Homemade fettuccine, woodburned earrings, and street poetry all graced the plaza of the Chapel on Saturday Sept. 19th. Live music, including classic rock favorites and soft pop, was the idyllic background music for many students casually perusing each stand.
It’s no surprise that several stands, both for students and community members alike, were empty by the end of the annual Makers Market, hosted by the Student Activities Board.
And though there are many stories to tell — there were 19 stands featured at the Market — ”Quotes and Notes,” Wildfire Pyrography,” and “The Oven Ranch” were a few of our favorites.
For junior Kyla Schnell, the vendor and owner of “Wildfire Pyrography,” inspiration came from the unexpected and lengthy quarantine.
“I left school a week before spring break,” Schnell said. “I bought this wood burning pen and thought to myself, ‘well now I’ve got some time, might as well learn how to use it. Earrings are easy and I can sell them for a price that college students could afford.’ And then COVID hit and I was home for more than two weeks. So that was that. ”
Earrings and decorated wood boards became her specialty, and though she couldn’t sell them at the scheduled Maker’s Market last spring, Schnell says that this year’s market Maker’s Market was more successful than she had hoped.
“I got a couple custom orders,” she said. “The process is kind of cathartic, and I enjoy it, so I hope to continue.”
Pyrography, the technical term for wood burning is simple, she continued. She grabs her woodburning pen, complete with interchangeable metal tips, and free hands each of her projects. Earrings take 20 to 40 minutes, whereas her wood boards can take several
hours. Each board has a unique design, such as a lake scene or a board inscribed with a Bible verse.
“I loved seeing everybody’s hidden talents and creative outlets,” said Schnell in regard to many of her fellow vendors. “It’s so interesting to see that reflected in other students in different ways.”
Schnell noted that she particularly found delight in the fact that she got to showcase herself to people she usually does not interact with, making many new friends in the process. She advised SAB, however, to extend the timespan of the event to accommodate people who work at the same time or cannot attend at the given time.
The Oven Ranch
The preparation for “The Oven Ranch” almost became an all-nighter. Cupcakes popped into the oven at midnight, and sophomores Tracy Wilson and Maggie Hroncich were up at five am to ice flowers on all their cupcakes.
“We were in a rush to finish them, and it was stressful,” Wilson said. “I felt like I was on ‘Chopped.’’’
And yet, she still coins it as one of her most memorable college experiences. After working at a frozen yogurt shop last summer, she continued, she learned how to ice frozen yogurt cakes. Later on in the summer, Wilson made a birthday cake for her and her mom.
That was my first time using actual icing and it was just so much fun,” Wilson said. “I got so much experience from my work with the different icing tips you could use.”
When the Maker’s Market flyers went out, Wilson immediately invited her best friend and roommate, Hroncich, to create the hand-decorated cupcakes. The name, Wilson said, is the genius of Hroncich. “She said that growing up, she always had a dream to open a bakery and that was her dream name for that,” Wilson said.
Hroncich and Wilson said the sense of community among the vendors were what they most enjoyed about the Market.
“If you have some sort of talent that you can turn into something marketable, this is the place for you,” Wilson said. “I wouldn’t do it again from a profit standpoint, but it was really memorable, and it’ll be nice to look back on ‘the time I made 200 cupcakes at 2 a.m. the morning.’”
Quotes and Notes
If anyone walked into sophomore Rachel Warren’s room, they’d notice calligraphy posters scattered all over the walls. This year, though, Warren decided to share her knack for calligraphy with Hillsdale.
“For another person to have just a piece of paper with calligraphy doesn’t mean as much, so I decided to put it on cards,” Warren said. “It tied in that beautiful art aspect that I was trying to put into it but also the practical aspect that I wanted to share with people as well.”
“Quotes and Notes” featured watercolor calligraphy cards as well as jewelry holders, something Warren developed during quarantine. Her driveway and garage became her studio.
“I started by just buying a couple long wood boards,” Warren said. “I picked how long I wanted them to be, I sawed them that size, I stained them, and then I added the little hooks and screwed those in at the bottom. After they dried, I used sharpie and some paint to add some words to it.”
Because mostly women gravitate toward jewelry holders, Warren said she painted Bible verses that highlight a woman’s femininity.
The atmosphere, Warren said, was casual, inviting, and the perfect place for her first time as a vendor. She also said the relaxed environment and the students supporting each other was the deciding factor for her fun time at the Market. She encouraged potential future vendors not to worry.
“Whatever you enjoy making, someone will enjoy buying it,” she said.