Meet One of Our Sponsors: Premier Sunroom & Basement Solutions

By Kelly Sabetta

With their strong connection to the region, Premier Sunroom & Basement Solutions emphasize their support of family and community, which is why they are one of the sponsors of this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival. We conducted an interview with Mark Tait, who provided us with more information about Premier Sunroom & Basement Solutions, and their support for this year’s Festival. Here is what he had to say.

Tell me a bit about your company. What products/services do you provide to the community?

Sunrooms, finished basements, siding, windows, and doors.

What inspires your company each day?

Making peoples lifestyles more pleasurable and relaxing each day.

What would you like others to know about your company that they may not know?

Having a sunroom or a finished basement installed on your home will change your lifestyle for the better; allowing you to enjoy your leisure time no matter what the weather or time of the year.

What made you want to be involved in this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

The art & music festival draws many homeowners who are interested in our type of products and interested in making improvements to the home.

What do you feel your company can bring to this year’s festival?

Exciting product ideas and free design services for the community.

What would you like attendees to learn about your company?

That we are a family owned and operated business serving the area for 30+ years.

Why do you feel it is important to support an event such as this?

We are thankful for the business we generate from the area and believe greatly in promoting our products and services in local markets.

How do you feel the festival will benefit the community?

Family oriented event that promotes family closeness.

For more information about Premier Sunroom & Basement Solutions, please visit their Web site,

Meet One of Our Sponsors: Softub Express

By Kelly Sabetta

Softub Express is one of the many sponsors who support this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival. A seven-year sponsor of the annual event, Softub Express continues to show support for the area’s creativity and much-anticipated occasion. We conducted an interview with Softub Express President, Julie Pettis, and here is what she had to say about her company and their support for the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival.

Tell me a bit about your company. What products/services do you provide to the community?

Softub Express is a division of Pettis Pools & Patio, a 48-year-old family business based in Rochester, NY. In addition to being a full-service retailer of Softub portable hot tubs, Pettis Pools also sells in-ground and above-ground pools, hard-sided hot tubs, patio furniture, saunas, and accessories. We also offer field service on pools and spas.

What inspires your company each day?

Our customers are our inspiration. We strive to improve the quality of their lives through our products and services and to live up to our reputation as Rochester ‘s #1 Pool & Spa Company, every single day.

What would you like others to know about your company that they may not know?

That Softub Express is the largest distributor of Softubs in the US and is run by three women.

What made you want to be involved in this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

This will be our seventh year participating in the festival and we’ve always enjoyed the quality of the event and the people.

What do you feel your company can bring to this year’s festival?

A fun, portable, affordable, energy-efficient alternative to a traditional hard-sided tub.  Perfect for your lake home, boat, or anywhere else!

What would you like attendees to learn about your company?

That they can purchase any of our products with utmost confidence.

Why do you feel it is important to support an event such as this?

Participating in community events is an important part of introducing ourselves to people and letting them experience our products in person.

How do you feel the festival will benefit the community?

It will draw even more attention to the increasingly popular and beautiful area of Canandaigua.

For attendees, what do you hope they will experience while at the festival?

The beauty of the area, the quality of the offerings at the festival, and the friendliness of all involved.

For more information about Softub Express, please visit their Web site,

Kristen Maxfield Performs ‘Timeless’ Melodies

By Kelly Sabetta

Kristen Maxfield is well-known for her old-school R&B sound, which encompasses elements of Motown Soul, ‘70s funk, modern hip-hop, and classic songwriting at its best. After living and performing in New York City for three years, Kristen is back in Rochester to take the music scene by storm.

Kristen, who has always known that she wanted to be a performer, feels that her family helped spark her passion for the business. “I believe growing up in a very talented family, surrounded by music and all of the arts for that matter, is what really pushed me to believe that I could in fact be successful as an artist,” she said.

