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!
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.
The term maker, to me, means someone who creates pieces that they are passionate about to share with others.
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. 🙂
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Between our two companies, we go through about 60,000 – 70,000 pounds of wax each year!
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.
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.
Someone who builds or creates, starting with raw materials and turning them into beautiful or functional items.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
The fiddle and the violin are the same instrument. Woah!!
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.
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.
I think a maker is anyone who creates something with their hands. It’s very personal and honest in that way.
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.
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.
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.
My children. But I suppose if we’re talking hats, it would be the very first one. Which I still own and wear.
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.
To start right away. There are no perfect circumstances.
I am also a Traiteur (or Cajun folk healer) and most are unaware that the hats themselves bestow blessings upon the wearer.
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.
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.
Ideas and imagination transformed into tangible goods.
All of our products are inspired by the artwork of Francis X Pavy and infused with the culture of South Louisiana.
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.
Making and creating is like breathing, it’s just who we are.
Fabric and wallpaper for sure. We’re launching 9 patterns with multiple colorways very soon.
Meet Adrian Guidry, owner and Maker at Adorn Jewelry!
I own Adorn, in Downtown Lafayette. I make Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry.
Creating something with raw materials.
Nature inspires me.
Downtown Lafayette loves and supports Handcrafted Artists.
It’s what I do 🙂
I was very proud to be chosen as an ArtSpark recipient by ACA last year.
Fully opening to the public again!
I keep my dog Olive on my bench when I work.
Follow Adorn on social media:
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!
I was interested in making my own fight/arcade stick, and that kind of spilled into mechanical keyboards instead.
Someone who likes making something instead of buying/getting a premade product
One of my main keyboard inspirations is Mintlodica, who is a keycap designer.
It’s just a hobby, though I have done custom builds for clients. I use a mechanical keyboard I made every day at work.
I enjoy the mechanical work, and I’ve acquired a lot of skills in the process that can apply to other things as well.
A hand-wired hotswap Dactyl Manuform, which was an ergonomic split keyboard I built for a friend.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gosh, I guess I am not well versed on trends. I really don’t know.
Hmmmm, I am full of surprises!
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.”
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.
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.
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.)
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.
I love the problem solving and creativity that making sparks. That type of brain engagement makes me feel fully human.
One year I made flannel pajamas and robes for everyone in my family. It is fun to see people wearing things you have made.
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.
Using sustainable materials, stealth public art projects like yarn bombing, and rain gardens.
I love to boogie board.
Meet the minds inside Lafayette Public Library’s Makerspaces! Lafayette Public Library has Makerspaces and Tech Labs at five locations: Main Library in downtown Lafayette, South Regional Library on Johnston Street in Lafayette, North Regional Library in Carencro, East Regional Library in Youngsville, and West Regional Library in Scott. The Main Library Makerspace is staffed by five awesome and talented library employees who help introduce visitors to the idea of “making.” Below, librarians Sterling and Michelle take a break from planning Maker Faire Lafayette 2021 to answer some questions.
Sterling: The Makerspace started in 2015 at the Main Library and has now grown to also be available during certain times of the week all over Lafayette Parish at the four Regional Libraries.
Michelle: The Main Library’s Makerspace has a 3D printer, a laser cutter, six sewing machines, an embroidery machine, a thermoformer, and arts and crafts supplies. You don’t have to be a techie to be a Maker!
M: Makers come in all shapes and sizes! It doesn’t matter your age, either. Anyone can be a Maker and apply Maker Skills to everyday projects.
M: When someone takes something they made for one person and applies it to many people. Like the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.
S: Definitely a huge fan of the design aesthetics of artists like Simon Stalenhag and Jakub Rozalski and how they integrate steampunk and sci-fi technology so naturally into everyday slice-of-life scenes.
S: Most of us come from some form of Maker background; always looking at new ways to re-evaluate or reinvent the things we come across in day-to-day life. We’re a Makerspace in a library so our goal is Maker Education. We give you the chance to try new things in a monitored environment so that when you can buy your own 3D printer or hobby laser cutter, you already have some background on the device.
