What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Meet the folks at one of Downtown’s newest meetup locations, The Bougie Bar, Lafayette’s first candle making party destination. Open since October 2019, The Bougie Bar helps you create a candle that is customized for you using the techniques and skills they use in their own retail business, Bourbon Royalty Candle Company. Book your own private party, or join in with others during their Social Parties, which have no attendance minimums. The next Social Party is April 17th, 2021, so sign up today!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I started making candles in 2008 as a hobby with a candle kit! After success in selling those to co-workers and craft shows, the hobby turned into a wholesale business known as Bourbon Royalty candle company, which my husband and I own today. The Bougie Bar was born out of an idea that we had to bring people together, share our love and passion for candles, all while sipping some wine! We opened the Bougie Bar in October of 2019.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

The term maker, to me, means someone who creates pieces that they are passionate about to share with others.

Who or what inspires you to make?

What inspires me to make is the fact that we can craft products that remind people of the South, which is the base for Bourbon Royalty. I also want to create a brand that people know and love, all while being able to leave a legacy behind for my family to carry on.

At The Bougie Bar, seeing people come together to share the experience in creating the perfect candle hits the nail on the head. Scientific studies show that 75% of our emotions are triggered by smell – just think about how the smell of crayons probably will bring you back to your childhood. Fragrances can take stress away, bring you to a different place and honestly let you escape for a minute. Not too long, because we do not want you to leave your candle burning unattended. 🙂

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

Being a Maker in downtown is almost a world in its own. Downtown Lafayette has a vibrant culture and sense of family amongst all of the businesses. When Rusty and I were looking for a place to open The Bougie Bar, our first thought was Downtown Lafayette. And honestly, we never looked at any other location because we knew we wanted to be there. Being a part of the development of downtown along with the festivals, restaurants within walking distance and art galleries, it was the perfect choice for The Bougie Bar.

Why is making important to you?

Making is important to me because I get to share my passion with others. I enjoy educating others on candles and the benefits of soy wax and the environmental aspect of it. The only wax we use is soy and it is all farmed in the USA. And, as I mentioned earlier, fragrances allow you to escape your world for a while…or clear up that smell after you make a roux!

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I think the fragrances that have remained in our line from the beginning are something that I am very proud of! Picking out fragrances that thousands of people will all like is almost an impossible task. Queen of Bourbon, Zydeco Amber, Orleans Tea and Voodoo are just a few that have been with us since the inception of Bourbon Royalty.

Along with that, founding The Bougie Bar with my husband in 2019 was a huge milestone for us and I am pretty proud of it as well. It is like our third child – coming after Bourbon Royalty and our fur baby, Stella!

What up-and-coming Maker trends inspire you the most?

Obviously the DIY trend excited us quite a bit! Along with that, I always tend to keep an eye out for trends in home décor that help us source our pottery. Trends are trends, so sometimes it is hard to make decisions based on trends – sometimes they work and sometimes they do not.

I also love how several platforms have been created (like Maker Faire) to allow Makers to get their items in front of retailers or consignment shops.

What advice can you give someone who is interested in starting their own Maker Business?

Two words: do it. My father always tells me his is proud of my courage and tenacity – starting a business without knowing what will happen and investing time, money, sweat and tears. You will never know if you will succeed if you do not try at something.

Second piece of advice: grow at a pace you can handle and don’t put yourself in financial hot spot to try and compete with the big box stores. Start small, but make sure you start.

Tell us something surprising about yourself or your business.

Between our two companies, we go through about 60,000 – 70,000 pounds of wax each year!

Follow The Bougie Bar on social media!

 

What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Anya Burgess is a master violin maker and has studied her craft at Indiana University and with luthier Otis Tomas in Nova Scotia. She also plays the fiddle in two Cajun bands, Magnolia Sisters and Bonsoir Catin. Burgess opened Sola Violins in Downtown Lafayette in 2014, where she makes, repairs, and restores violins and other stringed instruments.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

Sola Violins is a full-service violin shop in downtown Lafayette. We do restoration, rentals and sales of violin family instruments. Aside from running the store, I’m also a violinmaker and got started making violins about 20 years ago at Indiana University’s violinmaking program. I learned how to build violins in the classical Italian style, and have continued from there. My handmade instruments are not sold at Sola Violins, but being a violinmaker definitely informs the instrument restoration and setup work I do everyday.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

Someone who builds or creates, starting with raw materials and turning them into beautiful or functional items.

