Buy Georgia Made, Serve Georgia Grown!

GMGG icons

Georgia Made Georgia Grown Category Icons

Georgia Made Georgia Grown LLC is getting it together and on the verge of rolling out its programming. Within the next couple weeks, our beautiful new website will be functional, and we’ll have the information available for both potential members AND buyers of Georgia Made Georgia Grown products.

In the meantime, get more familiar with our Twitter and Facebook presences. Bookmark them, and check back every time you get on your social media sites.

These buttons are our category icons. You’ve probably already seen them down our Facebook  and Twitter pages down the left column.

The big red georgia home button is the easiest to recognize. And our eight channels – Communities, Festivals, Food & Wine, Family Farms, Arts, Shops & Galleries, Hospitality and Entertainment – are the creative businesses’ homebases. You can click on any of them on Facebook, and hop to those specific topics. Be sure to “Like” them and copy them to your profile and pages as “Favorites”.

On Twitter, to follow the categories, simply go to each of the URLs, and click to “follow” them:

Home: http://twitter.com/GAMadeGAGrown

Communities: http://twitter.com/thriveGMGG

Festivals: http://twitter.com/festsGMGG

Food & Wine: http://twitter.com/eatGMGG

Family Farms: http://twitter.com/farmsGMGG

Arts: http://twitter.com/artsGMGG

Shops & Galleries: http://twitter.com/buyGMGG

Hospitality: http://twitter.com/stayGMGG

Entertainment: http://twitter.com/performGMGG

Check back to your favorite pages often. We update – and you can add your happenings and successes, too – frequently. You’ll read and see videos about the industry, products and solutions to life’s issues. Be entertained and informed!

What Does Your Art Business Need to Thrive?

The Arts Development Council of Georgia is surveying Georgia artists, craft makers and retailers of art /craft asking what you need to thrive. The survey has four questions, and will take about five minutes of your time. Would you complete it now?

If you include your email address on Question #4, the ADCG will send you the results of the survey as a gift for sharing your thoughts.

The more responses the survey has, the more valid the findings. Feel free to ask your friends and colleagues to also take the survey. The survey URL is http://bit.ly/aaqgpf

The survey will close August 2, 2010.

Will Dromgoole Makes it Easy to Buy Stained Glass

Hummingbird ornament - W Dromgoole

Will Dromgoole in Thomaston deserves a big shout out! I’m working on a project and was interested in offering his stained glass ornaments as a part of it. I saw a few pieces Will and his wife had created at the Thomaston Upson Arts Council, and got word to him that I would like more information.

Will called me immediately and got details. He’s new to selling his stained glass, so didn’t have a wholesale sheet; but he did something almost as good. He shot nine photographs – in a creative, interesting way, I might add – loaded them into a Snapfish.com album, added the wholesale prices, and sent me the link. I have all the information I need.

We live in a remarkable era. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Snapfish, Skype, and others are free and low-cost business tools that add so much to the ease of doing business. It takes time to figure some of the software out, but the investment is well worth it. Promise yourself that you’ll AT LEAST sign up for a free account for an online business tool once a week, and spend an hour seeing its capabilities. You’ll be astounded at the resources available to creative entrepreneurs.

New Gallery Coming to Farmington

Co-op Members Working at the New Gallery

I saw trucks behind the Farmington Depot when I was last up in the area, and stopped in to see what was happening. Chris Hubbard, the art car folk artist, and  two buddies were hard at work transforming the building into a 14-artist member co-op Gallery.

Winterhawk Pottery still has to haul its kiln from the covered porch of the Depot; but for the most part, John & crew are working out of Happy Valley Pottery again. They’ve gone what writers romantically call “back to their roots”.

So back to Chris and the re-incarnation of the Depot… If they can, they want to mount some sort of showing during the first weekend in June.

For years, the Chappelles have held their Open Studios Weekend on that date. And the last several years, other Oconee County artists have opened their studios that weekend, too. Probably a dozen studios – most with invited guest artists – will be opened and celebrating. You’ll see directional signage as you come into Farmington (and through Bishop, into Watkinsville) in any direction.

Be sure and stop at the Depot and say hi to the gang. They are always up to something!

CODA Post-conference Tour, April 9

Georgia Made Georgia Grown LLC and the Savannah College of Art & Design co-host the Craft Organization Development Association’s 2oth annual conference April 6-8 at River Club in Savannah (www.codacraft.org). The Friday after the conference, we have the rare opportunity to take a tour, conducted by Jamal Toure, to learn about the Georgia’s Geechee culture.