“I began writing music when I was in sixth grade and continued to do so throughout high school and college which has lead me to where I am now,” Kristen continued.

Her hard work continues to pay off, as Kristen’s music has been featured on many Rochester radio stations, including 98.9 the Buzz and 95.1 the Fox; as well as stations throughout London and Spain.

Kristen’s first album, “Whatcha Waitin’ For?” was released in 2009, and continues to be well-received by fans.

“I believe the latest comment I received is that my music is ‘timeless.’ I don’t think it gets any better then that,” she said.

Kristen shared that she is most inspired by life’s ups and downs. “The challenges I have had to face, the joys of my success’s, and the curiosity and not knowing of where my music will take me in my life,” said Kristen. “All of that causes me to not be afraid to open many doors and see what’s there on the other side.”

She does, however, wants people to know that it also hasn’t been an easy ride. “In fact at times it has been a very scary adventure but they, ‘the fans,’ are the reason I am here,” she said. “They have been my support and have given me the strength to believe in myself and move forward and for that I have them to thank.”

As she continues to perform and evolve as an artist, Kristen is in the process of writing her next album, which is scheduled to be released next summer. “I wanted to take more time to really dig in and develop the music with my band and with myself,” said Kristen.  “I want to be able to give my fans the best and so with in taking more time I hope to deliver that to them.”

Kristen’s work is currently being featured and sold on iTunes, CD Baby, Record Archive in Rochester, Mobile Music in Canandaigua, and is also available at all performances.

Kristen will be performing at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Sunday, July 18th, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on the Commons Park Stage.

Brier Street Pottery: Continuing a Family Tradition of Art

By Kelly Sabetta

Chris Consler, of Brier Street Pottery, specializes in creating functional stoneware pottery for her clients, who wish to use these special pieces on a day-to-day basis. In her own words, here is an inside look at Brier Street Pottery, its history, and its future.

Where are you located?

I live in East Meredith, NY, which is the town that I have always lived in since a child. About a hundred years ago, according to history lore, the first settler climbed to the top of his newly finished house, and declared it “the flower of Brier Street.” That is where I got the name of the pottery from. My 5 or 6 times great grandparents were some of the founding fathers.

When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to be an artist?

There was no exact moment. I come from family that always did for ourselves rather than spending money… Comes from my Scotch-Irish heritage my grandmother always said.  She crocheted, and created eggshell pins that she sold in the ’70s and my mother did drapery dolls, and had a ceramic studio. So, it was never a defining moment… it was just always like that, maybe in the blood.

When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?

I recently this year retired from my nursing career of 20+ years, although I consider myself too young to retire. What I really did was decide to pursue pottery on a full-time basis. I have been part time in the pottery field for the last 5 years.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?

Most people that come into my booth comment of the colors that I use. I allow the clay and the glazes to create the beauty of each piece. I don’t do a lot of additional embellishments, and I can’t paint worth a bean. But I can slightly direct how I want the glaze to flow, and then I let it organically move in the direction it wants. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind.

What has inspired you the most and why?

My first and foremost goal for my business is create utilitarian piece for people to use that are beautiful. In order to have my pottery impact on the lives of my customers, they need to be able to use in everyday life moments- like having a cup of coffee on a hectic day. Just a few moments of silence with your coffee out of an oversized mug that fits well in your hand, which also has color variations that keep you discovering new nuances of the glaze each time you look at it. If your mug costs so much that you are afraid to use it, then you miss these moments every day. I am careful to price my work so that my customers will not be afraid to use their pieces in their everyday life.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently on my workbench are the plans and prototypes for a series of crocks and jugs based on the ones from the turn of the century. They will have the Brier Street Pottery name on them, and will have a simple cobalt blue hand-painted design on them. Each will be dated. My self-indulgent hope is that 100 years from now, someone will have kept one of these pieces and it will have passed through family lines and become an heirloom.

