DECEMBER 3, 2020
A Creative Community Newsletter for Information and Inspiration
The holidays are here!

In this issue we are showcasing Makers and Crafters from Washington State. If there is one thing Washingtonians love, it is buying local! So why not support some local creatives while you shop for the special people in your life?

From jewelry and accessories, to candles and soap, Washington creatives have the unique, one-of-a-kind gift you’re looking for this holiday season. We are focusing our profiles specifically on the Mighty Tieton, an arts incubator in Tieton, Washington.

This Yakima Valley town has a town square dedicated to creatives who make amazing treasures by hand. Get to know a few of these creatives and consider some of their work for unique and special gifts for the ones you love.
Tomorrow, Friday December 4th at 11:00 am, join us for our latest Safety on Set Conversation: Let's Talk Talent! We will chat with casting director Jodi Rothfield, MAM Talent Agency owner Anne Lillian Mitchell, and actors Lowell Deo and Bonni Dichone about working behind and in front of the camera during COVID. We will cover topics from virtual auditions and casting to talent safety while on set. Bring any questions you might have and RSVP here.

Washington Exposure Notifications (also known as WA Notify) is an easy new tool that works through smartphones, without sharing any personal information, to alert users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. It is completely private, and doesn’t know or track who you are or where you go. Visit the Washington Department of Health's website to find out more.

Governor Jay Inslee announced an additional round of funding to support businesses in Washington State. $50 million is now available for Round 3 of the Working Washington Small Business grants. The Department of Commerce is now accepting applications and funds will run out fast! Find out more info about who is eligible and how to apply here.
Make & Create
Calendula Handmade Soap by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Join the Make Community and connect with makers and creators from all over the world in learning, sharing, and selling projects. There are podcasts, video tutorials, access to global online fairs and more to make your work as accessible as possible.

Lots of creative entrepreneurs are launching their own Etsy shops during the pandemic. If you’re in that business check out 10 Thing to do BEFORE Starting Your Etsy Shop and the Ultimate Guide to Opening an Etsy Shop. And if you want to know what NOT to do, check out the 4 Mistakes That Will Tank Your Etsy Store.  

The women that run the Greencastle Soap Company based out of Spokane, Washington, not only sell amazing soaps, lotions, lip balms and herbal salves, but offer classes so you can learn how to make them on your own.

Thinking about making your own holiday gifts this year? Get inspired by this list of 41 Holiday Gifts That You Can Make at Home.
Mighty Tieton
Tieton welcome sign from Tieton Mosaic. Photo credit, Ed Marquand
Norm has been a woodcarver in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years, and a full-time artist since 2006. He specializes in carving hewn hardwood bowls, creating unusual, geometric and natural shapes. All of his pieces are made using hand tools and traditional carving techniques and he procures the raw materials he uses locally in the form of logs that are otherwise destined for landfill, fire wood or slash piles. Photo credit, Jan Brown.
What steps did you take to turn your love of woodworking into a business that has sustained you full time for nearly 20 years? 

I spent many years collecting the tools I needed for my wood art, and made sure to always have a dedicated space for my woodworking. During that time, I created many types of woodworking projects to grow my skills, and sold my work on a part-time basis. Early sales convinced me that people wanted what I was making. However, I could not see a clear path to supporting my family and raising my children while working as an artist. Even though I enjoyed working with wood from childhood, created throughout my life and was able to take some art classes in college, I originally pursued degrees in science that qualified me to become nationally certified as a clinical laboratory scientist.

While working in labs, I also taught woodcarving through a local community college. My lab career provided the financial security to see my children raised and off to live their own independent and creative lives. It also put me in a position to be completely debt free with a reasonable cash reserve before taking the plunge and becoming a full-time self-employed artist. I continue to learn new skills as a woodcarver with nearly every new project, always challenging myself. And with the untiring help and understanding of my spouse of 42 years, we constantly work to grow and hone the skills needed to make my passion for woodcarving into a small business.

What advice would you give to an aspiring creative who wants to turn their passion to make things into a full-time career?