Jamal brings America’s African heritage alive through story-telling and performance as we travel to Savannah’s Beach Institute for a private viewing of the 238 piece Ulysees Davis Folk Art Collection, then to Riceboro to the Geechee Kunda Cultural Center.

The Cultural Center, created by Jim and Pat Bacote, is a living museum, a meeting place, a gallery, and the place to enjoy a Geechee Fry Lunch – fried local wild shrimp, smoked maroon chicken, rice n beans and salad. The Georgia Geechee Shouters will perform their famous ring shouting. We’ll learn about local history and culture, as well as see local craft, available for purchase.

9:30am – Bus pick up at The Inn at Ellis Square on Bay Street downtown

9:45am – Tour the Beach Institute’s Ulysees Davis Collection of sculptures

10:30am – Bus leaves Beach Institute for Riceboro. Rolling tour included.

11:30am – Arrive Geechee Kunda Cultural Center. Learn about local history/culture. See local craft exhibit and sale. Hear the Georgia Geechee Shouters. Enjoy a Geechee Fry Lunch.

2:30pm – Return to Savannah with drop-off either at the airport or the Inn at Ellis Square.

The cost of the tour is $75 per person, payable in advance. If you are able to go, Email CODA and get payment instructions.

Mableton’s Christmas House is a HIT with Buyers!

I’ve been focusing on the economic impact of Georgia’s creative entrepreneurs and events, so asked Deborah Karwisch, the chairman of Mableton’s Christmas House, to give me some data about the 25th anniversary event last December. When she emailed it over, I was struck by the testimonials she included, written by buyers and by the volunteers. Read them. They are wonderful.

Buyer #1
I
‘ve been buying and giving handmade gifts from the Christmas House for at least 10 years. Why? Two reasons: Handmade gifts are the most unique gifts that I can find; and it supports the arts and the artists who make them.

This year I gave my Mom the prayer shawl. She has everything at this point but she didn’t have that. The shawl came with a touching letter from the artist telling the recipient how she had prayed for her the entire time she was making the shawl. It was a beautiful touching gift that you’ll never find at the Mall.

Buyer #2
Every year, The Christmas House at The Mable House has these wonderfully knitted fingerless gloves. I love that they come in all different sizes and colors for both men and women, boys and girls. I can count on The Christmas House every year in having this charming, handmade item. Every year I buy some for my cousin, but this year I bought some for my son and myself, too!

Buyer #3
I think giving handcrafted gifts speaks more from the heart than store purchased. You see something in a craft that makes you think of that particular person you are buying for.

Buyer #4
My family loves receiving gifts made by local artists. Our community is important to us and showing off a wonderful gift that’s also handmade…life doesn’t get any better than that!

Buyer #5
I loved being able to give a handmade gift during the holidays because it is one of a kind. Walking into the mall or Kohls to buy a gift no matter how nice the gift maybe seems practical and ordinary compared to the unique quality of a handmade gift.

Buyer #6
I have given several handmade items over the years that I purchased at the Christmas House. No matter how large or small the items, the recipients of the gifts are so pleased to get a one-of-kind handmade item picked just for them.

Many times a handmade item might reflect a personality trait of the person receiving the gift; and in that case, it makes the gift even more special. This past Christmas I was lucky enough to receive an item purchased just for me, by my husband. The sales staff helped him pick it out knowing that I had admired a beautiful hand woven shawl made by Jennifer LeCroy, a local weaver and vendor at the Christmas House. I have enjoyed wearing it several times.

Buyer #7
I love handmade items especially if given to me by someone who cares and loves me. For many years I have wanted and appreciated handmade items more than store bought. To know that someone would take the time to create something from nothing, putting time and effort into it and then to give it away or put it up for sale says a lot about them. Many people do not use their God given talents; therefore they go to waste. I am impressed by those who “use it” so as not to “lose it”. I do think I am in the minority. For the most part, I think people are too materialistic to appreciate the type of talent that comes from the hands.

Volunteer #1
For crafters and artists, being a volunteer allows the opportunity to interact with other creative folks and keeps us in the arts community even though we are not actually exhibiting. And of course, you can’t forget the camaraderie…you all are great to work with and the day goes by quickly. I come away full of inspiration for new projects!

Volunteer #2
For me personally, I love the crafting environment. Meeting fellow crafters and talking shop, and watching the Christmas House come together to become more and more successful each year. I love seeing what talents people have and hear what made them want to make what they do.

Volunteer #3
Organizing and implementing a successful show is reward enough, but I always want to make it better the next year. Working the show itself is a real treat. Getting to spend time with the crafters and seeing customers come back year after year is certainly gratifying.

I’ll get to the economic data and community impact soon. I couldn’t wait to share these testimonials with you.