Bows and Arrows is showcasing Sacramento’s talented crafters and artisans with the first ever Makers Mart on July 15th. The Makers Mart, a marketplace for locally made crafts, jewelry, clothing and art, was dreamed up by Bows owner Trisha Rhomberg and local jewelrymaker Whittney Kebschull when they realized they had a common dream of promoting local artists and crafters while showcasing their own handmade products. “Not everyone has the time to invest in getting their work in galleries or stores,” said Whittney. “With the Makers Mart, we give people the opportunity to represent themselves a few times a year, and hopefully, make a little money while doing so. Overall, we believe strongly in supporting ourselves as artists and our community with handmade local art.”
Whittney and her siter Lauren have been making jewelry since they were children in rural Wisconsin, and they have continued to create their Witt & Lore pieces even though Lauren lives in Minnesota and Whittney lives in Sacramento. Witt & Lore jewelry has been available at Bows and Arrows for a few months. The pieces, which combine recycled and reclaimed metal parts with delicate seed beads and African trade beads, have been quite popular.
"We try to find a style that is current, and can be worn by anyone with any style. We like the diversity because it’s the person that makes the style- as long as they wear it with confidence, we are happy!" said Whittney. "I’m really inspired by anything from the Southwest to Latin America, where [Lauren] has this Midwestern vibe, and they somehow meet in the middle." Whittney will be selling a variety of the jewelry Bows shoppers are familiar with, as well as a few new designs. “One item I am trying to bring back eye-wear necklaces!” said Whittney. “The concept is hard to get across when they are on display… but they are really rad practical pieces for people like me who have issues misplacing their glasses.”
Trisha is unveiling two new lines at the Makers Mart: a clothing line called Dusty Leigh (which has been partially available at Bows) and a jewelry line called Heavy Metal (which hasn’t been sold anywhere yet). Dusty Leigh is constructed from recycled fabrics and clothing; mostly rayon and other light summery materials. The line features boxy, flowy cropped tanks in darker colors with subtle prints, as well as dresses and skirts in a similar style. “This line is all about efficiency of materials use,” said Trisha. “I think that repurposing is a really smart way to take old energy and combine it with new energy to create something completely unique. The pieces I am making are simple, but come from the right place…What Dusty Leigh is about is transforming energy and being conscious about your consumer power, while happening to like fresh cuts and comfy fabrics.”
Trisha has been sewing for several years and used to sell a clothing line called Pretty Trashy at the old Bows and Arrows. “Creating utilitarian products, for me, fulfills both a primal artistic urge, and helps me justify spending time doing that,” she said, “in the hopes that wearable art can help put food in my belly and feed people’s appetite for new fun inspirational pieces. Using recycled materials helps me feel a connection to the past, and appreciate the way things were made, and learn how to infuse new ideas and energy into lifeless pieces.”
Trisha’s Heavy Metal jewelry (as the name suggests) is as industrial and raw as Dusty Leigh is floaty and sweet. She’s working with a man who lives across the country to produce what she calls ”hand forged spacey-sci fi inspired metal jewelry.” The pieces are made out of repurposed industrial metals, vintage silver and silver plated commercial cookware. “We are combining some masculine and feminine elements in the design of the pieces, and they can be worn by both men and women,” said Trisha. “I’ve always been attracted to abstract and organic shapes of substantial metals, and I like the range in color tones that vary piece to piece.”
This Makers Mart will hopefully be the first of many; Trisha and Whittney are both passionate about supporting locally made products and they plan to make this a quarterly event. “What I like about handmade is that the artist is very much a part of each piece,” said Trisha. “Each item will have its own characteristics and be unique, like us….I like that supporting local means we are taking care of each other, and that we are supporting our local economy. It is very important to me that we keep dollars local, and help create jobs, and opprotunities for each other to pay rent and excercise the creative side of ourselves.”
Maker’s Mart will be held from 12-6 pm on Sunday, July 15th in the alley/parking lot next to Bows and Arrows. There will be about 20-30 local vendors present, selling handmade clothing, comics, housewares, jewelry, and more (visit the Makers Mart Blog for profiles of some of the vendors). DJs Drew Walker and Julianna Boggs will be providing music, and baker Maren Mitchell will be selling her famous vegan whoopie pies.