Meet Abbey, the Maker behind The Irwin Bazaar
As a self-described chronic creative of the worst sort, Abbey says she is inspired almost daily. Nothing keeps her from trying something new. Her husband plays a role in editing and design within the Bazaar as well.
Read her story below
What inspired you to start your creative enterprise?
Like a lot of us making our way in the makery world today, I can’t remember not making things. Ah, a first love. When it comes to business, I first started for fun, again like a lot of folks who try new skills and end up with a lot of stuff. That was about 12 years ago. I did a couple craft shows before being whisked back to my second love: academia. The venture was paused by graduate school. A year into that, my unstable coffee job led me to figure it would be less stressful to re-open my metaphorical shop.
"Coffee Cup Café: It’s still my #1 place. I don’t care how many times I’ve had to pay $3 to get cash at their ATM - I’ll do it every damn time. Sal’s Enchilada Eggs are so legit, I’ll make myself sick eating them because I can’t stop."
On a typical week, how many hours do you spend working on your creative enterprise?
Creativity and craft take time, and a lot of work behind the scenes. For example, participating in art/craft shows - it’s often a 12-hour minimum work day for an artist that includes hard physical labor and salesmanship.
What holds more value for you: creativity or knowledge?
You can’t make progress as a creative without learning. These go hand in hand. You grow in all ways with knowledge. That knowledge can and does come from everywhere. I didn’t go to art school. My degrees are in religion and philosophy. Do I wish I had - yes. Would I go back and do it differently? No. I think formal training can help propel one’s creative work, but it’s not necessary to be creative. Humans are inherently creative, and that manifests in different ways. Realizing your creativity, identifying that voice and hearing it out - that is what is important.
"...we can’t hide what we truly believe and who we really are. Our deep ideas always come out in one way or another."
If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go?
I want to visit uninhabitable places, like Jupiter where it rains rocks into a metallic hydrogen ocean. Or the vents on the ocean floor that are thousands of degrees. Or the surface of Venus to see the storms. I’ve always been taken with the sheer power of natural things. I’m from the Midwest where I once saw straw embedded in telephone poles from being driven in by tornadic winds. The forces are such beyond our experience that they are bizarre and seem “unnatural” but natural is exactly what they are. That’s what I would visit - whole other worlds that are still our worlds.