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Wednesday
Feb262014

sneak peek: renegade handcrafted CB2

Renegade Craft Fair co-founder Susie Daly and Ryan, CB2 General Merchandise Manager

This season, CB2 is excited to partner on an innovative capsule collection curated by Renegade Craft Fair and celebrating the original goods of six independent makers and crafters. Each unique item is designed in the USA and available exclusively at CB2 in a limited release.

We spent a few moments with Renegade founder Susie Daly and Ryan, General Merchandise Manager, to learn more about the craft organization, the collaboration and
the collection.

First, how did Renegade get its start?
Susie:
In 2003, I began making jewelry, and thought it would be fun to join a local event where I could sell my work in a fair setting. However, I didn’t find an event that I felt was a perfect fit—those events were geared much more towards established artists, rather than DIY crafters. So, in true entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to begin my own fair that was aimed at the contemporary craftspeople I knew were emerging at that time.

Our first event in Wicker Park, Chicago had 75 artists and about 6,000 attendees. Over 11 years later, we now host 11 events in 6 cities nationally and internationally, with over 250,000 in attendance. It’s been an unbelievable experience, and something I couldn’t have imagined when we first started out!

Ryan:
The funny thing is that CB2 shares Renegade’s entrepreneurial spirit—in 2000 we opened our first store in Chicago and, thanks in part to our affiliation with Crate and Barrel, today we’re 13 stores including Canada and Singapore.

It’s been fun for us to fuel that spirit and work with these independent artists—true craftspeople we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with—had it not been for their participation in Renegade.

The collaboration feels very natural—the collection as well.
Ryan:
CB2 may seem very different, but Renegade really is close to the core of who we are. Over the years we’ve worked hard to warm-up modern with handcrafted furniture and accessories, and this collection of handcrafted goods features really special, refined pieces. This mix also reflects how most of us live—starting with machined and handmade furniture and textiles, then layering on unique finds we’ve discovered in all sorts of places.

Susie:
For Renegade, the partnership exposes these artists to a brand new audience—it makes perfect sense given where we are and where we see ourselves going. And that’s a big part of being an entrepreneur—you’re always looking for the next opportunity to grow.

With over 2500 potential artists, how did you get to the 6 featured?
Susie:
Initially, artists’ submissions are reviewed by a jury before they can exhibit in any of the fairs—so that’s how we began this collaboration, by submitting a hand-selected group to Ryan and his team.

Ryan:
From there, we basically became another jury—internally we reviewed their work and thoughtfully chose a small group of artists whose aesthetics would be the best fit for CB2.

Dare we ask if you have a favorite piece?
Ryan:
The artists were all great to work with—and while we wish all of the artists we contacted initially had made it to the final selection, in the end we’re really excited about these limited edition pieces they were able to develop exclusively, unique from their current work.

So I really don’t want to show any favoritism… but the trophy… I just think it’s hilarious—and it’s gold!—a fun, whimsical piece that makes modern approachable… and what a great gift!?

Susie:
It’s difficult to choose just one out of the bunch! Overall, I think it’s really cool that the artists made specific, exclusive works for CB2 while remaining true to their tastes and talents. All of it is very colorful and whimsical, yet sophisticated—which is what we were going for.

CB2 had the honor of not only meeting RCF founder Susie Daly last January—she welcomed us into her home for a catalog shoot. To learn more about Susie Daly, one of our favorite influencers, go here.

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