March 2011, I joined a non-profit organization that benefits and promotes Appalachian artists and the wonderful artwork produced in our region. It has provided me opportunities and connections that I am very thankful for and I truly believe in the purpose of the group. However, as with any new organization, there will be trial and error periods and bumps along the way. Just in such a short amount of time I have watched our little store in Heritage Station grow and expand, met many new artists that have joined the group and have had the opportunity to help create something I am proud of being a part of.
With the idea of a co-op between our stores this gave us the safety net of always having our Made in Appalachia Store open during regular station hours and we gained two wonderful members that have great style and ideas that will only improve our organization. Just look at what Laurie, from CommonGround picked up for me! I can't wait to fix up the wonderful antique art box and copy tray for my bead display. Love, Love, Love it! Not to mention the green glass owl candle holder/vase that I had wanted since it was perched on the shelf (there are still a couple left). Another perk of the store-bartering. I feel like I made out the best on this trade :) All this for one of my Halloween bracelets, it was my lucky day!
Many artists/crafters join the organization for different reasons. Please check out their website for more information to see if it is something you would like to be a part of. For me, it is a place to showcase my glass art jewelry, to meet others that I can network with, and to be a part of the kids division, called AppaKids. I've had ups and downs myself along my glass journey but the benefits of this organization have well surpassed my expectations. I may not own the store at the station, but the feeling it is "ours" to turn into something wonderful and what we want it to be makes it all worth the time and effort.
Thanks for stopping by and reading! A big thanks to my wondeful friends and customers that support me and my handmade glass art jewelry. ~Kari~