A HandMade business pops up

Published 3:20 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A small, pop-up business showcasing and selling the work of more than 30 area artists held its grand opening as part of Small Business Saturday this past weekend in Farmville.

HandMade, Inc. is co-owned by Kate Pickett Eggleston and Pat Thorne and is located in the lower part of the Mill Building at 1 Mill St. between the troll bridge and Charleys Waterfront Cafe.

“We sell gifts and home decor that are handmade by 34 local artists and craftspeople,” Eggleston said. To elaborate later, she added, “I don’t want people to think that we sell arts and crafts. I want them to know that we sell jewelry, both clay and metal, we have hand-turned woodworking, pottery, children’s clothing, art and other gifts and home decor.”

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She noted that the business is something both she and Thorne had been thinking about for a while.

“Pat and I were talking one day, and we each began to express little parts of our ideas for our dream shop,” Eggleston said. “We had a lot of the same thoughts and decided to explore whether we could make it happen.”

She recalled that they started putting all the pieces together this past May to start the business and reach out to the artists to see if they could make it possible.

“It was molded into our shop, HandMade, which we both feel so passionate about and love,” Eggleston said.

The dream of Eggleston and Thorne was to support area artists and craftspeople, like themselves, with a venue where they could sell their goods, also giving the community a place where it could buy handmade goods from its own members.

HandMade had a soft opening Friday, and despite the rainy weather Saturday, it drew about 50 people in the morning to its grand opening and enjoyed steady traffic throughout the day, Eggleston said.

The opportunities to shop at HandMade will be select given the current nature of the business.

“It’s a limited-time venture for right now,” Eggleston said. “It’s a pop-up shop that’s open until Dec. 22, but we’re planning to pop up again in the springtime at a different location somewhere in Farmville.”

“So, the pop-up aspect of it kind of gives an excitement to the fact that the products and the merchandise are not available all the time, so it’s a limited time,” she continued. “And so a lot of our goods are very Christmas-focused or holiday-focused this time around. The next pop up obviously won’t be Christmas-themed, it’ll be different, and there’ll be different merchandise, and there’ll probably be, also, some different artists and craftspeople in there as well.”

HandMade will be open at 1 Mill St. from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 12-4 p.m. on Sundays until Dec. 22.

Eggleston said the store is aiming to have something for all ages.

“It’s really a great place to come by gifts for Christmas and for other holidays,” she said. “We have gifts for children, we have gifts for women, men — anyone, really. And we wanted our price range to be in that gift-giving range, so a lot of things in our store are under $25. We have some higher-priced items, but a lot of our stuff is under $25, and it’s because we wanted it to be appropriate for gift-giving season.”

Two events are coming up that HandMade will be involved in. The store will host a book reading and signing Saturday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. with Leanne Hill, author and illustrator of “The Giving Sack,” which is on sale at the store.

There will also be a Sip and Shop event at Third Street Brewing Company, located at 312 W. Third St. on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 5-7 p.m.

“We’ll have a few tables there with goods where people can shop there at Third Street if they’re in there having a brew,” Eggleston said.