Small business Monday-spotlight on The Art and Crafts Company

Erin Melaney Bodden, owner of The Art and Crafts Company. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

We already know that you love to shop locally, but what if you’re strapped for time? Or stuck inside from bad weather, or under the weather yourself? Well, have no fear! The Art and Crafts Company, which just launched, lets you shop in comfort for local arts and crafts from Bham artisans! Erin Melaney Bodden tells us all about it in this week’s edition of Small Business Monday.

Birmingham AL
Bicentennial pillow from City Arts Bham. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

The Art and Crafts Company features handmade small-production goods designed and made by local creatives. Distinguishing itself from large-scale ecommerce sites for crafters and DIYers, The Art and Crafts Company exclusively features Birmingham area makers and focuses its advertising and marketing efforts locally. It includes a website and social media platforms to help promote its artists and makers.

Birmingham AL
Hand-crafted dolls from Off The Hook Designs for the little people on your holiday list. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

As a maker myself, I’ve learned that my best sales take place at festivals and markets where multiple vendors collectively draw large crowds of shoppers. Marketplaces attract far more visitors and followers than my single-seller efforts ever will. I wanted to replicate that dynamic online, where shoppers can purchase their favorite locally-made goods all in one place and from the comfort of their living rooms.

business, Birmingham
Light in the winter darkness from Bemele Candles. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

My mom provides a lot of help and support for my business. Not only does she assist with activities directly related to The Art and Crafts Company, she and my dad also babysit my toddler whenever I need to dedicate some time to the business.

Birmingham AL, business
Alabama tea towels from City Arts Bham. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

The Art and Crafts Company aims to make shopping local easy and accessible for consumers. The 24/7 presence of an online marketplace means that anyone who wants to support their neighbors by shopping locally can do so at any time and from anywhere. Being web-based also means that our inventory is not limited by bricks and mortar. Because our designers maintain their own inventories and fulfill their own sales, we’re able to carry a wide variety of offerings from an unlimited number of creators.

Birmingham AL
Laser-cut steel ornament from Erin Melaney Designs. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

I’d been thinking about starting a business like The Art and Crafts Company for a few years, but I was working fulltime, and I wasn’t able to dedicate the time and energy needed. In April, I left my job to spend more time with my young daughter. I wanted to find a way to still use my professional skills without taking significant time away from home. This business has allowed me to do that. Birmingham has so much to offer when it comes to events, dining, and outdoor activities. And I love the collective enthusiasm from residents who are working to continually improve the city.  Every purchase from The Art and Crafts Company supports homegrown small businesses within our local economy. Money spent with us stays here in Birmingham and allows for the creation of more unique and handcrafted goods.

Birmingham AL
Pine Collection folded card by Everbloom Paper. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

I hope that Birmingham will embrace the concept of The Art and Crafts Company and that it will grow to include inventory from dozens of makers and designers. I’d love for it to be a go-to online shopping destination for consumers who are looking for high quality goods designed and created right here in Birmingham.

Birmingham AL
Bolt action bourbon barrel pen from BourbonPens. Photo via The Art and Crafts Company

I’ve seen a lot of positive change in Birmingham in the time I’ve lived here, and I hope enthusiasm for improving our city continues to grow. I think everyone can contribute to Birmingham’s success and in a variety of ways, and I’d love for my efforts with The Art and Crafts Company to contribute in some small way to Birmingham’s vibrancy.

Birmingham AL
Owl-exander from Off the Hook Designs. Photo via The Arts and Crafts Company

For more info, visit https://www.theartandcraftsco.com

Another recent post featuring local products: https://bhamnow.com/index.php/2017/08/07/small-business-monday-spotlight-elements/

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