Friday, April 25, 2014

Selling Locally

Yesterday I took some of my handmade artisan crafts to a local café called The Village Eating House. I only discovered it a few weeks ago and it's actually the closest café hangout for me. The owners, Melanie and Clay Phillips, have created a wonderful little restaurant/coffee house/local food and art shop in a great location. After seeing the fabulous range of handmade items and art for sale, I approached Melanie about featuring my work. She was receptive and professional in her explanation of what is involved and has great suggestions for ways to showcase the whole local artisan scene. Plus she's just very outgoing and cool. The kind of person you instantly feel comfortable with. In the right kind of business, obviously. I haven't eaten much there yet but the coffee is good (and I'm quite a coffee snob!) and the baked goods look fabulous--hearing Melanie describe the French pie they'd made almost destroyed my willpower.
What I took to Village Eatinghouse

Today I went over to the Green Drake in Millheim to peddle my wares. Millheim is another small town that is experiencing a renaissance. Years ago, these towns were actually where people lived, worked, and shopped, so every sort of business existed to fill those needs. Now, sadly, people drive to chain stores and malls and restaurant franchises and supermarkets to buy almost everything. But there's a trend towards appreciating the "live-local" lifestyle and you can see it in the businesses that have sprung up in places that looked like they were either moribund or just another exit off the highway. Karl and I had a great conversation and I'm going to offer some things over there as well. Promoting myself is my least favorite part of being an artist/crafter. I'm sure that's true for a lot of us. But unless you can afford to hire an agent and/or an advertising firm (which sort of nullifies the pleasant idea of making it from the ground up), you've got to get over it and get out there. So I'm trying to do that on all fronts.

And here is a painting I just finished. I'd left it for quite a while and then went back to it.

I found this the other day. People come up with such wonderfully creative ideas. One of the things I like about the internet is that I see and read about a lot of stuff that I'd never discover otherwise.

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