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In his first appearance at the Buyer’s Market, Gilmer County craftsman Matt Thomas of Thomas|Work landed 60 new gallery accounts from Maine to California worth over $25,000 in immediate “starter” orders with additional reorders expected to bring the total revenue value of the show to exceed $50,000 this year. “With the support of the Foundation and the possibilities made available at the Buyer’s Market, I created a new full-time career over the course of one weekend,” he said. After a workplace injury that caused the former contractor to break his back from a fall, Tamarack Foundation provided an emergency relief grant while he regained his mobility. Since launching into his business and building on his Buyer’s Market experience, Matt will soon be featured in several national publications. Learn more about Matt’s business at thomaswork.com.
Wood artists Phil and Teresa Holcomb of Spencer rely on wholesale accounts for their income. After attending their first Buyer’s Market in 2012 they attracted the attention of Uncommon Goods, an international catalog and internet company based in Brooklyn, NY, who made an initial order of $10,000. The Holcombs also increased sales to new and existing clients which include more than 50 galleries and retail locations from coast to coast. The Holcombs have even expanded their product line, which has generated new product sales. This West Virginia small business is part of a thriving art colony. Learn more by visiting chestnutridgeartistcolony.org.
Stan and Sue Jennings
At the encouragement of the Tamarack Foundation, Thornton-based Allegheny Treenware first attended the Buyer’s Market in 2004 generating 60 new accounts for a total annual revenue increase of $90,000. In fact, their first appearance proved so successful, by the end of that year, the husband-and-wife team of Stan and Sue Jennings employed 12 people working full-time and overtime. They continue to maintain a number of customers as a result of that one appearance, for an ongoing revenue stream that continues some eight years later. “This show has amazing potential if you go into it with a professional appearance, attitude and follow up when handling customers and accounts,” Sue said. Sue now serves as a mentor to other Foundation artists emerging into the national show scene. Learn more at alleghenytreenware.com.
The Tamarack Foundation:
A Proven Record of Success
Our business development program for artisans, called From WV to Urban Markets, involved participating in one of America’s most prestigious wholesale shows, The Buyer’s Market of American Craft in Philadelphia. Tamarack Foundation organized and funded the process for established and new artisan entrepreneurs to broaden their market beyond our state’s borders. The program has realized substantial, measurable outcomes. The artisans who participated in the 2012 From WV to Urban Markets generated $65,000 worth of new sales from nearly 150 new wholesale accounts and hundreds of new leads to sustain their businesses for years to come. To the right are a few of the artisans that participated.