Emerging Artists & Independent Designers of Handmade at Bust Craftacular

by Sammy in Comment — Updated November 25, 2019

Last weekend I visited the awe-inspiring, oh-so-awesome BUST Craftacular at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. My friend Liz and I roamed the double-floor event to meet and greet with emerging artists/independent designers & handmade crafters for some inspiration on how to pursue your dreams and make a living from your passions.

Check the video to see who we spoke to on camera — and the feel-good vibes from everyone we met!

Unfortunately, the land of limited camera time means we couldn’t include every single person we met in the finished product of the webisode … SO! I took the liberty to gather up tons o’ lovely business cards and check out sites for pretty pictures, motivational mantras and inspiring bios. I bought a few goodies from some of the creative peeps I met, too!

Haven’t finished [or started?] your holiday shopping yet? NO PROBLEM! Keep scrolling and you’ll have some pretty fab ideas on what to get all the loving people in your life … and maybe a thing or two for yourself [which is exactly what I did last weekend — woops!]

This post is also a huge thanks to everyone for not only participating in Sammy Davis Vintage on YouTube, but for doing what YOU do BEST and providing the world with the opportunity to buy your beautiful wares. I believe that life is about celebrating the creative pursuits of others … and so I type this post in homage to you, all BUST Craftacular artists, crafters & designers!

With DIY love!

xx, SD


I love the name’s connotation alone — “glamorous” — but this version is a spin off founder Mary’s name and the adjoining syllables that combine to make gla-MAR-ous. Pronounce “mar” like you’re saying Mary — super cute!

Gla.MAR.ous is everything you’d want in headwear accessories. Mary’s signature creation [it’s patent proof!] is an awesome zipper headband with detachable bows/flowers/whatever! adornments — and a sideline of one-of-a-kind clothing pieces and girly girl attire.

I picked up a silver sequin bow for holiday wear … I’ve already worn it twice this week alone! Scroll further to see Sammy rock sequins [not that it’s anything new]!

gla-mar-ous zipper head bows

gla-mar-ous zipper head bowshow to wear zipper headband by gla-mar-ous independent designerssammy davis vintage wearing gla-mar-ous bow head piece


Purevile is jewelry worth a double look … and then a triple … and maybe even a quadruple. Yup, it’s that serious, not to mention seriously awesome.What I love most about it: the irony of “pure” and “vile” in one word and as a descriptor to this one-of-kind (and one-of-a-FIND!) line.

The line encapsulates that tricky ground between “wow!” and “what the …?” Designer and founder Wren spent his childhood doing what most boys do: climbing trees and exploring the forest, picking up all the stuff he found along the way like bird eggs, bugs, bones and whatever pieces from the earth he’d stumble upon.

Those boyhood influences between gross and good are seen in his jewelry line today: Victorian-vintage-steampunk designs with a bit of gore and a bit of goo thrown in for good measure, like a necklace made from bones or a ring made from the head of a Chuckie head-esque doll.

While I used to have a “harder” side to me [it’s true! I listened to Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osbourne in high school!] I personally favor the Victorian cameo necklaces. But if you gave me a bone necklace, I’d absolutely still rock it ;-)

purevile jewelry steampunk and vintage victorian influences

New York Couture

I seriously have a girl crush on the founder and designer-visionary behind New York Couture, Cassie. We were attracted to Cassie [her picture — and rad style — is farther below] because well, you couldn’t miss her booth packed full of beautiful brights, bows, lace, leggings and yes! even sequins!

If you watch the vid from BUST, listen closely for what Cassie advises on following your dreams and turning your hobby into a living. “Blood, sweat, tears” is what she had to say … and rockin’ through the hard times is what’s made her the successful gal she is today, having her designs land on the likes of KATY PERRY!

retro design bow skirt by new york couture

I chose this picture because well, I bought the skirt at BUST! I rocked it out in an upcoming webisode of thrift wars. Tune in Wednesday, December 22nd to see how I styled it!

katy perry wearing new york couture panda dress

Katy Perry wearing a one-of-kind NY Couture piece.

picture of the designer new york couture

[left] Cassie — the designer and visionary behind New York Couture.

