DG Handmade Presents:  Serenity Candles

Donna Beitel started out making soy candles for family and friends.  In time, she learned that scents can invoke a wide variety of emotions.  Relaxed, inspired, comforted, centered, soothed, replenished – all ours for the taking, with the right scent in the air.  When Donna decided to start selling candles, she was rewarded with wonderful feedback from her customers, and soon expanded her little business to include tart melts, tea lights, and sachets.

She choose soy for my products for two reasons.  First, she lives in a farming community and wanted to support the American Farmer by using soy grown right here in the USA.  Second, she found the properties of soy too amazing to resist.  Soy burns longer, and much cleaner, than paraffin.  A 7 ounce candle burns for a total of 30 hours, a small tea lights burn for 4 hours, and each of the tart melts retains it’s scent for a full 5 days of use.  The secret to a totally soot free burn from the candles?  Trim that wick to 1/4 inch before each and every lighting.

Donna is retired, which has allowed her the time to develop what she believes is a truly superior product.  Once she got the science of candle making right she moved on to decorating the candle jars, and even decorating the wax itself – which gives her a whole new level of satisfaction.  Some designs are seasonal, but most are inviting for everyday use.  A little flower and a little light, set off to the side of a room, helps create a warm and inviting space.  The scent alone can change the mood from “yikes” to “whew”.

DG Handmade Presents:  LuLu Design


LuLu Design is a mother and daughter creative team, Nancy (Mom) and Sarah (Daughter) who brought together their knowledge of art and digital design.  Their prints are derived from original sketches of the things they find interesting in the world around us.  Nature is their muse, and many of their paintings reflect the intricate beauty of flowers, birds and animals.  They paint exclusively in a digital format (using a tablet), which gives them the ability to produce art in many forms of media.  Their style of painting comes from years of experience with watercolors and acrylics; however, an oil-based approach is never ruled out.  They are very particular about using natural reclaimed hardwood frames and barn wood to fit the nature theme and quality water color paper.  There are some unique vintage finds for frames as well.  They just have fun, experiment, enjoy our working relationship and try to bring a little whimsy to their prints and cards.

DG Handmade Presents:  Berkshire Collections

Berkshire Collections was created by Nancy Swantek, a seamstress and interior design professional with more than 30 years in the business.

Nancy launched the brand in 2013 with her signature design, a tote bag with a floral bloom created from hand selected fabrics and vintage antique buttons. Berkshire Collections has since expanded to offer handbags and clutches of all sizes, bridal accessories, makeup bags and pillows. Nancy thoughtfully designs and constructs every item by hand.

Berkshire Collections is known for its fine fabrics, from silks and wools to leathers both genuine and vegan. As an eco-friendly bonus, many fabrics are salvaged from interior decor work so they become something beautiful rather than heading to the landfill.

DG Handmade Presents:  Stone Jewlery

Cynthia Schouten always collected rocks from different parts of the country as she traveled on vacation or to visit family and friends.  She loved the shapes, and different colors; the veins of minerals or deposits that ran through the rock, making each one unique.  She would display these around her house.

When Cynthia had the opportunity to take a Lapidary class four years ago, she could not pass this up. She could use the rocks she had collected.  She would learn to cut, grind and sand the them to bring out a natural polished finish. It is really amazing to see what beauty can be brought out when the rock is brought to a smooth polished finish. And in working each rock to see what unique colors can be revealed. Making jewelry would allow Cynthia to use her learned skills.  She likes to work her pieces to highlight the characteristic of the particular stone versus conforming to a predetermined finished shape. This can be seen in some of the shapes of her pendants.

DG Handmade Presents:  Repurposful

Elizabeth Von Zee and Chrissie Palumbo have been a part of Repurposful for three years. As their items and products have evolved, their vision has not. Repurposful focuses on taking old items and giving them new life.  Their items range from mason jar products, wine and liquor bottle soy candles, home décor and painted furniture. But it doesn’t stop there, each and everyday they are creating items from pure visions.  Thinking closely at how the simplest, discarded item can be transformed into a work of art.

Repurposful can also help make your visions come true.  They offer services in custom painted furniture, custom home décor and items for weddings and baby showers. The possibilities are endless.  Looking for something unique, stop by Repurposful’s booth and let them help create your vision.

DG Handmade Presents:  C&C Card Factory

Meet Caroline and Christina.  Christina is a professional calligraphist and Caroline is Christina’s 13 year-old niece.  Caroline is also the watercolor artist behind their custom stationery and greeting cards.

In February 2016, Christina received a thank you note from Caroline for the gifts she gave Caroline for her 12th birthday.   As soon as she opened the envelope, Christina’s breath was taken away by majestic picture of a snowy mountainside. It truly was a work of art.  Christina decided that they should combine  her calligraphy with Caroline’s artwork and C&C Card Factory came to life!  Their cards are blank on the inside so you can truly enjoy the “art” of the handwritten note.

DG Handmade Presents:  Wired on Waverly (WOW)

Sandy Squillo, a 30-year resident of Waverly Avenue in the Chicagoland suburbs. has always been passionate about creating. Whether it be acting, painting, color consulting or turning old furniture into works of art, her creative streak has never let up and continues to evolve over time. 

