I had the rewarding, although exhausting, experience this weekend of helping my 8 year old daughter Deirdre participate in Festival Fete. Festival Fete is a 2 day event, held 3 times a year in Rhode Island, featuring local artists, craftisans, live entertainment, kids’s crafts and food. One of the coolest things about the festival is that the coordinators donate 10 spots for Young Artists in grades 1 – 12. Since this is a juried event, these up-and-comers have to submit photos and an application to be formally accepted. In exchange for the free booths, the Young Artists give back by donating a 10% of their earnings to Art is Smart which, in turn, donates funds to local public school art teachers. Deirdre and her friend Noelle made and sold “Sun Dough Fun Dough” — their unique version of brightly colored, scented play dough. I was thrilled that the girls were able to sell over 100 tubs of play dough over the course of the weekend!
However, in addition to learning about production process, sales technique and paying taxes, the girls also had the wonderful opportunity to meet other young artists. As an adult, I was so impressed with the all the kids who participated — their enthusiasm, camaraderie, and high quality of products was amazing. Many of these kids are already showing talent well beyond their years! There were so many great young artists there this weekend, but I thought I would highlight some of those with whom we shared the stage.
On our right was Sydney from “Sydney’s Soothing Eye Masks”. She created these adorable sleep masks, appliqued to look like owl faces. I’m always impressed by kids with sewing skills!
On our left we had Rylie, a talented young jewelry maker. At 11 years old, she’s already a festival veteran. I loved her earrings so much, I bought 2 pairs!
Across from us, there was Max, the creator of “The Art of Wrestling” — hand drawn pictures of his favorite wrestlers. Max also had the ingenious idea of putting rubber bouncy balls inside of balloons and selling them as bouncy balloons. A simple idea — yet my kids spent all their pocket money on bouncy balloons!
Next to Max, was Amy from Boa Vida. She is a high school student who makes very professionally designed creations from polymer clay including bottle stoppers, purse hangers and hand mirrors. I give her special kudos for letting my 8 year old daughter hang out with her whenever things were slow at our booth. You can check out Boa Vida on Etsy.
Another big hit of the weekend was our good friend Liam from “Liam’s Little Comics”. His home made comic book was so popular that not only did he sell out, but he got interviewed by a comics website!
I also really liked “Molly’s Ducktape Creations”. Her bright, colorful wallets and coin purses are both fun and functional. She certainly lives up to her motto of “Live, Love, Create”. You can visit Molly on her website for more information.
My congratulations to these, and all the other Young Artists who participated, who are well on their way to a life of creativity!