Welcome to Black Angel Designs! I thought I'd give this blogging thing a whirl even though I've never really thought of myself as a writer. I also never really thought of myself as an artist or crafter either, but here we are!
A little about me, I'm Cortney, a wife and mother of 3 in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. I work as the Director of Marketing for a distributor of coin-operated amusement, gaming and vending machines in the suburbs, and have 16 years in sales and marketing experience. My husband, Graig, and I own Black Angel Saucery, a distributor for small batch, gourmet hot sauce company (and friend), Voodoo Chile Sauces.
I started making wood panel signs to sell in February 2016. I had purchased a wood block sign for my hubby that said Bacon Makes Everything Better. Our hot sauce line features a trio of bacon flavored hot sauces, and I thought it would be a cute addition to our display. After looking at it on the shelf for a few days, I thought, hey if I bought that maybe other people would too. As I am contemplating whether or not to order some for our next fest, I flashback a few years to when Pintrest first became popular and thousands of people believed they too could furnish their houses in nothing but pallet furniture.
I had pinned directions for a process that allows you to transfer printed images to wood. I bought all the necessary supplies and tried it... once. I used my favorite wedding photo and transferred it to a wood plaque. It turned out ok, and it has been on my desk at work all this time. I also tried a couple other crafts from Pintrest... once. My second child arrived, life got busy and all the supplies went into a box in the kids' closet.
Fortunately, all those left over supplies would come in handy as I started experimenting with newly created designs focusing on bacon and food. It took a few tries, but I made a batch of a few different signs that tied into our Black Angel Saucery booth. The signs debuted at the February Randolph Street Market. We even sold a few! It piqued my interest enough to continue to make new designs and try out some different types of wood plaques and panels.
It's 7 months later, and the designs and displays are much different. Much of the signs focus on Chicago sports, history and landmarks. The only original sign that is still a part of normal inventory is "I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry." Apparently there are quite a few people in this city who get #hangry.
As we head into fall and Christmas seasons, I imagine inventory will shift again to incorporate more seasonal items for craft fairs and gift giving. All previous designs will continue to be available for special orders, just not listed separately.
So there you have it, the humble beginnings of Black Angel Designs. As we move forward, I hope to use the blog to share the interesting stories and history of Chicago that are behind the designs we sell. The research is half the fun of this adventure and I hope you enjoy taking the ride with us!