In anticipation of the holiday season, and to further our quest to celebrate the movement to buy local, and jointly support community artisans, ShoreBread launched Local Artist’s Month. In this our final week, and just days before Christmas, (when hopefully many of these artist’s fine work will be delivered via neighborhood elves under many local evergreen trees), we bring you our final selection of Local Artists.
We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and showcasing a wide array of area creative’s—a print maker, a purse, jewelry, and little girl’s clothing maker, a wood carver specializing in wild fowl art—and we know there are many more talented artisans to share, and we look forward to doing so for future editions.
Our little area is a microcosm, a hotbed of creativity from individuals who give our community their best ideas—and we are thankful for the opportunity to partake from their creative juices. In this last edition, we look towards the next generation of artisans, and are pleased to report that the creative and entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.
At Bungalow Love in Berlin, MD, owner Heather Layton is proud to sell the work of two very talented young designers. Breaking into an industry, and being able to sell products to the public at a well-known establishment may seem like a daunting task. Layton however, recognized the potential and appreciated the artistry of these young entrepreneurs. Layton spoke of Gabi Ortega, 15, a Stephen Decatur High School Student and owner of the line Glo Green.
“Gabi came in with her mom, Denise and I just loved that her whole line is made from recycled goods. The juice box wallets she makes are purchased by adults and kids alike, and I’ve not seen those anywhere else.”
Ortega’s current line consists of the juice box wallets, made from previous half gallon containers of orange juice, bags constructed from cast-off Capri Sun pouches and duct tape, (many girls use these as lunchboxes or purses), and bottle cap pins that Layton has a hard time keeping on the shelves—they sell out fast. Ortega is a socially responsible teen who quite obviously cares about the need to recycle. Beyond that, she applies her creative touch to repurpose these items into fashion statements that teens identify with.
Price points for Ortega’s Glo Green Range from $5 to $15.
The second young artisan is actually in middle school. A fifth grader who has a clear-cut plan for her future, Skylar Crowley made an impact on Layton right away.
“Skylar came in guns ablazin’ with her bio and her price list. She knew what she wanted, and I was impressed,” said Layton.
Crowley creates accessories that are part of the craze hitting middle schools across our region—the need to wear accessories made from duct tape. And this isn’t your usual gray or black duct tape—Skylar’s products are as if Betty Boop styling met conventional style. She creates huge flowers made from pink polka dotted duct tape—or really any pattern that suits her. Crowley initially learned to make the flowers from her aunt, and she capitalized on the knowledge. Her line includes headbands, bows, and flowers made to wear in the hair, or to accessorize a purse, backpack, or anywhere the buyer decides is in need of some dressing up.
Crowley’s very affordable price points range from just $2 to $5.
Both lines are successful at Bungalow Love. Crowley’s line is newer, having been on the shelves for only a month. Ortega’s line is a staple, and has proven very popular. Layton didn’t hesitate when selecting the budding designers for her store.
“People are often stuck on kids getting in trouble, and here were these two girls who found their creative outlet. I just had to be supportive of their ventures.”
Other sources of support? Classmates. Groups of girls often visit Bungalow Love and excitedly tell Layton they are friends of Gabi’s or Skylar’s. They proudly buy and wear their friend’s lines, and change what’s fashionable in the process.
Visit Bungalow Love in Berlin, MD to see the works of Ortega and Crowley, and see for yourself what happens to be “in” for the next generation.