Designs by Alicia P

Alicia P has a heart of gold … and handcraft suede couture designs worth their weight in gold, too. We stopped to chat with Alicia for the webisode and to learn how she migrated from Chicago to New Jersey and then to NYC for a wild-crazy-journey of midwest to east coast girl turned independent designer. She started her career in jewelry making after graduating from Rutgers and moving to the Big Apple, where she worked for ANOTHER designer.

Then … she QUIT! Designs by Alicia P was getting so much hype that she decided to take that leap of faith and trust that her passions would take care of her mind, body and creative soul. And yes, I’m happy to share they are doing just that and so much for this truly remarkable artist.

handmade seude necklace by alicia p designs

Overdue Industries

We didn’t get a chance to stop and film the founders of Overdue Industries, which repurposes old, vintage/kitschy/slightly-ironic books into agendas, notepads and other writing pads/tools galore. I wish we had chatted ’em up on the camera because when I went to do some independent shopping of my own, I discovered a VAT of vintage Nancy Drew books turned notepads!

The books aren’t just Nancy Drew book COVERS, but the pages of the novel skipped every other with a blank page for writing. Genius. Ab-so-lutely genius. It’s a great way to be vintage, sustainable, and ORGANIZED!

overdue industries recycled books company banner

overdue industries recycled winnie the pooh book

A classic Winnie-the-Pooh book turned into an agenda. Childhood memories ROCK!


I stumbled onto Absolute Blackout because I noticed how AMAZING the designs of their T-shirts were … and then I saw this lovely darling of a leg purse, pictured below, and knew that I was hooked on this trio-designer-brand from the Lower Hudson Valley of New York.

You know fannie packs? Pretty ironically cool. But leg packs?! Pretty sickeningly AWESOME! I wanted to grab one for myself, but I decided to append this little lady on my holiday wish list for someone else to buy me.

Absolute Blackout isn’t just leg packs though … they’re a trifecta of artists who share their illustrations with you on all sorts of apparel, like T-shirts and bandannas. I met one of the designers at the booth, pictured below, and had an awesomely good chat with her and her mom about vintage fashion. Shout out to you Miss Maddy Black!

leg purse by absolute blackout designers

An Absolute Blackout “leg purse” on a mannequin. It’s like a fannie pack minus the awkward, embarrassing fact that you’re wearing something around your tush.

maddy black absolute blackout artist

Designer and one-part-Absolute-Awesome-trifecta, Maddy Black. Can you guess that her last name may be a bit of inspiration for the line?

Made with Awesome

Could this name get anymore … awesome?

I struck up conversation with one of the co-founders of Made with Awesome, and well, it was awesome. Then, upon visiting the web site to search for further information on how this tag team got their start … I not only learned that they were based in PHILADELPHIA! [Sammy D went to college in Philadelphia] but that they met at a Ben Folds concert. Woah serendipity.

I copied and pasted this from their site [without their permission .. sorry guys] because I thought it shed some serious light on what this brand is all about:

A great man once said, creating art is as simple as three steps: Stop, Collaborate & Listen. Okay, maybe not so-much “great man” as “Indefinite Reality Show Star”, but we especially like the middle of that “cool as ice” motto. Everything at Made With Awesome is done in a collaborative fashion, proving that it takes two (or more) to make a thing go right. Working with artists all over the globe, the variety of illustration styles are meant to each be unique to the concept but still live under the umbrella of awesome.

made with awesome nerd theory t shirt

A Made with Awesome signature Tee — developed and designed with awesome.made with awesome t shirt company logo

Tigercandy Arts

Sock puppets. You thought they died with the death of Avenue Q from Broadway, right? WRONG!

Hand puppets rock, and so do the founders of Tigercandy Arts, who both went to school for music therapy, met, and developed Tigercandy Arts as an avenue for anyone — kids, teenagers adults, grannies, grandpas, dogs, cats, fish, whomever!! — to find an outlet of fun and release of tension through the comics that are sock puppets.