Who or what inspires you to make?

I really enjoy all the time I spend at my workbench, using hand tools and working with wood. I also like making other things – I guess it’s the satisfaction of being creative and making my own vs. buying. It helps that I also love making music, and the violin is a huge part of that!

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

Downtown Lafayette has a lot of creative energy, from the streetscape filled with public art to the numerous artistic and maker businesses. Our violin shop fits into this landscape, and takes inspiration from our creative neighbors. I love our location in Downtown Lafayette.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I guess I’m most proud that Downtown Lafayette can indeed support a violin shop, and I think our very existence helps people recognize how essential music is to our area. Yes, there are enough string players in south Louisiana to support a shop like ours. Fiddle players, classical musicians, students and professionals – our musical culture is something to celebrate and be proud of!

What up-and-coming Maker trends inspire you the most?

I don’t know much about trends, but it’s fun sharing process pics and seeing the work of other makers on social media. Posting photos allows people to see and gain an understanding of the intricate building process, from the tools all the way to the finished product. I also enjoy sharing photos on our social media of the various restoration projects we do and videos of players who come through the shop.

What advice can you give someone who is interested in starting their own Maker Business?

You have one life to live — start making now. Plan on working 7 days a week to get good at what you’re doing. And you’ll spend a lifetime developing mastery!

Tell us something surprising about yourself or your business.

The fiddle and the violin are the same instrument. Woah!!

Follow Sola Violins on social media!

 

What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Meet Colby Hébert, The Cajun Hatter! Hébert has relocated his New Orleans based hat shop to Downtown Lafayette next to The Wurst Biergarten. Like many Downtown Makers, Hébert finds inspiration in his Cajun roots and shares that with us via his craft!

Check out his available hats or schedule an appointment to make your own custom hat via his website.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I make handmade custom hats inspired by Cajun and Louisiana culture. Including everything from the music to cuisine, to geography and more. I’ve always enjoyed altering my clothing and making things with my hands, and after working in the wardrobe department in the film industry, I was led into the desire to become a designer with my favorite aspect of fashion, which is hats.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

I think a maker is anyone who creates something with their hands. It’s very personal and honest in that way.

Who or what inspires you to make?

My custom hats are inspired directly by the individuals that I make them for. My design collections, such as the “Louisiana Icons” are inspired by cultural concepts of South Louisiana.

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

I love the culture of downtown Lafayette. It has a bit of that same laissez-faire that is exemplified in our work. To add to that, it is perhaps the best expression of an historical Lafayette, and that marries perfectly with the old world feel of what we do.

Why is making important to you?

For me, it is essential that I always create. And making allows me to create a thing that others can get very practical use out of in a very intimate way.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

My children. But I suppose if we’re talking hats, it would be the very first one. Which I still own and wear.

What up-and-coming Maker trends inspire you the most?

I don’t pay much mind to trends, but I’m extremely excited to release our “Shades of the Swamp” collection, where we dye nutria fur felt hats from plants harvested in the Atchafalaya swamp.

What advice can you give someone who is interested in starting their own Maker Business?

To start right away. There are no perfect circumstances.

Tell us something surprising about yourself or your business.

I am also a Traiteur (or Cajun folk healer) and most are unaware that the hats themselves bestow blessings upon the wearer.

Follow The Cajun Hatter on social media!

 

What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Meet Cathi and Francis Pavy, owners of Pavy Art + Design Studio. These Downtown Lafayette Makers produce prints, fabrics, and pillows inspired by Louisiana folk art, known for bright colors and representations of local folklore. You can view Francis’s fine art at this link.

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

Pavy Art + Design Studio is the dream of husband and wife, Cathi and Francis Pavy. We wanted to merge our talents as a designer and artist into tangible home goods. We began with bandanas, prints and pillows and are moving into manufacturing fabric and wallpaper.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

Ideas and imagination transformed into tangible goods.

Who or what inspires you to make?

All of our products are inspired by the artwork of Francis X Pavy and infused with the culture of South Louisiana.

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

Downtown Lafayette can be considered the Arts & Culture District. It’s the hub for entrepreneurs, musicians, craftspeople, culinary and visual artists. Businesses are original, “out-of-the-box”, rather than big-box corporations. So whether you’re a business owner or just visiting, Downtown Lafayette is the perfect environment to stay inspired.

Why is making important to you?

