Meet Rebecca Joy. She grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut and moved to Fredonia five years ago after marrying village native Andy Joy. The couple met at college and both work for J.M. Joy Farms, which produces brown eggs, chicken, pork, goat meat and live goats for 4-H projects. They also farm grapes, field corn, grains, and vegetables. She has an associate degree in dairy cattle production and management and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business.
Joy works as a program facilitator for the Girl Scouts of Western New York and a grape inspector for Welch’s. Her days and nights are pretty busy: she is also a certified kids’ yoga instructor and an active volunteer and board member of the nonprofit Fredonia Farmers’ Market.
Rebecca Joy’s vibrant, one-of-a-kind handmade flag pennants will be displayed prominently throughout the Williams Center and the Science Center during the Fredonia Mini Maker Faire on the campus of The State University of New York at Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 22, to help you find your way around the free circus of creativity.
As a child, Joy was very active in her local 4-H and that is where she honed her skills as a seamstress and Maker. She first picked up a needle and thread at 7 years old.
“My first project was an elastic-waist skirt,” she recalls. “It had seashells on it.”
The 4-H projects got more challenging every year.
“I have to thank my mom, both grandmothers and a few 4-H leaders who helped me better my skills,” she says.
Joy, pictured with her daughter, Myra Rose, is also on the board of the nonprofit Fredonia Farmers’ Market and occasionally hosts kids’ yoga sessions there on a volunteer basis.
Drake often accompanies his mother and sister to the Fredonia Farmers’ Market.
Her children – Drake and Myra Rose – are her main source of inspiration, followed by the fabrics and supplies she has on hand.
“If I see something online or in a magazine that I like, I usually modify the item into something that I love,” she says. “I rarely use a pattern, but if I do I make the pattern myself 95% of the time. If someone tells me what they are thinking of for the final product, I usually can visualize it and make it happen.”
Joy does some custom-order projects and tailoring by request on the side.
“I’m constantly hemming pants, fixing zippers on jackets and completing orders,” she says. “I’ve patched holes in shirts and I have even fixed a patio umbrella.”
She dabbles in many crafty areas – knitting, crocheting and repurposing among them. Right now she is attempting to quilt two blankets but is finding that quilting isn’t her favorite genre.
The path to learning a new skill and starting challenging products isn’t always easy, and Joy’s advice for burgeoning makers is to keep trying.
“It can be hard,” says Joy. “I cried sometimes when I was younger working on my 4-H projects, but in the end I loved what I had made. I still have times where I want to give up on an order. Instead I put it down for a couple days and then return to it. Sometimes you just need to walk a way to get a fresh perspective. I return to the project after a couple days and – voila – it’s a cinch to finish.”
One of Joy’s most popular sewn items are her one-of-a-kind patchwork-style skirts. She occasionally vends at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market and takes custom orders.
As her talents and interests have evolved, Joy has found that her creative habits and thriftiness have served to enhance her family and professional life.
“I have become more resourceful,” says Joy. “Right now I am reusing scraps of fabric that I didn’t know what to do with to turn into a rug.”
Joy just attended the Pittsburgh Maker Faire held the weekend of Oct. 15 and says it was a “great experience.”
“I feel that some of the Makers’ crafts are a dying art,” she says. “So educating others and possibly getting them to spark an interest in a new craft is awesome and beneficial to so many.”
Joy is pleased her pennants will be featured throughout the faire although she is unable to participate as a featured Maker due to work commitments – it is grape harvesting season, after all. But she is hoping to stop by to check it out depending on her schedule.
“Duty calls,” laughs Joy. “Grape season is my busiest time but at the very least I’ll be at the Maker Faire in spirit.”
Admirers of Joy’s work are welcome to direct custom design and tailoring inquiries to email@example.com.
Joy and Myra Rose at a recent meeting of the board of directors of the Fredonia Farmers’ Market.
Meet Carrie Rinehart. The Forestville resident is the director of fund development and communication for CASA of Chautauqua, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children in foster care. But Rinehart is also the proprietor of Rusterior Design, a successful screen-printing apparel and décor shop. She grew up in a family of Makers and was always surrounded by creativity.
“I was always singing and dancing and doodling as a child,” recalls Rinehart. “But I never considered myself an artist because I couldn’t draw or paint.”
She never had any sort of official, professional training but she dabbled in a lot of creative pursuits in her youth – sewing, photography and printing. But it wasn’t until she was an adult that she considered herself an artist.
“I started sewing scarves and accessories as gifts,” says Rinehart, and her friends and family “went nuts.” So she listed some for sale on Etsy.com and sales were promising.
“Then one day I sewed a silhouette of a buffalo on a tank top and began vending at farmers’ markets and my business really took off from there,” she says of one of Rusterior Designs’ most popular products. Other hot Rusterior Design items include T-shirts and onesies for kids that say “Wild Roamer” in the outline of a buffalo, and a sweater that says “Stay Cool Buffalo.” Besides adult and children’s apparel, the company also offers shopping totes, coasters and décor.
The resurgence of pride in and love for Buffalo was on Rinehart’s side as Western New York is seeing an uptick in homebuyers and population. People are prouder than ever of their Buffalo connections and are eager to don apparel proclaiming their hometown affection.
So Rinehart, who has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from The State University of New York at Fredonia, began focusing on building her brand.
