relaine in the news

I was featured in the May 2015 Longfellow Nokomis Messenger.  I am a member of FlourishMN, a local group of talented Etsy sellers, and we helped to organize a spring craft show at the Nokomis Community Center in Minneapolis.


Flourish members help organize Nokomis Craft and Arts Fair
By Tesha M. Christensen

Have you added the first annual spring Nokomis Craft and Art Fair to your calendar yet?

“With 48 vendors, a huge variety of product, and terrific events for the kids, it’s going to be a fantastic event,” promised Kate Hepp of Whoville Creations.

“The range of products at the sale is huge,” she added.  “From dog coats to jewelry, to ceramics, children’s toys and clothing, to amazing art.  The show will truly have everything one needs for wedding gifts, graduation gifts, teacher gifts, home décor. . . The variety is fantastic and all so well made.

“I’m blown away by the vendors and their talent.”

The Saturday, May 2, 2015, event will be held at the Lake Nokomis Community Center from 9:30am to 4pm.  Admission is free.  Be one of the first 50 shoppers and enjoy vendor specials.

Kids’ activities include make-and-take Monarch Habitat Seed Packets, and an activity sponsored by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA).  There will also be a scavenger hunt with donated product from the vendors as prizes.

You are invited to create crochet coral to contribute to the Minneapolis Satellite Reef.  Part of the Worldwide Crochet Coral Reef project, the effort is being organized locally by the MIA.  Don’t know how to crochet?  Learn at the art fair.

Event benefits park programs

Hepp is one of the Flourish members who are helping to organize the show, which will benefit park programs.

She became involved at last year’s fall show.  She began talking to Nokomis Park Recreation Supervisor Maggie Mercil, who organized it, and one thing led to another.  “The center has so many wonderful activities for kids and the community in general, we thought: how great would it be to raise additional monies for these activities by throwing a spring show?  So we did,” said Hepp.

Flourish helping artists grow

Flourish is a group of diverse Minnesota crafters that was started just over a year ago by a few local artists who sell on Etsy.

“The group’s purpose is to join together to present our talents and grow as artists, so we each can flourish in our respective crafts,” explained Nokomis East artist Mary E. Pow.  “Our group is now over 30 local artisans strong!”

Rebecca Grothe of relaine has been a member of Flourish from the beginning.  Flourish is an amazing group of talented people, and every get-together—be it a casual meet-up at a coffee shop or a structured meeting with an agenda and education—leave me feeling so inspired and lucky to have met these other creative people!” said Grothe.

Add a fortune of your choice to a colorful fabric fortune cookie.

Local artist Megan Moore Smith added, “It is a great, supportive group of independent artists and I am excited to be showing my work alongside many of them.”

Shoppers make it exciting

Grothe participated in the Nokomis art show for the first time last fall.

“It’s hard to describe, but there is an energy to the shoppers at the Nokomis show that makes it really exciting to be a vendor,” observed Grothe.  “People are genuinely enthusiastic about the art and craft that is on display.  And even though I no longer live in Minneapolis, I still love Minneapolis and am thrilled to be part of a show that supports the community and the parks.”

“I’m a huge fan of supporting all things local and it’s especially exciting to have such a high-caliber show in my own neighborhood,” pointed out Pow.

Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook via the tag #urbancraftmn.

Meet some of the Flourish artists and crafters


Former Minneapolis resident Rebecca Grothe of Lauderdale runs her relaine business in her free time.

Her grandma, great aunt, and mom all sewed.  “I don’t remember ever actually learning to sew.  I just watched these women sew while I was growing up and somehow absorbed their knowledge,” said Grothe.

Oskar in one of his many dragon costumes.

“My mom made all of my Halloween costumes, so it just seemed natural that after my son was born I would make his costumes, despite not having created anything in years.”

After designing and constructing one bat costume, she was hooked.

“Sewing provided a calm in the midst of the busy years of parenting and working full-time,” said Grothe.  “No matter how crazy life seemed, I could always take raw materials and turn them into something beautiful and useful.”

Sewing also makes her feel connected to the talented women in her family.  In Grothe’s studio are her grandma’s sewing table and her great aunt’s vintage Singer (which she says still sews better than any other machine she has ever owned!).

Great Aunt Cleo's Singer 301A--the best sewing machine!

Grothe is inspired by beautiful fabric.  “I adore shopping for fabric.  Whenever my mom and I get together or travel we always find a fabric store nearby!” said Grothe.  “Our house is old and built before closets were invented, but the one real closet we do have is filled with fabric!  So whether this is an inspiration, or perhaps an addiction, I guess I’m not sure.”

She sells the World’s Greatest Wallets, Shopsacks, TuneTubes, card holders, zipper pulls, keychains, and customized fabric fortune cookies.  “The TuneTube is a long fabric tube with a Velcro wraparound.  Once you thread your earbud cords through the tube, they will never get tangled again!” promised Grothe.

She adds, “Most of my items are things that people will need to use every day, and I want to make them as functional and beautiful as possible.”

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My TuneTube is mentioned in this article on new technologies in electronic stethoscopes!

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