M: Because it can change so many things! If someone wasn’t looking for a more efficient way to transmit data from one government entity to another, the internet wouldn’t exist! Making can fix a problem or a shortfall for something that exists, or it can show what changes need to happen before something can be improved.
S: With the growing availability of technology such as 3D printers to the general public, people now have the unprecedented ability to actualize and bring to life an idea that’s been kicking around in their brain and share it with others.
M: Personally, I am proud of the sewing projects I’ve created this year. I started 2019 hardly able to sew and today I can put together simple items. The thing about making is that progress is progress, even if it’s very small increments.
S: I have very much enjoyed designing and printing custom game pieces for a board game concept I’ve been working on in my free time. In addition to learning the ins and outs of the design software, it’s also taught me to consider concepts of scale and the relative fragility of a badly posed game piece.
M: I think the dog collar from Up would be a great start. I always wanted to know what my dogs are saying when they bark outside.
S: Probably a Rise of Legends suit of armor.
M: I like that people are making things to help people with disabilities and other, unseen conditions like PTSD. I saw in the news that a guy made a smartphone app for his father, who is a veteran that suffers from night terrors because of PTSD. While that guy just had his dad in mind, this app could be used for any number of sleep disorders and on top of that it helps other veterans who may be going through the same situation as his dad.
S: The library workers who staff and run the Makerspace hail from a wide range of backgrounds, and that makes us all the more creative. Whether we’re bouncing ideas for out of the box concepts on how to execute a particular design element or simply taking delighted inspiration from someone else’s hobbies we might never have considered otherwise, having such a diverse array of personalities has helped our various projects tremendously.
Meet Keith Cooper, maker, comics enthusiast, and one-half of the podcasting duo behind Blerd-ish. Keith and a friend created Blerd-ish in 2017 as a send-up of all things black and nerdy. Today they are nearly 100 episodes in and still sharing their passion for black nerd culture from their home base in Baton Rouge.
Hi, I am Keith Cooper, a part of the Blerd-ish podcast. I started making podcasts on the subjects of sports and entertainment in 2015. Some friends and I decided we wanted to discuss topics in a way regular media wasn’t. That eventually led to my current podcast with a focus on independent creators of color, movie reviews, and folks who are doing something unique in their community.
It simply means to create something that wasn’t. It doesn’t have to be a physical item — it can be an opportunity, a platform, an event. That is what I make as I use my platforms to bring light to various creatives. This is done through my podcast, social media, and pop up shop. However, I am writing a comic/coloring book based on our experiences and superhero parody.
I am inspired by fellow podcasters who tackle similar topics. I am also inspired by personalities who can discuss a variety of topics. This includes folks like Tom Joyner to modern creators who put themselves out there to express their art and purpose. I am inspired by the chance to enlighten folks to something new that they may have not been aware of.
It is a business, but it is something I do for fun. I have been fortunate that it does relate closely to my job. My business promotes literacy and I work for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. I even serve on our committee for our local comic con.
I get to leave a mark on folks’ lives. It’s a great feeling when kids, adults, and folks who claim to not be readers buy something from my table. This may lead them to open their mind more to all types of comics, art, and black sci-fi they may have never been exposed to.
I have been podcasting for three years as a part of the Blerd-ish podcast, helping create the library con for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and helping creators through our pop up shop for the past year.
I would make as many books, comics, stories as possible. Sadly artists, marketing, equipment aren’t free.
I am just glad that folks are understanding that Maker means a lot. From your candle maker to a podcast or making a platform for people. That continuing trend is what is needed for constant growth.
Find your passion and work hard towards what you love and your goals. Learn to network, be social, and have fun.
Just like a comic book, I have several branches of stories that flow into one for the origin of the Blerd-ish podcast. It just depends on how much time you have for me to weave my fantastic tale of amazement like the late great Stan Lee. Or that I’m a low key anime nut and an NBA fan.