Over the past few months I have sort of immersed myself in the whole handmade movement. Here I was this whole time (years and years) creating handmade goods and never realizing just how many others like me were out there. Now, through the magic of the internet, I have found places like Etsy, Art Fire, 1000 Markets, Twitter, ning, etc., etc., etc. I’m forging relationships with other artisans and (trying to) developing an online presence.
A few weeks ago I noticed so many towns and localities have their own handmade groups and communities. Not just online – they get together in the real world too. Some places even have actual live storefronts for their artists. Boston Handmade is just one example of an ever growing population of handcrafters that are taking it to the streets.
As a result of hours and hours of research I decided to start my own such “community”, Handmade North Carolina. There are a few groups in NC, but none in my area. There’s Asheville and the Triad, but oddly, nothing in the Wilmington area. There’s even Handmade in America, based in Western NC which has received much attention and awards.
In the coming months I hope to get the website up and running (http://handmadenorthcarolina.com) and start an individual Wilmington “chapter”. After the New Year I’ll also be setting up some gallery nights with local venues for artisans to showcase their works. I’ve got some great ideas and I’m just getting started. So be sure to keep your eyes open for updates – I’ll be posting more soon.
In the meantime, Handmade North Carolina can be found here:
Handmade North Carolina (forwards directly to blog for now)
On ning.com – http://handmadenc.ning.com/
On CafeHandmade.com – http://cafehandmade.ning.com/group/handmadenorthcarolina