Friends of the Familia

Past Chicago Craft Mafia Members

Beth Respess


Mark Smithivas
Bad Kitten Soaps


Fellow Chicago Crafters & Artists

Pretty, pretty, pretty. [RA]

Evil Eye Emporium
Not only did this woman make a wedding ring for me and my sweetie, but she made it out of recycled silver. Just like almost all of her other beautiful pieces. [CC]

Flamebabe Candleworks
The best candles - period. Easy to work with - fully customizable. [LB]

Fun and whimsical jewelry. Casual clothing with screen printed design [LB]

Julie Lehnis, Plain Jane Custom Designs
Locally-made jeans custom tailored to fit your body! [TT]

Mary and Dan Bigelow
Sibling artist team. [LB]

Orange Beautiful
She's technically a competitor, but I looove Emily's work. She's a Chicago designer who specializes in hand binding and custom work, and she recently added a blog to her site, as well. [RA]

Rapt in Maille
Melissa Banks is a fellow fe-mailler who specializes in stainless steel chainmail and exhibits her work
throughout the Midwest. She creates stunning designs. [RM]

Super sweet pouches, bags, accessories and animals in charming prints [BA]

This guy creates some amazing plush "toys" that tend to appeal to adults just as much as they appeal to kids. [CC]

Veronica Riley
Fine art designer jewelery. [LB]

Weener Ware
What do you get when you mix sparkly bits with bottle caps? Fabulous pieces of handmade and wearable art, of course. [CC]

Wee Wonderfuls

If you like making your own stuffed toys, this is the place to turn. Hillary's sense of color and pattern will inspire you no matter what your creative outlet. [CC]


Vendors & Suppliers

Ampelco ribbon company
Large selection of ribbon, no minimums, and they're located in Downer's Grove, so I usually get things the next day. [RA]

Ayla's Originals
An amazing selection of beads, including Furnace Glass and Philippine Metal Strands. Also the only local place I know of that has soldered-closed gold-fill jump rings (perfect for finishing off those gold-fill pieces), plus a wide selection of gold-fill jump rings. [RM]

Busy Beaver Button Company
Christen Carter and her team make high quality and well-priced buttons. Plus, an easy to use site.[BA]

Caravan Beads
This store has one of the largest and best selections of beads in the city. In addition to beads of all sorts, they have a variety of
findings, bead kits, jump rings, books and sterling silver chains by the foot. They've also got a ton of classes. In fact, I taught my first chainmaille class here, so I'm particularly grateful to the
store for giving me that opportunity. [RM]

Catame Inc. aka UCAN zippers
A fabulous wholesale source for high quality zippers and pulls that are manufactured and assembled in the US. [CC]

Dharma Trading Company
I buym use and love their Procion dyes. They're also got loads or dyeable and printable clothing. [BA]

Super friendly, large number of papers and matching envelopes, and you can order online or by phone. Located in Chicago [RA]

Impact Images/
This is a fantastic site for, of course, clear plastic bags for selling cards, artwork.

Paper Source
A HUGE selection of cute enveoples and paper for presentations/press kits. Just elbow the brides-to-be outta the way. [TT]
Pretty paper colors, interesting ephemera, and inspiration by the foot. [RA]

Rubenstein and Ziff
These wonderful folks sell the interfacing that I just couldn't live without. And they're nice, which is a rarity on the supplier end of this business. [CC]
Custom stamps? Come on, does it get any cooler than matching your stamps to your stationery? Well, maybe for other people it does. [RA]
If you need synthetic webbing or hardware, this is the place to go. They have a great website interface, fabulous prices, no minimums, and they're nice, too. [CC]

Vogue Fabrics
With a couple of Chicago-area locations, and a great website, this is the place where I can spend all my money and my time shopping for fabric and extras. [CC]

Xpedx Store
3555 N. Kimball, Chicago. The paper geek's office supply store. [RA] [TT] [TT] [TT]

Chicago Connections

This writing and tutorial center and home of The Boring Store was the host to our 2006 St. Valentine's Craftsacre. [BA]

American Science & Surplus
What's there not to like about bunsen burners and robot-building parts? This place absolutely rocks.[RM]

Catalyst Ranch
Fantastic, creative, eclectic meeting space in the West Loop. Thank you to them for hosting our 2005 Summer Shakedown.

Chicago Hot Glass
The only publicly accessible hot glass study in Chicago [LB]

LillStreet Art Center
A great gallery and classes in a variety of media, including metalsmithing, ceramics, glass, and textiles. Open Studio time is included in the price of class, giving students the chance to work independently on projects. [RM]

TOJO Gallery
Committed to providing accessible, affordable and comfortable
exhibit venue for emerging and established artists. Thanks to TOJO who hosted our 2005 St. Valentine's Craftsacre. [LB]

Trevor O'Neil
Custom wood furniture and custom builds. [LB]


Business Resources

Another Girl At Play
If you're looking for a great resource for a small business start-up, this might be it. The website is full of resources and the mailing list is full of supportive female business owners. [CC]

Women's Business Development Center
Classes, mentoring, resources for women beginning and building their businesses. [BA]

The Switchboards
A great forum for small creative business owners. You have to prove that you own a small business which means you know you'll get quality answers. [CC]



Patti Johnson, Blue Soup Design
Graphic Designer who did work on my logo and is an all around swell gal. [TT]

Bart Eilts, Accountant
Bart is a great guy who likes to help small business folk. [TT]


None of the Above

Etiquette Hell.
When having a bad day, I head here to remind myself that it could always
be worse...any one of these people could be my client. [RA]

I'm not a blog person, but this is one I try to visit every day. Page after page of design-y inspiration in all forms. [RA]

Small Things Design
Delicate, modern jewellery with a touch of color. If I could be a necklace, I'd be one of theirs. [RA]



Thanks to everyone who applied to be a new Chicago Craft Mafia member. The results are in! Stay tuned for new member details!

Craft supplies for super cheap!
Do It Your Own D*mn Self
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Free Admission

New Logan Square Location
2312 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
12 :00 to 4:00 p.m.

Join us for our crafty business networking evenings
The Craft Racket
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Social Media: Facebook vs. Twitter

Beans and Bagels
1812 W. Montrose, Chicago
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

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