Featured Vendor: Booth #393, “Sign This”

My name is Tami Barber. I am the mother of 7 wonderful kids ranging from 32 down to 9, and three gorgeous grandsons. Needless to say I’ve never had a brand new piece of furniture. I’ve always had to find ways to repurpose what we have or make-over thrift store finds. I suppose I’ve always been into crafting in one form or another, whether for a school project or for my home  I am one of four girls and my father was always in his garage building something, probably to escape. His interests varied but he worked a lot of the time on building things for our home. When he passed away a couple of years ago, I inherited his tools. I began building things from wood. I was never allowed to touch those tools when I was a kid unless I was handing them to him, so there are times when I’m working in the garage with “his” tools and I think to myself, “Ha, ha, Dad, I’m touching your tools.”    

A strong sense of humor is what it takes to raise this batch of children of mine, so I made signs for our walls that reflected our daily life. Those signs started to take over my house and garage so I found an outlet for them here in Ashland at the Artisan Emporium.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I love making them. My husband works right along with me in our garage to build the great finds we put here in our booth. We’ve had a blast creating new pieces of furniture and wall décor and found that we work pretty well together, even though he’s a little bossy! We find most of our materials from construction job sites, or a neighbor tearing down their fence, even an occasional garage sale. I’m still learning most of the tools in my garage, so once I’ve mastered a tool, I like to move on to learning something new. I don’t repeat myself very often when creating a sign or piece of wall art, but if it’s popular I might bring it back or personalize an item or two.

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday season and maybe I’ll see you shopping in Ashland!

Ashland Artisan Emporium
1670 Ashland St.
Ashland, OR.
(541) 708-0577

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Ashland Artisan Emporium

The Ashland Artisan Emporium is owned by Michelle Christian, wife and mother of 3 daughters. Her husband, Travis, is the business manager for Adroit Construction in Ashland, Oregon. The Emporium was the vision of Michael Rydbom, Michelle's father. In April of 2010, Michael asked his daughter if she would be willing to help transform the old DJ's Video space into a crafter's marketplace. Michelle had always admired her dad's entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to make him proud, so even though she already had two kids, a real estate career and one more daughter on the way, she said yes. On November 1, 2010, the store opened it's doors to a welcome reception from the community. They were voted Best New Business of 2010 only months later by the Ashland Sneak Preview. Within weeks of opening, the store was at capacity and had quickly become the "go-to" store for all things unique and affordable.

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