We all start in different locations and under different circumstances, so take some time to study the ups and downs of your own starting place. Be prepared for a long journey and lots of hard work. Allow as much time as you can spare to constantly improve your skills, as well as time for self-reflection to learn from your mistakes. Be tenacious and just keep going. When things get tough, money gets tight, sales are not what you’d hoped for, use your passion to create to work out solutions to those problems. Creative activities other than art, such as gardening, can be a great release of stress, and can also contribute to building a comfortable and balanced lifestyle. And as with all small businesses, do your research on regulations and insurance, write a business plan and educate yourself in basic business administration.
Clam shell bowl carved by Norman L. Brown. Photo credit, Jan Brown
Painter, Metalsmith, & Graphic Designer
Jay Carskadden is a painter, and metalsmith who also works as a full-time graphic and web designer. Her work is inspired by architecture, animals, color, clean lines, nature, and human nature. In 2013, she relocated from Seattle to Yakima, Washington to get some long-needed open space and fresh air. Photo credit, Lynn Hull
Your creative instincts branch into a variety of disciplines, making your living as a full time graphic designer and web designer. Why did you decide to turn to painting and jewelry as a side gig? 

My painting and metalwork as a side gig really happened on its own. It’s not something I planned. Since I work primarily on the computer as a graphic and web designer, I crave the tactile process of making art with my hands. It’s very grounding. The way that I do this is through painting and metalwork. People started buying my work and the more I sold the more it became a side gig! I really like the mix of all of my disciplines. Each one supports the other. 

How has metalwork and jewelry helped sustain you
during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At first, I thought this question was about “sustaining” me financially, but a friend pointed out that this could also be interpreted as “sustain” in terms of “well-being” through the stress of the pandemic. I have to say my painting and metalwork has done both! Especially my painting. I’ve had a few painting commissions that were very satisfying and even sparked some new ideas and directions that I might not have otherwise taken.  

The pandemic did inspire me to get my paintings up online since all the venues and events that I sold them in were closed or cancelled. I recently designed a new shop page on my website for my paintings. Eventually, I may add a jewelry and metalwork section. Boxx Gallery in Tieton, Washington has recently reopened and is showing my jewelry, enamel bowls, and paintings in their 2020 Holiday Exhibition.
Silver and 14k gold rings with Mexican Fire Opal/Blue Sapphire by Jay Carskadden.
Photo credit, Jay Carskadden
Ed Marquand
Founder, Mighty Tieton
Ed Marquand stands in front of a mosaic from Tieton Mosaic above. Ed began designing for artists and galleries in the late 1970s, and formed Marquand Books in the mid-1980s. In 2006 he founded Mighty Tieton, an incubator for artisan businesses in Central Washington. Photo credit, Mike Longyear
Will you describe the work you do and what inspires you to do it? 

My primary occupation has been publishing art books for museums, artists, galleries, architects, and publishers for four decades. Lucia|Marquand is based in downtown Seattle, and over the years we’ve published for over 300 museums around the country. 

However, I spend much of my time in Tieton, Washington. It’s a small orchard town outside of Yakima. Since 2005, we’ve built a number of enterprises based on a hands-across-the-Cascades business model. Creative design and production studios that would be too expensive to rent and staff in urban centers can establish themselves in this rural area. Our customers, markets, and outlets may be in Seattle and Portland, but the work is done by local talent. We hire and train them to run and manage the studios to produce work at a very high level. 

We are called an arts hub, but I am most interested in creating enterprises that can create jobs for the people to live in Tieton. That’s essential to the economic benefit for the community.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your community right now?
And what role can creatives play to support their
community in achieving success?

Small agricultural towns are fighting to survive. Corporate agribusiness is on a steady march to automate all aspects of crop growing and storage. Small towns like Tieton need to reinvent themselves if they are to stay viable. It’s an on-going struggle. Fortunately, the ability for many professionals to work remotely, and the interest of young (and older), talented, creative entrepreneurs to invest themselves in communities like ours can help stave off irrelevance. It’s creatively exciting, financially risky, and a lot of hard work. 

Some of the businesses that we have started in Tieton include: Marquand Editions, Paper Hammer, Tieton Mosaic, Nomad Mercantile, Boxx Gallery, Tieton Farm & Creamery, Tieton Cider Works, and El Nido Cabins. Tieton Arts & Humanities is our not-for-profit that puts on community events, exhibits, educational programs, and advocates for richer art and design education in the community.
Marquand Edition, One Tree. Photo credit, Ed Marquand
Jen Trammel
Jen Trammel is the founder and owner of Rooted In Collective. All ingredients used for Rooted In Collective candles are carefully chosen for their high quality and clean burning performance: a combination of organic coconut-soy-beeswax; plant-based and essential oil blends; raw wooden wicks that provide a soothing, soft crackle; phthalate-free; dye-free; paraffin-free; and practical and simple candle jars that are easily repurposed. Photo credit, Darian Kaia Photography
Rooted In Collective was born from a disappointing home candle
making kit. Can you elaborate on how that experience
transformed into a business? 

