Faces of the Market: Cherri VonDerVellen — Cherri Blossom Creations

With roughly two decades of crafting experience, Cherri VonDerVellen of Cherri Blossom Creations created several different art forms before finding her niche selling yarn baskets at local farmers’ markets.

“I’ve been a crafter/maker for about 20 years. I started as a way to have additional income for our family,” she said. “I’ve worked with all different types of mediums (jewelry, sewing bags and dresses, even bath salts and glycerin soaps). I started knitting and crocheting about 12 years ago, mostly selling at local craft fairs.”

VonDerVellen said her current most popular product started out as a project to use up scraps of yarn.

“While organizing and trying to come up with something to make with all my leftover yarn balls, I decided to crochet a yarn scrap basket for a friend,” she said. “I played around with different stitches and techniques until I came up with something that was sturdy and mimicked a woven basket but also had the look of pottery. After having a successful summer selling at our local market in 2020, I decided to pursue this as my sole business. Even though I like to make so many different items, my focus is on different sized crocheted baskets of various colors to appeal to all different styles of decor.”

What sets Cherri Blossom Creations apart, VonDerVellen said, is how she sources materials.

“What’s unique about my business is that I thrift for yarn and other items made from yarn fibres. For example, I find colorful hats, scarves (even sweaters) and afghans, wash them and then deconstruct (unravel) so that I can reuse the yarn. This allows me to make a basket that will be a unique, functional piece of art.”

VonDerVellen said this practice of bringing new life to discarded items was inspired by her grandmother.

“I grew up watching my grandmother, who lived through the depression, reuse everything,” she said. “I’ve taken this same idea, to reuse something that might normally be tossed, to crochet something beautiful. I also crochet small hanging baskets that use an empty Oui yogurt jar to hold a small plant. As time permits, I crochet memory baskets for customers from “Grandma’s afghan” (that’s maybe full of holes or sitting on a closet shelf) so they have something unique that they can use and appreciate.”

VonDerVellen said she sells her crafts at the farmers’ market on Broadway as well as other markets around the state.

“I started at the Night Market on Broadway last year as a fill in,” she said. “I did so well that I decided to do the whole season this year. I also sell at the market in Sheboygan (1st time this year) and Elkhart Lake (about 10 years) on different Saturdays when I don’t have larger art/craft shows.”

To keep up with where to find Cherri Blossom Creations, follow @cherriblossomcreations on Instagram or @cherriblossomcreations1 on Facebook.

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