Making and creating is like breathing, it’s just who we are.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

Fabric and wallpaper for sure. We’re launching 9 patterns with multiple colorways very soon.

What advice can you give someone who is interested in starting their own Maker Business?

Remember, key word here is business.
Follow Pavy Art + Design on social media!

 

  What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Meet Adrian Guidry, owner and Maker at Adorn Jewelry!

Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started making things.

I own Adorn, in Downtown Lafayette. I make Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry.

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

Creating something with raw materials.

 

Who or what inspires you to make?

Nature inspires me.

 

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

Downtown Lafayette loves and supports Handcrafted Artists.

 

Why is making important to you?

It’s what I do 🙂

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I was very proud to be chosen as an ArtSpark recipient by ACA last year.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

Fully opening to the public again!

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to start their own Maker Business?

Let your passion guide you.

Tell us something surprising about yourself or your business.

I keep my dog Olive on my bench when I work.

 

Follow Adorn on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Glowing rainbow ergonomic keyboard. Keyboard is brightly lit in a darkened room. The keyboard rests on a mat with a hamster on it

What Makes a Maker?

Meet Andrew Lee, a mechanical keyboard designer and creator. Andrew comes into the Makerspace at Main for help cutting the acrylic needed for his designs. We asked him if we could interview him for Maker Faire and he said yes! Thanks, Andrew!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I was interested in making my own fight/arcade stick, and that kind of spilled into mechanical keyboards instead.

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

Someone who likes making something instead of buying/getting a premade product

 

Who or what inspires you?

One of my main keyboard inspirations is Mintlodica, who is a keycap designer.

 

Is making your hobby or business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?

It’s just a hobby, though I have done custom builds for clients. I use a mechanical keyboard I made every day at work.

 

Why is making important to you?

I enjoy the mechanical work, and I’ve acquired a lot of skills in the process that can apply to other things as well.

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

A hand-wired hotswap Dactyl Manuform, which was an ergonomic split keyboard I built for a friend.

picture of a dactyl hot swap keyboard. not made by A. Lee

(link to image source– above keyboard not made by Lee)

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

I’d want to make custom keyboards even more accessible than it is getting by making the cost of entry as low as possible to get other people into it.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

Custom keyboards is a very money-restrictive hobby. In the past year or so, a larger focus on budget offerings has made it significantly easier for people to get into the hobby.

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

Even if you think you don’t have the skills to be a maker, try and you might be surprised.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I’ve spent more money on this than I’d care to ever admit.

 

 

Sounds like a true maker to us, Andrew! 🙂

Check out some of Andrew’s completed creations below!

Glowing rainbow ergonomic keyboard. Keyboard is brightly lit in a darkened room. The keyboard rests on a mat with a hamster on it pastel themed mini keyboard. the letter keys are white, alt/ctrl/shift keys are light pink and light purple. The keyboard rests on a pink table with cute animal silhouettes on it. the key pads or "guts" of a mechanical keyboard. This is what the keys sit on when assembling a keyboard various split keyboard designs. There are four in total. Upper left is a clear acrylic keyboard with white buttons. Upper right is a clear split keyboard with clouded keys. Lower left is a black split keyboard with neon green keys. Lower right is a white split keyboard with purple, pink, and white keys

 

 

 

 

 

What Makes a Maker?

Meet Cindi Axtell of Deuxième Vie, a place where makers can create using donated recyclable products! Local artists also sell their products there. Everything sold at Deuxième Vie is composed of at least 75% reused materials. While there are no in-house project events going on now, they have a list of project ideas on their website where you can purchase materials and instructions. Find inspiration amongst everyday objects or spark your next idea at Deuxième Vie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I don’t actually remember a moment when I first started making things. Coming from a long line of makers on both sides of my family, it has always been who I am. I think my surroundings, curiosity, and creativity created a perfect storm for “making.” (Although, I didn’t have a name for it at that time.)

Somewhere in my 30s, I realized not everyone was a maker. That made me want to open a place where people could access tools of any kind to make various things, giving them access to items they didn’t have at home or couldn’t afford, but the liability stopped me.

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

A maker to me is someone that thinks creatively about what they need in their life but doesn’t need to buy something that already exists. They are ok with having a unique item that is not the same as everyone else, kind of an inventor of sorts. This can be applied to anything really. It’s a matter of what you need and your ability to create it.