Yes, what started out as curiosity in the craft store turned to disappointment in my kitchen with a less than quality candle. I was actually visiting craft stores on a regular basis trying to find something that would take care of the creative itch I felt brewing in me for years. I had been an elementary school teacher for a stint, a stay-at-home mom for many years, and as my kids were quickly becoming more independent I felt this deep need to "raise" something else, like maybe growing a business from the ground up. That disappointing craft store candle experience quickly transformed into a challenge/obsession of figuring out how to make a really quality candle. What I lacked in formal business education and training I made up for in passion and genuine interest. I dove head first in the research of candle making and found that there was a very strong balance between the art of candle making and the science of candle making, which I loved. 

I also did research on market trends, learning about the viability of the candle industry forecasted over the next decade or so. Everything I read pointed towards growth and expansion for the candle market, so I took that as my green-light-go. Fast forward several months and many, many batches of flubs and failures later and I had fine-tuned my candle making into something I felt really proud of, with clean burning ingredients being paramount (no paraffin, no phthalates, no dyes, no additives, no synthetic color stabilizers) and a crackling, raw wooden wick setting my candles apart from the mass of typical candles on stores shelves. 

I owe my sweet community in Yakima all my thanks...there's a strong entrepreneurial spirit in this town; "local love" and support is a real thing and it's the reason Rooted In has continued to grow and spread into communities around the PNW and beyond. 

Candles are such a self-care item, which seem so important now.
What do you do to balance nurturing your creativity with the more
stressful sides of being a creative business owner?

That is such an important question. I tend to get laser focused on whatever I'm doing and starting a business from scratch has been no exception. For years now, my go-to stress relief has been exercise. When I'm on a run I tend to get super creative and ideas become clearer for me; cardio helps me release built up tension; and yoga helps me settle down. One new habit I've been adding to my bedtime routine is doing a "brain dump" every night. On my nightstand, I keep a notepad/pen and write down every random thought that comes to mind. Not really a journal but more of a list. That way I can close down my active mind and actually sleep. I'm finding it works and, bonus, my to-do list for the next day is already done.
Candles by Rooted In Collective. Photo credit, Darian Kaia Photography
Shop Washington State
Sitting Cat in gouache, watercolor, and ink by Jay Carskadden is featured
at the Boxx Gallery Holiday exhibition. Photo credit, Jay Carskadden
Tieton Mosaic is making Tieton more beautiful one custom mosaic at a time. They are completely funded by donations and grants so check them out and consider a contribution. And if you are feeling the Tieton vibe, have a look at the Holiday Exhibition from Boxx Gallery for your holiday shopping this year.

To help everyone shop local this year, Shoreline Arts Council is hosting an online Stocking Stuffer Show from now until January 2nd. They are also hosting an online Latinx Art Exhibition and sale to explore the artwork of local Latinx artists. The exhibition runs from now until December 31st.

Everything is Canceled! Here is a Guide to Shopping Local in Tacoma even though in-person shops are temporarily closed.

If you are in the market for fair-trade hair, face and body products from a local husband and wife team, Alaffia is worth a look. They work with women's cooperatives in West Africa who handcraft their raw ingredients which are finished by the team in Olympia, Washington. Alaffia then returns the proceeds from sales to fund community empowerment and gender equality projects.
'Tis the Season to DIY
Knitted Birds by Fitzrovia is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Great American Makers has created an interactive makers map, to use as a guide to reading the inspiring stories of everyday American's who are so committed to following their passion that they became entrepreneurs and started their own small businesses. You can check out their blog, join and register your own business, and support other small business by getting to know the makers featured in every state.

Homesick candle company, out of California, makes personalized scents from all the places you love! Or stick close to home and get to know Malicious Women Co. Owned and operated by women in Snohomish, Washington, have a look and a laugh at their awesome candles, snarky labels and great seasonal sales.

At Whipsmart, we are unapologetic advocates for creative people and businesses. We give creative professionals the tools they need to succeed, by meeting them where they’re at—offering intentionally curated mentorships, job opportunities, and business resources scaled to every stage of their career.