I put her in my phone book as “Carrie I Made It” before I had even met her. In the mere semester I had spent reading, writing and “studying” on my jasmine-scented balcony in sunny, southern France, Nina Barbuto, one of my closest friends, had already co-founded a new concept in Pittsburgh.
The I Made It! Market began as a roving artists market to highlight local talent and the urban landscape. It was the brainchild of Nina and a fellow crafter, Carrie Nardini after the two had met at another crafters’ venue. They were dissatisfied with the event and the lacking artistic entrepreneurial opportunities in Pittsburgh. Rather than complain about it, they did something about it; they made it, and I was sucked into it!
My return to Pittsburgh coincided with the time for publicizing the second IMI market. After having once lived in market-strewn Buenos Aires, I was on board the riverboat of support. Nina and I proceeded to meet most of Pittsburgh in our flier efforts, most people, except, in my case, Carrie Nardini. Nina had put us in contact via text messages about possibly connecting at an event Nina couldn’t attend, but in the end, I didn’t meet Carrie until a delicious and aesthetically presented Sunday Brunch at a local spot, The Quiet Storm.
The end of that summer marked a new chapter in life for Nina: a move to the city of angels where she could find trouble on a bigger scale. Carrie carried on the market in Nina’s absence. I helped in little ways wherever I could, and we became good friends in the process- good friends with birthday parties to attend!
As Carrie’s special day rolled around the corner, she jokingly requested a baked birthday present. On the night of The Double Wide Grill birthday dinner, I arrived bearing what else but a baked birthday offering! What kind of cake do you give a go-get -’em crafter?
My response was an edible version of her logo. The Zippull image was inspired by Chowder, the Nardini family Boston terrier. Forget Kibbles and Bits. For this special day, it was Kibbles and Cake (although, in reality, it was organic cereal and cake)!