A maker is also proud of their creation. Where some may look at it as a solution for people without money, I look at it as being a good steward of the earth and my soul. A maker doesn’t have to be someone who makes robots or a piece of art. A maker is someone who makes something from something else… there are unlimited possibilities.

 

Who or what inspires you?

Most of my inspiration comes from seeing something and thinking it is cool in some aspect. But then I ask myself, how can it be used? How can I make it different or better? How can it become functional in a new way?

 

Is making your hobby or business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?

Making has been a way of life for me. It is more than a hobby, but I guess it could be described as such. But in a way it is now my business. As I mentioned before, I had a longing to bring making to the world! 30 years later, I am now providing access to items that could be transformed into something new and useful. And I am sparking the inspiration to create in people.

 

Why is making important to you?

It expands your mind and is rewarding to know I did this! Making is a different way of thinking about everything. When I look at something, I don’t see the same things other people see. I see possibility and I also see a challenge. As a society, I feel we rely on ready made items too often. Making is a survival skill as well. For example, I don’t buy processed food, I grow what I can and cook from scratch. That’s a maker, too.

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I think my greatest creation is me. I am proud of my strengths and uniqueness. It frightens some people because they can’t relate but these are the things that allowed me to bring Deuxième Vie Creative to fruition. It has not been an easy road by any means, but the rewards have been so breathtakingly beautiful.

I am so rewarded when strangers tell me how much they are inspired just by being in the retail location. I love when I see children and adults alike beam with pride at their creations. When an aspiring artist can find affordable art materials to further their creativity. When a donation comes from a family member of a loved one that is having to let go of their materials that they treasured but can no longer use. There is an emotional attachment and they want them to be in the hands of someone that can use them. Deuxième Vie is that resource.

 

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

I would love to “make” a space for creative play. Where all are welcome and you just get to create with no inhibitions, no restrictions on how it should look.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

Gosh, I guess I am not well versed on trends. I really don’t know.

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

Well, you could come to Deuxième Vie Creative for some inspiration or to find information about local maker group meetings. You can also get information about making from the downtown library. You don’t have to be a maker yet– just be interested!

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

Hmmmm, I am full of surprises!

 

 

 

 

Olivia helps a young user with a project

What Makes a Maker?

Meet Olivia Morgan, who has been an educator at Hilliard Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette since 2016. At her job, she helps makers of all ages “experience the power of art as a tool for learning and discovery.”

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I grew up in a family of artists. I was lucky to be surrounded by people who painted, sewed, and built things and who were willing to teach me. It was a fantastic childhood and I certainly caught the making fever early. My parents really needed to make things to be happy, so I have always associated making with that wonderful “flow” state when you are engaging your mind and body creatively.

 

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

A person who is always gathering ideas and materials and turning them into something new. A maker is always looking for that next thing, whether it is a new project or refining or reinventing something that they are already doing.

 

Who or what inspires you?

My co-workers at the Hilliard Art Museum. We have a wonderfully creative team that is always up for making my wildest dreams come true, such as a large scale cardboard Arc de Triomphe. (Thank you, Chris Pavlik.)

 

Is making your hobby or business? How does it relate, if at all, to your day job?

These days, most of my making takes place at work. As the Hilliard Art Museum’s Educator, I create activities for students and visitors and then get to enjoy making things with them. Often, I get inspired by a project at work and then continue making it at home. For the museum’s Play Day, Suzanne Chaillot Breaux created a great video on how to make a cardboard loom. I have spent most of the winter weaving on my small cardboard loom. It is relaxing and easy to make something interesting in no time at all.

 

Why is making important to you?

I love the problem solving and creativity that making sparks. That type of brain engagement makes me feel fully human.

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

One year I made flannel pajamas and robes for everyone in my family. It is fun to see people wearing things you have made.

 

What would you make if you had unlimited resources?

Hats. It has been years since I have done this, but I would love to have a studio with hat forms and loads of millinery ribbon.

 

What up-and-coming maker trends excite you the most?

Using sustainable materials, stealth public art projects like yarn bombing, and rain gardens.

 

What advice can you give someone who wants to get involved in the Maker movement?

Just start making things and learn as you go. It is also great to belong to a community of makers. Seek out friends and mentors who inspire you and can help you.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I love to boogie board.

 

 

woven mats created by visitors of the Hilliard Art Museum Olivia helps a young user with a project a picture of Olivia Morgan, educator at the Hilliard Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana