A glimpse into the makers behind this year's CraftHER Market

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Photo Credit: Hannah Simon | Daily Texan Staff

In a world where a woman makes 80.5 cents for every dollar a man makes, #bossbabesATX is providing a platform to sustain visibility for female creatives in Austin. 

CraftHER Market is a biannual pop-up space produced by #bossbabesATX, an event production agency and nonprofit collective, to curate the work of artists and makers who identify as female from all over the state of Texas. The event creates a space for women in the arts and other creative industries to unite and empower one another. 

This year’s CraftHER Market will be held April 15 at Fair Market on East Fifth Street, and work from over 100 different makers will be showcased. Many of the artists involved are excited for the opportunity this event provides for female entrepreneurs. 

Austinite and visual artist Codie Kyle is among the artists who will be featured at the market. Kyle, the artist behind CK Goods, said her artwork is almost always inspired by her travels around the world.

“I have a restless heart and find it hard to stay in one place for too long,” Kyle said. “My most recent body of work is a direct result of inspiration gained backpacking through Indonesia and living in a camper van in New Zealand this past year.” 

Kyle produces carefully curated acrylic paintings, handmade tassels, key chains and enamel pins based on images from some of her favorite paintings, all of which she will be showcasing at CraftHER Market.

CraftHER Market will consist of many firsts for creatives new to the business world. Yvonne Mendoza, born and raised in Houston, has never participated in a pop-up outside of her hometown. Mendoza created Tierra de los Artesanos, an artisan-based store that presents works from different Mexican artists.

“As a child, my parents would pack the car and take us to visit family in Mexico, (so) the love really started young,” Mendoza said. “Mexico is filled with love, tradition, beauty and hustle, and Tierra is a representation of all of this.”

Mendoza said she wanted to showcase what is working and thriving in Mexico and combine fair trade, fair wages and sustainable practices for the artisans they work with. 

UT students make up some of the entrepreneurs involved as well. One of them, Nyesha Lashay, is a full-time graduate student and teaching assistant who moved to Austin from Wisconsin to attend a graduate program in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. Outside of being a full-time graduate student and teaching assistant, Lashay manages her skin care line, Natural Mystic, which launched in
March 2017.

“My work is inspired by people who invest in themselves and their vision broadly, but I’m particularly inspired by women who do creative work, become independent entrepreneurs and remain true to themselves in the process,” Lashay said. “I applied to be a vendor at the CraftHER market because I thought it’d be the perfect space for me to introduce myself and Natural Mystic to Austin’s community of  women-identified creatives and entrepreneurs.”

Hallie Shafer, the maker behind SHE Ceramics, said she agreed with Lashay’s perspective.

Shafer said she respects the community #bossbabesATX is cultivating in the world of women makers by providing a space for artists such as Shafer and other female business owners to gather and showcase their work. 

“I am all about female empowerment, and #bossbabesATX and CraftHER have that down,” Shafer said. “Great things happen when women lift each other up, and CraftHER embodies that spirit.”