We're excited to bring you another in a series to introduce you to a few of the artisians in our Crafty Mart family. This is just one in a series of Vendor Spotlights where we let those who will be sharing their wares shine a light on what it is they do. The following profile is Alex from The Exquisite Corpse Boutique, who serves on Crafty Mart's Board of Directors in addition to vending at our events!
1). What's your name and what is it that you make?
My name is Alexander Draven, I'm the force behind The ExCB (Exquisite Corpse Boutique) where you can find handmade and customized timepieces along with Geeky & fine jewelry.
2). How did you acquire the unique skill set to do what it is you do?
School and dumb luck! I have a BFA from Myers School of Art at The University of Akron where I pretty much lived in the metal studio during my time there. My obsessions & neurosis did the rest when it came to honing my niche/craft.
My machinist background coupled with attention to detail gives my pieces a machined looked even though I only use hand tools. The sound of a ticking clock, seeing the slight movements that accumulate into the passing of time and the overwhelming urge to never be late is what led me to create my first watch (which I'm recreating for the Crafty Mart Holiday Sale). Jewelry came first though. Metalsmithing became a passion while in school and that was when I had my first class assigned holiday sale. I don't like market designs and wanted to make something that fit my style and something no one had seen before. That very first sale I realized I could do something with this. I wouldn't have to have some job where I would have to fight the urge to jam a pencil in my eye. Thirteen years later and I am finally living that goal.
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3). What is your best seller?
When I am working shows there tends to be a different "crowd favorite" each time be it the Crown ring or a TARDIS pendant and even the Batman clock, however the most popular piece by far is still the very first design. The Corset Ring. It is simple, fun and eye catching. I hear "oh my friend bought one of those... I need one too!" at almost every show I have done in the past.
4). How long have you been vending? Have you done a Crafty Mart show before?
I started vending in 2003 during school but just randomly here and there for the first few years. I did small local shows and some burlesque events but then I heard about a new show that had really cool and hip crafts so I gave it a chance. I have been participating in that show every year since (the show was Crafty Mart if you didn't pick that up). Because of Crafty Mart I have gained the courage and networking fundamentals to venture out of town and state. I have done shows for 151,000 people and for 13 but I love coming home to Akron for a Crafty Mart show.
5). Coffee or tea?
I don't like coffee at all too bitter which is saying something coming from me. Tea is for me! I would always have sun tea in the fridge and Two cups hot in the morning. I'm a big fan of Tea Dude tea for my morning caffeine jolt in the a.m. and it is now the only tea I drink.