Thursday, February 28, 2008

There’s a New Boss in Town: The Oceanside Craft Mafia

The Oceanside chapter of the Craft Mafia is proud to announce that they are rip, roarin' and ready to go. A culmination of jewelers, paper crafters and stitchers, the members of the Oceanside Craft Mafia (OCM) are official after establishing their group last month. The group embraces the morals and creative achievements of the members of the Austin Craft Mafia who began the now national crafters organization.

In addition to offering moral support to one another, the OCM works together to creatively market their individual companies and products. By pooling resources they are able to help one another become more successful in an inundated indie craft market. It's as much about being a family as it is building business. They rely on one another to inspire, assist and care for one another, and always adhering to strict personal and business ethics.

The real glue that brings this group together is the hope to personalize the consumer market. We literally have the world’s market to shop from thanks to the World Wide Web. But so many of our options are impersonal and mass produced. The OCM supports hand-made and artisan products and believes strongly that they are better made and life enriching.

The OCM hopes to grow in the future, but as of now you'll find 5 members:

Alicia Hanson, Co-founder of the OCM and owner of Hi Octane Jewelry, creates an original line of revv'd up hot rod jewelry with her husband Brad Johnson. They are hot rod enthusiasts and metal smiths that love the Southern California Lifestyle.

Leah Mirbaba, fellow co-founder of the OCM and owner of Peez and Ques, creates a unique line of handmade cards using old magazines, mailers, junk mail, and even old greeting cards. Her Cards let you feel good about giving them to others because being 100% recycled you are also giving back to mother earth.

Member Christine Cardenas, owner of Cotton Candy Paperworks, creates a handmade line of one of a kind items such as cards the shape of 3-d boxes, school days scrap books and cool name and birthday banners.

Meagan Smithyman, owner of Bitey Beanie, creates an original line of fuzzy head munching monster beanies. They come in different colors and are uniquely well adapt at chomping on the heads of unsuspecting people.

And the newest member of the OCM, Jenni Brett, owns Sailor Jenny jewelry. Traveling the world in the Navy, Jenni has collected treasure and trinkets along the way and creates one of a kind jewelry.

In their first year together you'll find the OCM donating their products and time to local charities, fundraisers and events. They also strive to support other local indie businesses; crafters, artists, designers and musicians. Whether you live in Oceanside or anywhere on the coast of Southern California keep your eyes and ears open for the Oceanside Craft Mafia. And remember to support hand-made and support your local economy; it’s good for your town and it’s good for mother earth. Visit to learn more.