What do you feel you will bring to the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

Beautiful pottery and an artisan that is more than willing to share my love of pottery with any person who wants to talk with me about it. I love to talk with hobby, new, or aspiring potters- trying to continue the line of people who want to transmit beauty through their hands.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

I was a stained glass artist for 10 years before I started potting. My sister, who was my partner, gave me the pottery class as a present, and after the first class I was hooked! She has always said that I went to the “Dark Side.” Since glass and clay are both made of silica… she wanted to rename our business “Two sisters who play with sand,” but I veto’d that. (It pays sometimes to be the older sister!)

For more information about Brier Street Pottery, or to view and purchase their work, please visit their Web site,, and visit their booth at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sund

Delish Handmade Glass: Playing with Fire and Creating One-of-a-Kind Hand-blown Glass

By Kelly Sabetta

Delish Handmade Glass is a company that offers specially handcrafted glass jewelry, beads, and sterling silver products. Based in Rochester, NY, the company was created and designed in 2007 by Jeremy Griffith (of Carbondale, IL) and Chelsea Foehr (of Redding, CT).

How did you get your name?

Jeremy: So the story goes…in 2006 I was asked to be a teaching assistant at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA for Jeremy Lepisto and his wife Mel George. They told me that having two “Jeremy’s” was not going to work, so they said I better come up with a nickname. The other teaching assistant was Mark Salsbury, aka “T-Bone.” Therefore, they said that if I didn’t come with a nickname they would call me “Delishious” (that is how Mel’s spells it –she is from Australia), so that the assistants would be known as “Delishious T-Bone.” After that so many people knew me as “Delish” that Chelsea and I decided to call our company Delish Handmade Glass.

When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to be an artist?
Chelsea: I don’t think there was one instant where I went from not being an artist to being one; it has always been my nature, from birth. I suppose the realization that I am an artist occurred over time as I discovered more qualities about myself that were already there.

Jeremy: I have always loved to make. As a child/teenager I was a painter and then toward the end of my teenage years I saw my first glob of molten glass. I was hooked and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a glass artist.

How did your company come about? What inspired you to create something like this for the community?

Jeremy/Chelsea: It’s kind of odd, but we knew several people that were closing their glass shops due to hard economic times while we were in the midst of opening ours. Many of the glass shops that closed or are currently closing are on the west coast (mainly Seattle, WA), which has the densest population of glassworkers in the country. We decided after being in Rochester for a bit that it seemed like a great place to start up a shop. There aren’t too many of us out here. Rochester is close to so many metropolitan areas and people in New York love art –we’ve always done well at the shows here. So, we decided to take the plunge and give this a shot.

In your own words, what types of products do you offer?

Jeremy/Chelsea: One-of-a-kind hand blown glass. We make a large variety of items, from jewelry to home decor. Our portfolio is much larger than what we make available at our festivals and we are always looking for a challenge. We have the capabilities of doing custom pieces and larger, architectural scale commissions as well.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?

Jeremy/Chelsea: We are often told by customers that they have never seen anything like what we do. We strive to have unique designs in our forms, patterns and color techniques, and are pleased when we hear that our customers recognize that.

The biggest thing we hear from the public is, “How do you do that?” and, “How often do you get burnt?”

What should attendees expect to see from you at this year’s Festival?

Jeremy/Chelsea: A large collection of unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-blown glass art with something for everyone! We have inexpensive, fun items like bacon and egg earrings as well as elegant sculptural vases.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

Jeremy/Chelsea: That we have a new studio location where our work is available for purchase and that we will soon be teaching bead and pendant-making classes there as well.

Where/how can people purchase your work?

At our upcoming art shows that are always posted on our Web site,,, and at our studio every first Friday of the month from 6:00-9:00 p.m. (or anytime by appointment).
1115 East Main St
Rochester, NY
Door 2, Floor 3, Room #350

You will also be able to find Delish Handmade Glass at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th. Stop by their booth to see their original, one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass.