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Hey Maker! Squiggly Mirrors, Fake Cakes, and So Much More

Black and white image of Ashley with text that say Meet Ashley Zabarte

In the vibrant city of Las Vegas, Ashley Zabarte, an artist in her own right, has carved out a unique space where creativity and entrepreneurial spirits flourish. As the founder of Hey Maker Co, Zabarte has pioneered a quasi-incubator program that serves as a catalyst for artists aspiring to elevate their craft. With a nurturing approach tailored to individual goals, she provides invaluable guidance on navigating the complexities of e-commerce, social media management, and retail partnerships.


Beyond her roles as a mentor and artist, Zabarte has made significant strides in fostering a community through the organization of markets where artists and craftspeople showcase their work. Her journey from an artist navigating the business side of creativity, to becoming the owner of Hey Maker in Downtown Las Vegas, and the driving force behind the Maker’s Market, is a testament to her dedication and passion. 


Zabarte's work extends beyond commerce; it's a celebration of the earth, a support system for fellow makers, and a keen eye for the beauty in the unexpected. 

Our Founder, Jenn Hart, chats with Zabarte to learn about her criteria for identifying a potential artwork, where the most inspiring place is that she’s ever been


 

INTERVIEW

 

I love that your art is created from previously discarded items. Can you tell us what criteria you use to identify potential artwork from the rest of the items around it?

My criteria for choosing items to use as armatures is always what I imagine I can make from them. If it's new and exciting to me, I choose that piece. Every shape I make is an expression and challenge to myself—how can I make something that people haven't seen before? Or how can I use materials together? I have a nice little trash collection going and love to use different pieces to create one form!


As a person who loves to travel and explore her own city, I would always like to ask this question. Where is the most inspiring place you have ever been and how does it inspire you? It could be a place you've traveled to or a corner in your own home, totally up to you.

Gosh, that's such a hard one! I love kayaking at Lake Mead and always see a plant or bird that inspires a form. Plus, water totally reinvigorates me. I saw an exhibit of a large body of Wayne Theibaud's work in San Francisco a while back and having studied his work so much in the past; it really took my breath away. He constantly reworked his paintings - the layers of color that make them up and the fact that he sees a new way of perfecting his art is so inspiring to me.


Do you have any mentors in your life who have made an impact on the trajectory of your career? Can you tell us who and how they changed your art or business?

Can I say myself? I have taken myself on this journey and have done the inner work with my therapist to get my diagnosis as a neurodivergent artist. Embracing that has been the single most impactful thing I have done. I have created this business and found an art form that allows me to be who I am without trying to fit into a neurotypical box. There have most definitely been people along the way, but overall in the words of great Snoop Dogg, "I want to thank me for believing in me. I want to thank me for doing all this hard work."




Hey Maker is so special. Both the art you create and the space you have built for others to share their work in. What is on your wishlist for something to add to the space or bring in to benefit customers or the artists showing there?

As of right now, with the new expansion, I am fulfilling all my wishes! My biggest dream was to host unique art workshops and to really just have fun creating inside Hey Maker! We are making lamps, squiggly mirrors, fake cakes, screen printing, and so much more! I can't wait to bring in ceramics and other fun classes to our space! We have recently let go of our Featured Maker program and are focusing on buying outright from local makers as well as hosting them at our monthly markets. That was a big one for me. I began to become a person who was constantly being taken from, and letting go of that program has given me way more control and brought the FUN back.


You mentioned being a mom when we talked about the episode. Kids have such pure energy and joy inside them, and most are completely unfiltered when they’re little. Could you tell us about a time when your kids said or did something that inspired your work?

One of my first maker businesses was called Pinecone Garden. My oldest and I were on a walk about 14 years ago, and she saw a yard full of pinecones and asked if it was a pinecone garden. I loved it so much that I decided to keep it and eventually used it for a cute felt board Etsy business! Truly, they both inspire me every day. They're the best little (not so little these days at 18 and 12!) humans, and it's my honor to be their mom!


At Hey Maker!, you can make lamps, squiggly mirrors, fake cakes, and so much more!


Follow Ashley Zabarte:

Instagram @heymakerco, @ashleyzabarte.art 

Make Art, shop, and have fun at Fergusons Downtown, Las Vegas. They have weird and wonderful art workshops almost every weekend, and Ashley Zabarte personally attends and continually releases light sculptures!


 

Hungry for more artistic discovery? Episode 3: Trash Art and Do What You Love with Hey Maker founder Ashley Zabarte on The Artist 10 Podcast offers inspiration for creatives and the people who hire them. 


Listen to the episodes on 





 

LAS VEGAS ARTISTS CALLING US

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PHILLY ART SCENE-SWOON

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artist|percussionist|vibraphonist|based in philly📍available worldwide                   


Keep creating Hartists! Follow @harthousecreative on Instagram and Linkedin.


 

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