Her children recently gifted her with a few rolls of wire to ‘experiment’ with, and after some trial and error, she quickly realized that manipulating wire to create unique jewelry designs allowed her imagination to soar. Free-form wire wrapping combining beads of various colors, textures, and materials lets Sandy create wearable art with a surprising twist.  The Wired on Waverly (WOW) designs include pendant necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. 

DG Handmade Presents:  The Bomb Bath Bombs

When they are not at school or extra-curricular activities, the busy tween sisters who run “The Bomb” Bath Bombs are usually debuting new scents, shapes and ingredients to keep their line of bath and body care products fresh and exciting.  The 10- and 12-year-old sisters and budding entrepreneurs channel their love of natural spa products into every handmade item they sell.  Their popular bath bombs are made with nourishing ingredients such as Epsom salts and essential oils to support soft, healthy skin.  They also create bubbly bliss with soaps like Goat Oat, which is made with goat’s milk and oatmeal.  The girls have even added skin-softening salt scrubs to their product line. Though the handmade spa products they create are good for the body, the girls say that more importantly, they’re good for the soul.  “I’m so busy with school, homework and activities,” explained Julia, the older sister.  “I know how important it is to take time for yourself—and a relaxing bath or invigorating shower can work wonders!”

DG Handmade Presents:  Studio Schmidt Designs

Shelley has always had a love for design, a passion for sewing, and an eye for color! After studying apparel design and merchandising at Dominican University in River Forest, IL, she spent several years working in the fashion industry as a designer and product developer. It was during that time that she also discovered her love for prints, patterns, and textile design!

In early 2016, Shelley launched her own company – Studio Schmidt Designs – so that she could focus on her artistic passions: textile design, illustration, and surface pattern design. Shelley loves creating playful patterns that have an upbeat energy, bright colors, and a contemporary style. She is a firm believer that everyone needs a healthy dose of fun and a pinch of quirkiness in their lives, and her patterned products are the perfect way to add a little bit of happiness and positive energy to your life!

In addition to designing all of the artwork for her fabrics and paper products, she also creates and sews the handmade items that she sells. Her current range of products includes stationery, greeting cards, bookmarks, patterned journals, art prints, fabric-covered magnets, recipe cards, gift tags, tote bags, kitchen tea towels, and organic cotton baby accessories. As a freelance designer, she is also available to create custom artwork, illustrations, and product designs for customers.

DG Handmade Presents:  Robin’s Craft Nest

Robin has always loved working with color. She started her career working for the Estee Lauder Company and stayed with them for almost 30 years! She held many positions as an Account Executive, to a regional trainer and then on to be a Regional Makeup Artist.

Robin started out a few years ago, making wreaths for herself and so many peopled loved them and wanted them. She decided to start making them and sell them at craft shows and her first one was so successful that she now is making wreaths all the time.

DG Handmade Presents: Season’s Beads

Creative by nature, Margret started seriously beading 10 years ago in preparation for retirement. Today, Season’s Beads reflects her desire to make unique and affordable jewelry for all ages and for all seasons, holidays, and celebrations. The focus is on highlighting trends in styles and colors from the “runway” to be wearable by all.

DG Handmade Presents:  Crafty Creations by AngleAh

When Crafty Creations by AngleAh was starting, Angela was experimenting with making things from buttons. One day she made possibly one of our favorite necklaces still to this day. She wore it to work and out with her girlfriends one night and so many people asked if they could buy one. She got the idea of starting to design more… and more… and more…. eventually she started making other things other than jewelry. Then things started flying out the door. Now the shop is filled with beautiful items from men’s accessories, like cuff links and tie pins, to wedding items, like boutonnieres and hair pins, to the thing that started it all, necklaces; all made from eco-friendly/reclaimed materials.

Angela continues gathering ideas from the world around us and from fellow crafters to come up with new ways all of the time to make “A Vintage Find into One of a Kind”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

DG Handmade Presents:  Don’s Sports Paintings

Don always wanted to paint and now that his children are in college he decided to try and dabble in it. He started with mainly abstracts and then went on to some sports teams (as he is a major Chicago sports team fan). His requests for some college mascots got him into the college world as well. He can customize his paintings and can do different size requests.

DG Handmade Presents:  Crystal Ship Vintage + Design

Crystal Ship Vintage + Design is a mixture of handmade and repurposed vintage jewelry. They use a variety of supplies including genuine gemstones and crystals, various metals and repurposed pieces. They are inspired by current trends and the different emotions and aspects of life. Beaded bracelet stacks and layering necklaces are their specialty. Along with pieces that inspire you to feel calm and beautiful. Their goal is to create pieces that bring love and positivity to you and help you find a little something special to brighten your world. Crystal Ship Vintage & Design is a little piece of owner/designer, Shannon, and her creative soul, straight from her heart.

DG Handmade Presents: 7 Paws Studio

7 Paws Studio is about creating unique, one-of-a-kind functional art furniture. That’s a mouthful, right? Yes, but there is no other way around it. Monika visits flea market/thrift store junkie, and loves finding something a bit ugly and unloved…. bringing it to the studio and transforming it into an amazing, beautiful special usable art piece. Each furniture piece is lovingly repaired and handpainted with one or more fine art pieces to make a very special finished piece.