WESTFIELD-For many local artisans, 2020 has been a challenging time to showcase their work with art shows and craft fairs being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. One bright spot for artists has been the overwhelming support of local business owners who are finding creative ways to showcase their works.
While some artists are also experimenting with virtual holiday craft fairs and selling items through their own social media platforms as well as the “Westfield Small Biz Saturday” postings on the We Love Westfield Community Forum Facebook page, they still welcome the opportunity to be featured in a local business outlet.
Sonia Avery-Kulig of Blandford, owner of Humblebee Handmade, sells her handmade wreaths and floral arrangements, gnomes, and various painted and upcycled home decor items at Blended Vintage Marketplace. She also offers direct sales and custom orders through her Facebook page.
“Establishing a connection with local businesses is a fantastic way for artists and businesses to mutually support one another,” said Avery-Kulig. “A local shop offering unique, handcrafted items can help draw attention to that business as a whole while giving independent artisans a platform to share their work and expand their reach in the community.”
Danny Nason of Westfield, whose business Danny Nason Photography specializes in real estate and all types of events, shared a similar sentiment.
“I have a few photos at Blended Vintage Marketplace and people can contact me personally,” he said, adding he encourages other artists to consider making connections with local businesses.
“Connecting with local businesses gets recognition for both the artist and the business,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation.”
Lucille Nason of Westfield, owner of Lady Crow Creations, concurred.
“I used to do a lot of craft shows and such, but since COVID, well, it is definitely a more challenging environment to sell handmade products,” she said, noting a lot of her works are items that are recycled and reclaimed.
“I love to search for odd and interesting pieces that come to life with a different purpose,” said Nason.
Nason added she too encourages artists to seek out local opportunities to showcase their work.
“The reason I would encourage other artists to connect with local businesses is it is our community, and artists are some of the hidden treasures that is often never seen,” said Nason. “When we add art to our cities and businesses, we connect in a positive and sometimes lucrative relationship. It is truly a win for everyone.”
Sarah Nuttall and Richard Ponti-Smith, owners of Current Decor, have also branched out after selling their unique gift items at the Westfield Farmers’ Market.
“Being a vendor at the Westfield Farmers’ Market went really well,” said Nuttall. “We were able to meet people in the community, hand out our cards, and that increased our Facebook action.”
Their unique patterned items go through a process of fractal burning which entails running 14,000 volts of electricity through scrap wood – turning each piece of wood into art.
“We are excited to explore this new art form,” said Nuttall, noting a variety of their gift items can be found at Results In Wellness on Springfield Road in Westfield, as well as Blossoming Acres in Southwick.
Some of their pieces at Results In Wellness include coat racks, clocks, food trays and key hooks, and at Blossoming Acres, coasters, wall art pieces and small food trays are featured items.
“We are always uploading new products on Facebook and can provide no contact drop off at houses locally,” said Nuttall.