• Vendor Spotlight

  • The Chesterton European Market has a strong tradition of featuring local artisans from food to farmers, to painters and everything in between. The talent shown within our market community is as diverse as the vendors themselves. We would like to showcase a few of them, sharing their unique stories and crafts. Make sure you stop by to say hello the next time you are out at the market. 

  • March's Vendor Spotlight:

  • Niki-Pietrowski.jpg
  • Niki Pietrowski of Rusted Crow and Oak Studios


    How did you get started? 

    It's kind of convoluted. My Grandparents passed away, and I needed to figure out how to pass along their extensive collections. I started an eBay store to help me. Then that evolved into my own business, and I was selling gold and silver jewelry online until the recession hit in 2008. Then there was no more selling gold, it just got too expensive. So I was sitting at home, trying to figure out what my next step was. I had been taking pictures of birds for a few years. When I was in my early 20's I moved to Naperville for a while and lived on a pretty busy street. One day I was looking out my window, and saw a crow, being repeatedly run over by cars. It wasn't dead, it was dazed. So I grabbed a broom, stopped traffic by running into the road, and coaxed the bird onto my broom (witchy anyone?) Anyway, I didn't know what to do with it. So I took it into my house, and made a bed out of a box and set it by an open window. Kind of just hung out with it for a while. It came around and flew out the window. I guess that's why my favorite subject to photograph is birds. Well, that experience and the fact that about 10 years ago, I adopted an Umbrella Cockatoo. So I decided to see what I could do with my pictures. And I took that failing eBay store, and started selling my pictures there. Then on Etsy. And it started taking off. I recently changed the name of my business, to give me the ability to grow, as I learn more things, like photo editing, digital design, graphic art and now, digital drawing. 

     How long have you been at Chesterton? 

    I started doing live events (Including Chesterton European Market) 5 years ago. It was great to be able to see what actual people think of my work. Their input has helped to grow as an artist.

    3.  Do you have a favorite market memory?

    I love that I get to meet people from all over at the market. But mostly my favorite memories are of the people bringing their dogs. I bring treats and there are a couple dogs who arrive and make a bee line for my booth, knowing I've got good things for them. OH!! And the bands. I love the bands! I think we have some of the greatest music in Chesterton!!

    4. Tell us something fun about yourself.

    I have crows decorating my kitchen. And owls and squirrels. (Not pictures) Oh and a skull