Amanda was born into a family of makers, bakers, and true Do-It Yourself-ers. Her childhood was filled with endless ideas and supplies to keep her little hands busy creating. Crafting regularly with her mom when she was younger is no doubt why she has a special place in her heart for all things handmade. The desire to share that love of crafting is why she decided to start her crafty career.
In 2005 after years of making things for friends and family Amanda decided her creations needed to be available to the world! Going by the fitting name of With Sugar On Top she began selling her sweet crafty goodies on her website www.WithSugarOnTop.com. While most of her products lean toward the sweet side she also has a taste for making vintage inspired pieces with darker Victorian and Burlesque feel. Some of her items have included, kids clothes, aprons, hand embroidered items, stuffed plushies, embellished clothing, mini top hats, fake cupcakes, and resin jewelry. In particular her resin jewelry line "Forever Sprinkles" which incorporates real cupcakes sprinkles has been a big hit from the beginning attracting national wholesalers, from cupcake shops to high end boutiques. She is inspired by all things cute and looks for new ideas wherever she goes.
While peddling her wares at a local hot spot Amanda met her now business partner and best friend Michelle Parparian. The two hit it off instantly bonding over their love of cupcakes and vintage clothing. In 2006 they opened House of Sweets Bakery, a cupcake and cookie bakery inside Michelle's established vintage clothing store House of Vintage. They would bake up thousands and thousands of cupcakes in their small boutique style bakery, racking up lots of press, awards and many loyal clients. In 2011 after 5 years of magical baking together the girls decided to hang up their aprons and retire their baking business. They remain business partners and best of friends today.
Seeing there was a need for people to sell their handmade items locally Amanda decided to start a craft show of her own. Born out of love for all things handmade and the desire to show people that anyone could be crafty Stitch Rock was born in 2007. 7 years later Stitch Rock has become a staple in the South Florida crafting community. With 80 crafters and thousands in attendance it is easy to see that Stitch Rock has played a big part in creating South Florida's crafting community. Nothing makes Amanda's heart happier than to see so many people coming together to support local artists and crafters each year.
Looking to further her desire to get people crafting in 2008 Amanda teamed up with another Amanda at Bear and Bird Gallery (inside Tate's Comics) to teach monthly crafty classes called StitchBird Workshops. These classes turned out to be a huge hit and had at least 20 students in each class. She realized teaching was in her blood and she loved creating new crafty projects to teach each month. She taught some of her students to stitch for the first time and today some of them have even become vendors at her shows. With two busy Amanda's sadly the classes ahave came to an end but Amanda would love to add them to the mix again someday soon!
With the success of Stitch Rock, in 2010 the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach approached Amanda with an opportunity to offer up her unique brand of show to the art world. Being married to a talented painter and tattoo artist, JR Linton, this was definitely a natural progression and she was excited to take on a new show. Showcasing both art and craft under one roof Art Rock appealed to a new audience. Amanda looked for artists whose work she would be proud to show in her home along with crafters who interject art into their handmade items.
Looking to incorporate her love of vintage into a show Amanda asked Michelle to team up and on put a different kind of Vintage show that no one had seen before. They combined Michelle's experience with vintage shows and Amanda's esthetic for creating fun fresh upbeat shows and created Retro Indie Market in 2011. The show was a great success packing the historic Boynton Woman's Club with tons of amazing vintage items alongside crafters who sold items with a vintage flare.
After the success of Retro Indie Market Amanda and Michelle were contacted about doing a similar market at a few locations in South Florida. Enjoying the shows so much they decided a new breed of monthly shows was what South Florida needed to keep the fun going all year round. Downtown Open Market was created as a casual outdoor market that could be held in any downtown area to help support the local community of artists, crafters, independent designers, musicians, vintage and antique dealers, specialty food and unique local businesses. With these shows they hope to give communities a new appreciation for the importance of supporting the arts and independent business owners in their own community.
In July 2012 Amanda and her husband JR (tattoo artists & fine artists)opened upInk & Pistons Tattoo in West Palm Beach Fl. Their artists driven custom tattoo shop features some of the best tattoo artists around as well as some of South Florida's finest local and international lowbrow artists.
Amanda is dedicated and passionate in each of her endeavors and looks forward to her ever evolving future. She is never board and truly loves the life she has created with help from her supportive husband, family, friends and #1 fans.
-Amanda Linton 2011
But, who is Amanda really?
10 Answers to random questions...
Q. What is your natural hair color?
A. Brown. Boring brown. Since I was in high school I have dyed my hair many colors. From black to blond to colors that can be found in a box of crayons. I think that cotton candy pink hair is a perfectly acceptable hair color for someone who loves color like I do. It doesn't always jive when you are cranky or in a hurry and don't want to have a conversation about your hair, but it does keeps you on your best behavior. It's kind of hard to freak out and hide when your hair is pink!
Q. How do you juggle everything at once?
A. Staying organized and keeping lots of notes. Running other peoples small businesses for years taught me how to multi task and stay organized. There is something satisfying about crossing stuff of your to-do-list.
Q. What/who inspires you?
Everything and everybody. If it is pink, sparkly, girly, old, rusty, Victorian, lacey, rock and roll, or well-made there is a good chance it makes me squeal with excitement and that gets my creative gears cranking.
Q. Do you care what other people think?
A. I care more so about how other people feel and making people happy. I am a bit of a perfectionist and set high standards for myself so meeting those standards can be tough enough without worry about what other people think along the way.
Q. Does being creative come easy to you?
A. Growing up with a creative mother definitely gives me the need to have a creative outlet in my life. Some days I can't wait to jump out of bed and plug in the hot glue gun but others all I want to do is lay on the couch watch TV. When I'm in the mood I go for it, if not I don't push it.
Q. Where did you get your nickname?
A. I will answer to "Pandacakes" or "Cupcake". Growing up I was always "Amanda Panda" and everybody gave me panda stuff. There was a time in my teens where I tried to lose the panda part but it came back when I started baking cupcakes. One of my best friends started calling them Pandacakes and it just stuck. "Cupcake" is an obvious one since I had a cupcake business and everything i owned had a cupcake on it.
Q. Does your mother in law bug you?
A. Actually no! She probably bugs her son more ! (oops! I know she will probably see this!) Actually we are quite similar. Our birthdays are two days apart and we pack out suit cases the same way. (we make packets of outfits, complete with socks, underwear etc. what? )
I'm very lucky in that department, I married into a great family!
Q. What is your most embarrassing musical guilty pleasure?
A. My musical taste is vast but I would say that two of my all-time favorites are the Beastie Boys and Faith No More.
Q. Which tattoo is your favorite and why?
A. I love them all but probably my arm sleeve. Most of my tattoos don't have long sentimental stories behind them and are really just a collection of thing that make me happy. Having your husband as your tattoo artists makes them special enough.
Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A. If I keep agreeing with my husband, on a remote private island! :) Sometimes life can be a bit stressful with both of our schedules and we joke about how nice it would be to wake up with nothing to do but catch lunch and hang by the palm trees. I doubt that will be enough for us so probably owning a successful business together combining our talents while keeping a few kids of our own from drawing on the walls or eating too many cupcakes!
10 Random facts: I use my calculator daily, I am 10% Ninja, has been to Japn twice, addicted to chocolate, has ridden in a Hot Air Balloon, hates to sweat, loves beets, still have my childhood rock collection, got my first tattoo in Vegas and has only seen snow 3 times as an adult!