“So I took a very down-and-dirty screen-printing basics class in Buffalo and I fell in love with screen-printing,” says Rinehart, who has been screen-printing for about three years and is more enamored with it every day. “I love how simple-yet-complex it is and how you have the ability to create something so detailed and unique since every print will always have a slight variation.”
Rinehart built her simple screen-printing set-up out of an old door.
“I didn’t want to invest a whole lot of money and I still use that same press today,” she says. “Sure, now I can afford a fancy press, but I love my rustic press.”
Rinehart’s creativity extends to all aspects of her life. Less than a year ago she and her wife founded a small hobby farm at their residence called Off the Rine. She purchased and is in the process of renovating a 1973 Air Stream Ambassador named “Carole” to become a mobile retail/farm store which they plan to open in Spring 2017.
Rinehart is happily married to the love of her life. “Amber is my anchor every day,” says Rinehart. “I really couldn’t do what I do without her.”
Amber teaches film and communications at Erie County Community College. She has a master’s degree in documentary film-making. The couple also recently adopted three children from foster care and couldn’t be happier.
“Our kids are my inspiration to be better every single day,” Rinehart says. “I hope they will look back and see me as a hardworking role model and hopefully one of them takes over the family business.”
Carrie Rinehart, far right, with her wife Amber Rinehart, left, and their three adorable children live at Off the Rine, a farm in Forestville.
Rinehart is excited to be a featured Maker at the first Fredonia Mini Maker Faire and hopes it becomes an annual event. Attendees can meet Rinehart at the Fredonia Mini Maker Faire on Oct. 22, admire her screen-printing process and even try their hand at it. She made a special #makersgonnamake print especially for the faire. Those interested are encouraged to bring a T-shirt, tote or other item they’d like to screen-print.
“I have high hopes for the Maker Movement in Chautauqua,” says Rinehart. “The encouragement to be creative, to get your hands dirty and produce something yourself is so important in this day and age. Imagination is a beautiful thing and it’s great to make something yourself, hold it in your hands, show it off and say ‘I made it.’ ”
Our small team of organizers and producers is working feverishly to prepare for the first Fredonia Mini Maker Faire on the campus of The State University of New York at Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.
We want to take a moment to share with you some images of the buildings on campus where the bulk of Maker Faire activities, displays and demonstrations will take place.
The event is happening in two spaces – the new, state-of-the-art, award-winning Science Center as well as the Williams Center – with a bevy of food trucks parked in between the two buildings. Additionally, we will have Makers, displays, demonstrations and performers scattered between the buildings and on the lawns and common areas around the heart of the beautiful campus.
The new Science Center is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The TeaRex Cafe is a popular spot to pause for a bubble tea and other refreshments.
The Williams Center will host a variety of Makers and make-and-take activities as well. There is a Tim Hortons in the building where attendees can purchase food and drinks.
In addition to the food trucks onsite, there is also a newly refurbished Starbucks at Cranston Hall.
There is ample free parking on campus on Ring Road and in various lots scattered across campus.
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We appreciate your patience as we prepare for the Oct. 22 main event!
Check out the new Science Center on the campus of Fredonia, the State University of New York, on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at a Fredonia Mini Maker Faire social gathering and Maker Meetup from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
FREDONIA – Learn more about the upcoming Fredonia Mini Maker Faire at a Maker Meetup social hour Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the atrium of the new Science Center on the campus of Fredonia, the State University of New York. There is ample nearby parking and a few entrances to access the facility.
Join a community of creative people organizing the first Maker Faire in the region and find out where you can fit in. Makers (STEM enthusiasts, artists, inventors, creators, tinkerers, performers and beyond) are invited to bring examples of their creations and projects. The public is invited to learn more about the Maker Movement in anticipation of the free, family-friendly main event slated Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Fredonia State campus.
The Fredonia Mini Maker Faire is a collaborative effort of Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, Fredonia, and MAKE magazine with the support of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, Lumsden & McCormick LLP of Buffalo and other generous sponsors.
Described as a “circus of creativity” and “the world’s greatest show-and-tell,” there has never been anything quite like a Maker Faire in Chautauqua County.
Deadline for applying to be a featured Maker is Aug. 22. E-mail email@example.com for more information.
Come one, come all to join our Circus of Creativity ahead of the inaugural Fredonia Mini Maker Faire in October. Our community of Makers in Chautauqua County is growing by the day and we want you to be part of the Maker Movement in Western New York.
Join us for an informative social gathering on Tuesday, July 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES LoGuidice Educational Center, 9520 Fredonia-Stockton Road, Fredonia.
The Maker Meetups are free and no-obligation. We will have an APPLICATION STATION set up for those who haven’t applied or are having trouble applying to our CALL FOR MAKERS on this website.
Our last Maker Meetup was a few weeks ago in June and we had a blast piloting Maker Jess Ellen Boice’s abstract watercolor cards. Some other makers showed off their metalwork, their sewn creations and even played a video game designed by an elementary-school-aged Maker.
It is our hope that aspiring Makers will find our gatherings inspirational and discover within themselves the potential to pursue their passions with the encouragement of established Makers.
What do you like to do? What do you want to make? Who do you want to be? The Fredonia Mini Maker Faire can help you find a way to make it happen!