The Sweet Christian Bride

2011 Featured Vendors: A Year in Review

December 2010 Featured Vendor: Our Story Our Song

SCB: Liz, tell us about your background in the music industry.

Elizabeth Shea: Growing up in Nashville, TN, I was exposed to an abundance of influences and opportunities early on.   Artists and Songwriters like Emmy Lou Harris, Harlan Howard, Amy Grant, and Ricky Skaggs were a few of the legends I met or knew as a toddler and continued to learn from as I got older.   Country and Christian music play a huge role in my development as a singer and songwriter, although I know and write all styles.

At 15 years old, I signed my first publishing contract with API. I would write on “Music Row” after school every day and record in the Row’s top studios.   At 17, I signed my first recording contract with Giant Records and at 20 I started a 3 year Christmas tour with country music superstar Martina McBride.

Another recording contract brought me to Los Angeles and after continuing as a published writer for several years, I realized I had a passion for telling true stories. When my husband and I felt peace about slowing down and starting a
family, we decided to launch “Our Story Our Song,” which lets me continue to do what I love and be a stay-at-home mom.   A dream come true!  See more.

January Featured Vendor: SimplyTwo Photography

SCB: John, what made you pick up a camera for the first time?

John Yao: Sunsets. I love sunsets. My first year of college was practically spent on the beaches of San Diego. The beach view greeting me each day from my dorm was plenty to prompt my first camera purchase. Nothing too fancy, just a point and click camera, but enough to help me chase some very serious sunsets! Pretty soon I had couples asking to be in the photos too – I suppose that’s why I’m here today! See more.

February Featured Vendor: Chelsea Leah Flowers

SCB:  What first sparked your love for flowers?

Chelsea Leah: Well, I have always loved going outside and exploring, because I see God in the creation around us, and nature reveals so much about His character and His love for us.  Just look at how beautiful everything is . . . especially flowers!  From a very young age, anytime there were flowers brought to our house, I would take them apart and re-arrange them a bunch of times, because I loved designing my own arrangements with the raw materials. I have always been artistic and had a passion for creating things.  See more.

March Featured Vendor: Studio 12 Photography

SCB: When did you first fall in love with the camera?

Todd Kuhns: I started truly enjoying photography on our yearly family vacations.  My dad had a camera, and I started taking many of the photographs as we traveled the country.  I got my own camera in the 9th or 10th grade, and I was off and running for real.  See more.

April Featured Vendor: Dadiva

SCB: How did your vision for Dadiva Shop transpire?

Christine Soussa: My business partner, Su, and I realized that not only is life short, but it is also very busy. It’s easy to get caught up in the stuff we have to do. We wanted to create an opportunity to take a moment and celebrate the phase of life one is in. As a woman blossoms from bachelorette to wife, daughter to mother, or assistant to manager we wanted to help mark the turning points with something sentimental and extraordinary so that one can take a pause (even if it’s a quick one) to celebrate the phase of life she is in. Our company name, formed by two parts, embodies this belief: da (slang for “the) and diva (“goddess” in Latin), Dadiva in Portuguese means gift. Dadiva Shop thus honors the gift of life, the gift of love, and the gift of growth. See more.

May Featured Vendor: Nicholas Andrew Films

SCB: When did you first find yourself behind a camera?

Nick Sammons: I had a great head start growing up, because my dad ran a video production company and was interested in photography.  He never pushed it on me, but let me develop an interest by playing with his gear and taking me along on some shoots.  I think I was hooked when I sat with him in his office one afternoon while he previewed a video for a client from a non-profit.  He told their story well, and it led them to tears. It was this combination of visuals and storytelling that moved people, which got me and led to studying Film Production as my undergraduate.  See more.

June Featured Vendor:

July Featured Vendor: Write Designs by Amy

SCB: When did you first realize you were an artist?

Amy Sullivan: Funny question! I always enjoyed crafts, drawing and art as a child. But I never dreamed it would be my career. One night, just as I was starting my stationery business, I was working on some designs at our dining room table. My husband walked by and said, “Somehow I feel like I should have known you could really draw before now!” I guess it was a suppressed talent that was forced to resurface.  See more.

August Featured Vendor: Jewels for Freedom

SCB:  What sparked your vision for Jewels for Freedom?

Carol Shipley:  As a stay at home Christian Mum of two, I was asking God how He wanted me to serve Him – what I could do while at home with the kids. My husband and I have always felt very disturbed about the reality of child trafficking across the world and felt that this was something we’d really like to make a difference with. We found that the charity Children on the Edge is doing life-changing work in Thailand to protect vulnerable Burmese children from trafficking.

Sadly, there are many unaccompanied children from Burma in Thailand who, without parental care or protection, are at risk of falling prey to sex trafficking, and the drug trade. Each year thousands of young girls are recruited to work in the sex industry in Thailand.  It is estimated that a large proportion of sex workers in Thailand’s brothels are from Burma and that 60% are under 18 years of age.  Held for years in debt bondage in illegal Thai brothels, they suffer extreme abuse by pimps, clients, and the police.

So we decided to open Jewels for Freedom – selling beautiful jewelry as a way of raising money for the great work Children on the Edge is doing. Our purpose is to raise money to give children who are vulnerable to trafficking a safe and free life. Jewels for Freedom receives no money from sales as 100% of proceeds are donated directly to Children on the Edge through the donation organization Just Giving.  See more.

September Featured Vendor: The Details Co.

SCB: How did The Details Co. get its start?

Lisa Marcia: The DTC was started officially back in 2008 while I was still working in fundraising hosting events for a university I worked for. I was doing events on the side and assisting brides at their weddings and figured, why not start a business centered around the things I was usually asked to do….organize the little details and get creative! So, I did! See more.

October Featured Vendor: LARK Productions

SCB: Where did the dream of LARK Productions originate, and how did it come to fruition?

Andrea Kreykes: In college my husband and I dreamed of becoming missionaries in Africa through our media skills. The Lord led us a different direction as we eventually moved to Southern California where we pair our mission dreams with our love of married life. Because we took so much joy in planning our own wedding, we want to share that passion with others. We want to catch every precious detail that people put into their celebration of marriage. We still continue to serve the Lord through digital media as we work on documentaries of our neighbor country, Mexico, and orphanages there.  See more.

November Featured Vendor: Heavenly Desserts

SCB:  When did you first discover your baking prowess?

Nancy Wong:  Baking was never something I enjoyed doing; I actually dreaded it.  In 2007, due to a stressful time in my life, I began searching for an outlet, as an escape.  The hobbies I enjoyed didn’t help and baking was the only thing that kept me calm and focused.  I began scouring the internet for recipes on how to make cookies, cakes, and brownies, and I started making after school snacks for my kids.  Much to my dismay, I was enjoying the newfound hobby, more and more.  In 2010, I came across a particular cheesecake recipe and was determined to make one. The more I made, the more requests I had for my light and creamy textured cheesecakes.  I made them because family and friends loved the dessert so much; I love pleasing those around me. To this very day, people still call me the cheesecake queen, and I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of cheesecake.  God sure has a sense of humor!  See more.