Don’t believe me when I say that sock puppets are a funny good time? Check out their YouTube channel for evidence. Need I say more?

tigercandy arts sock puppet

Love this sock puppet dragon dude! I want one to hang on my wall!

tigercandy arts animal headwear

Tigercandy Arts also makes animal headgear … like this furry little guy on top of this cutesy little guy!

Queens Metal

After filming wrapped up, I was on a mission … to find “silver hoops” for my mom. That’s what she requested for her holiday gift, and that’s what I was set out to find her. BUT, the BUST Craftacular was so full of amazing jewelry designs … but nothing as simple as “silver hoops.” That is, until I stumbled upon Queens Metal and discovered … drum roll please! … the silver hoops that I was searching for!!!

Scroll on down for a picture of aforementioned hoops, plus another one of my favorite gems from the Queens Metal line … a sparrow pendant necklace. I’m all about Twitter, and so having a “sparrow” on my necklace is sort of the same thing as a Twitter necklace, right?

handmade silver hoop earrings by queens jewelry independent designers

The hoops I bought my mom! Hope she likes ’em …

handmade sparrow pendant necklace by queens jewelry independent designers

Tweet, tweet! Sparrow/Twitter necklace!

Liz Castelli

True, jewelry designers run a dime a dozen. There are a TON of them out there trying to make their designs the “must have” of the season and as ubiquitous with accessories as Tiffany’s.

With that said, I think Liz stands apart from the pack of pretty little things you can always buy. Her things … are the prettiest. According to her site, she “designs, solders, tools and polishes out of her studio in Harlem.” Which is awesome because a.) I live in Harlem so my heart is absolutely invested in her line thanks to our neighborly-connection and b.) every single step of the jewelry making process exists in her HOME. Talk about jewelry where the heart is!

I love hearing how New Yorkers have made their passions work. And Liz, who is not a full time jewelry designer but hopes to be and certainly will become with due time, is definitely making her passions work for her lifestyle and work well into the fashion lifestyle of the admirers she attracts.

Emerging Artists & Independent Designers of Handmade at Bust Craftacular 2

Aria by Allison

Brides-to-be or girlie-girls-always, definitely check out Aria by Allison for the prettiest in hair pieces and decorative darlings for your locks.

The designer takes vintage pieces to make wedding veils and “cages,” which cover your entire head like a bird cage and definitely have you looking prettier than the sweetest hummingbird.

The handmade pieces swing more for the sophisticated, and I can definitely see Aria by Allison provoking a revival in four-season headpieces, great for special occasions, church and wherever you find yourself caught in a formal situation with a need for some formal hair flair, too.

aria by allison vintage wedding headpiece

New York Handmade

We stopped and chatted with New York Handmade after admiring the true vintage appeal of their handmade holiday/occasion/greeting cards.

And when I say “true” I mean TRUE! Some cards were made from photographs of one of the co-founder’s great aunt … and still others [like this example below] were designed and inspired by vintage photograph finds. In the age of digital documentation of every.single.photo, it’s refreshing to know that thanks to photo diggers like New York Handmade, we can still cherish the memories of ink, paper and a physical, touchable image.

new york handmade vintage notecard

Remedy Magazine

I’m a print magazine lover through and through. So when I encountered the DIY-ziners of Remedy Magazine, I had to give ’em a second look. The quarterly zine is all about feel-good recipes of food and feel-good stories of making, eating, being, living and breathing said food. The zine takes submissions so definitely check out their site for more information on how you can get involved or buy yourself some good ole’ fashion printed food love.

I love their mission statement, because it truly represents what the creative arts is all about. You go Remedy Magazine!

RQ is an independently published magazine of food stories with recipes at the heart. We love that food is a common language and drew inspiration from community cookbooks. While some of the recipes in Remedy are delicious, we’ve also got some that make better (and funnier!) memories than meals. Remedy owes its existence to its community of supporters who kickstarted it, and we make it out of passion, not as a day job or get rich and sell out scheme. With no ads, every dollar spent on issues and merchandise goes right back into producing the next issue.

picture of remedy quarterly cooking and essay magazine

Remedy Magazine in its full-print-mag-binded GLORY!

remedy quarterly magazine at bust craftacular

The Remedy Magazine booth at BUST Craftacular.

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