a story about when things didn’t go according to plan for your business. What did you learn?
A: I love this one! I’m not designing jewels for everybody, I’m designing for a certain type of person and if somebody doesn’t like my jewels it’s ok! That person is not the type who should wear my jewels. 

Company: Tobi’s Bakery
Mastermind: Tobi Reil

Q: Give me a three-sentence elevator pitch about your business.
A: Tobi’s Bakery is a home-based bakery located in Hillsborough, NC.  All  baked goods are mixed from scratch following recipes collected from family members and during her 8 years of living in Europe.  Using locally milled organic flours, eggs from local farms, milk from NC dairies, and organic ingredients whenever possible, the Reil family works together to bring you fresh, unique baked goods from their kitchen.

Q: Is this your full time gig or a side hustle?
A: Definitely a side hustle that keeps pushing the boundaries and frequently begs to launch into a full-scale gig.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?
A: We lived in Scotland for a number of years and friends encouraged me to sell my baked goods at a farmers’ market in Glasgow. Tobi’s Bakery was born!