Jenna Valoe has lived in Milwaukee her entire life surrounded by family. And like much of Milwaukee, has witnessed the tradition of making do as it has been handed down.
"I think the creative community here is founded on generations of people who were creative through their resourcefulness in daily living. For example, as a child my grandpa would collect rocks from the shores of Lake Michigan, bring them home and make paint from them. He'd use the paint to whitewash the neighbors fences and make a little money. That sort of deep creative work ethic is inherent to the city, maybe the Midwest, and it's paved the way for all sorts of prosperous makers. The current community has a genuine nostalgia and pride for Milwaukee as their home and use their craft as a way to reach out to the city and strengthen it. It contains a lot of dreamers and talent, and people are being innovative in how they make a living," Jenna explains.
Her shop, Rain and the River reflects this time honored tradition of waste not, want not. Her focus is on textiles for the home. Every piece is constructed by her two hands in her home studio with an aim to create heirloom quality items that are durable, lasting and unique.
She says, "I’ve always been a little obsessed with home decor, specifically textiles. As a child, we moved a lot and the process of turning a new house into a our home was very magical to me. That
these things could bring so much comfort and familiarity to a space was pretty amazing. When I made my first quilt a few years ago, it was like worlds colliding! It made so much sense to me to utilize my sewing skills in making home textiles. That passion combined with the realization that there was actually a market for handmade home decor really gave me the encouragement to start Rain and the River."
Jenna has been with Hover Craft from the very beginning. She was a vendor at our very first show five years ago and then coming to shop and check it out. This year, we are welcoming her back with her new business that isn't quite a year old.
"I love Hover Craft’s emphasis on local Milwaukeeans and mix of first time
vendors with established makers. It’s a great event to visit to get a sense of the creative
community in Milwaukee. Supporting local artists and small businesses is incredibly important
and Hover Craft offers a unique platform for all of us to interact and flourish in the city."