Thank You, Oakhurst....

October 11, 2009

Thank you,
Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival, for showing me how community can come together to enrich the lives of its residents.

Only one week after my trip to St. Louis for the Taste festival, I was back in Atlanta the next weekend to participate as a juried vendor in the Oakhurst festival located in Decatur, GA. The day (luckily) was sunny, and my boothmate-in-crime,
Tasha Hussey, was in full glowing pregnancy mode, and was ready to sell!
The crowds were small, but pleased to be there (and that's all I ever need to be happy). We were located right by the stage, and as a result had the full fledged sound of music in our ears. Lucky for us, the entertainment was good and varied throughout the course of the day, from folk, to the blues, to African, to alternative.

I was enchanted by the true, generous community feel of the festival's patrons. I think that if I were to live in a small community in the midst of a big city, a festival just like this one would be the ticket to making the neighborhood feel like a true home. As I reach "motherhood" age, and my wonderful husband and I consider having a baby, I'll keep this neighborhood in mind, and will definitely do this festival again next year.

By the middle of the day, my jewelry-making assistant, Shannon, also popped by to grace us with her presence (she's putting on her full mo-del face for you all here). When she arrived, she brought along our newest creations from iram-inal, which we debuted at Oakhurst to test the market. The new SL line of fabric necklaces was a great hit!
We call it the "SL line" because Shannon, who is the fantastic designer of her own line of apparel - Shannon Lynnette - helped me to bring my vision of fabric necklaces to fruition through her skill and creativity. So, because we're vast believers that independent artists need to help each other out, we're looking at the SL line as a collaborative line, and we're so proud of it. If you want a look that is chic, voluminous, lightweight and eco-friendly, this collection is for you. Stay tuned for more info on this line as we continue to develop it!

So once again, thank you, Oakhurst, for showing me community, neighborly love, and a great time filled with music and cheer. See you next year!

Taste of St. Louis Was the Bee's Knees!

October 4, 2009

The "Taste" (as locals call it) is a festival that me and Mari and dedicated to doing every single year until we can't do it any more. The people are fantastic, the music is AWE-SOOOME, and the food is always on point.

Driving through St. Louis reminded me of how beautiful this city really is.... I've been to many places around this fair country of ours, and I think many of our larger cities (outside of the Northeastern region) don't take care to preserve and maintain the original structures that helped to create their cities. St. Louis is not one of those locations.

The architecture, the Arch, and the feel of the place moved me so much on the second sunny day there that I had to take pictures while driving in my car (wrong, I know). While I'm now mesmerized, I realize that I didn't appreciate the beauty of this thriving metropolis at all when growing up here.
Setup on the first day was amazingly frustrating, as there were gale-force winds up to 30 miles an hour. Luckily, our family friend, Cory, was there to help out so he helped to keep me sane by holding the tent down from blowing away (even though I had 150 pounds of weights already holding it.... we had to get more before the day's end). Eventually, my sister came to save me and added another 150 pounds to the tent to fully secure it for the eve. The festival began on Friday at 5:00pm. Normally, we are so busy in our tent that we don't have time to sample any of the delicious goods provided by over 30 St. Louis restaurants, but this year I wanted to TASTE! So, taste we did.... and I mean everything. Wish I had some photos of the great food for you folks, but it's IN OUR BELLIES! (and yes, please think Austin Powers).

This 3-day festival is one of the biggest in the city, bringing out over 150,000 patrons (some say closer to 250,000) to sample yummies, fill their tummies, and shop from fantastic artists from all over the country.

This year, we were fortunate to have our booth located on the corner of the main fairway between the juried Artists' Market and the Taste Row.... this made for a very, very, very busy 3 days. With the festival always running long (until about 11:30pm), it is exhausting work, but the great people always make up for that feeling.

Additionally, we had some great surprise visitors that weekend, from our beautiful mama, to Mari's good friend (and great supporter of iram-inal), Tim.

All in all, it was a fantastic, exhausting three days filled with great sales, new friends and fabulous finds (which I'll talk about in a later posting). Thank you to the many who purchased iram-inal designs' creations, and we'll see you next year!

It's Been So Long, and We Have So Much to Share....

Party People, this is my first blog in a long time, and it surely isn't purposeful. Due to being busy (that's a great thing, right?), I've had no time to cater to the curious by reporting back iram-inal's activities.

I have to say that the past few months have been AMAZING! New stores, new designs, new connections and runways have been an integral part of our lives, and we're loving every minute of it. I'll be reporting back frequently about the growth of our lil' love business, and believe me there's a lot to say. :)

Until then.....