Meet the Vendor: Irene Akio
Any new exciting news you’d like to share with our readers?:
This last winter, our family grew by one! My due date was right around the Urban Craft Uprising winter show, but the baby came a bit late, so I managed to make it down to do some of my own shopping. It is certainly a challenge juggling business and life and a new baby, but it is incredibly inspiring and joyful, as well…more than I ever could’ve imagined. It’ll be a few months yet, but I am excited for all the arts & crafts activities we can do together.
What was your first memory of making something?:
I have so many wonderful memories of crafting, including drawing, making key chains and doo-dads from gimp, and weaving on a loom. But one of my fondest and strongest memories is making my first dress from a pattern with my mom. She taught me and my brother to hand-sew when we were in early elementary school, and then introduced us to the sewing machine a couple of years later. This was the late 80s, so when we went looking for a pattern and cloth, I picked a hot pink satin dress with a single shoulder strap and a giant shoulder bow. We cut out the pieces and stitched it together and I wore it to the ballet at the Fox Theater in Detroit. As some people were in jeans and T-shirts, I think I must’ve stuck out in my hot pink, but I was so proud and strutted around the beautiful lobby in my swishy satin dress.
What is your favorite new product for 2014?:
My favorite new product is my vulture card. I think I have a fondness for creatures that get a bad rap.
What do you love most about craft show vending?:
Currently, most of my business is wholesale, so I rarely get to meet my customers face-to-face. This is my favorite part about craft show vending – getting to chat with people! Sometimes this means learning about their arts & crafts interests or a different painting technique. Sometimes there’s a funny story about an encounter with a squirrel or another animal represented in my collection. I’ve been vending for a couple years now at Urban Craft Uprising, and I always meet such lovely and creative people!
– Enter the Giveaway Drawing! –
I’d be happy to give away a pack of 6 vulture cards. My website is www.ireneakio.com.
To enter this drawing, leave a comment below and tell us why you want it! Be sure to include your first name and email address so we can let our winners know where to pick up prizes at the UCU Summer Show.