Ever wondered about the people behind the non-profit organization Crafty Mart? This is the next profile in a series to introduce you to the Crafty Mart Team. Revisit the rest of our Team Profiles here.
Introducing Crafty Mart co-founder and current board member, Juniper Sage!
Get to Know the Crafty Mart team: Co-founder and Board Member Juniper Sage
I am the very proud mother of Crafty Mart - I created it but knew when to let go and let it grow on its own! When J Hudson and I started Crafty Mart I was underemployed and I had a lot of time on my hands. A number of things came together nicely to allow me to spend a lot of time getting the first show up and then expanding the brand from there.
A few years later, after I took on a 'serious' job, I knew I could no longer keep Crafty Mart going but didn't want to see the hole it would leave in the Akron art community. Fortunately, I met Brit at the right time. She agreed to take over the show and has grown it into the strong, vibrant event that it is.
Crafty Mart isn't the only thing I am proud to be a part of in Akron. My husband, David Ignizio, and I own Square Records in the Highland Square neighborhood. Square is (obviously) an independent record/CD store, recently celebrating 12 years and still going strong.
12 years ago I started the local Stitch'n'Bitch with a friend, which also currently runs without us! Harps and Thistles Yarn Emporium hosts this group every Wednesday evening from 7-9 pm and some trusted friends take care of the rest.
I do still run Akron's chapter of DanceDancePartyParty. DDPP is a ladies only dance party, most easily compared to a scheduled slumber party dance-a-thon. My partner in crime here is none other than Joanna Wilson, also profiled for her work with Crafty Mart. DDPP is my love and the kind of event that is easy to manage even with a 'serious' job.
You could sum me up by saying I have been very lucky with the people who have chosen to work with me. I was lucky to land that 'serious' job with a software company started here in Akron and having strong local ties. I am also lucky to live in such a generous city that actually cares about their small businesses. I do miss working closely with all of these groups but I love my job and am happy to see all of these groups thriving.
Even though I had to step away from the helm of Crafty Mart, I am very proud to be on the board and to actively volunteer at the event. Come and see me at Summit Art Space this November, where I will be helping the vendors on both days!
Thanks, Juniper! Look for more Crafty Mart team profiles coming later this week.