Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bling for Everybody!

Last week while I was disappeared, our Collaborative Craft Studio participated in our first Holiday Home Show Tour Boutique.

For those of you who are new to my blog, a couple of years ago I started an informal art therapy group for myself and for adults who have developmental disabilities or mental illness as well as for family caregivers. We primarily worked on Christmas ornaments for fun. A few of our members took some of our creations to a craft fair, and made a good amount of money.

And a collaborative craft studio was born!

Today we employ 10 people. We have a private studio space, and for those who prefer to work out of their homes, we pick up and deliver supplies so they can work at their own pace. Every ornament we have is created by several sets of hands---from the quilting, the beading, the ribbon toppers, the photography and more.

My dear friend KL flew in from out of town a few weeks ago to get a break from her life, work on ornaments, update our website and help me with the Boutique show.

It rocked. Although the turnout wasn't what was advertised, we kicked ass in sales.

One very kind lady who was impressed with our wares asked us if we would come and give a talk at her group about our non-profit. I told her that we don't accept grants or government funding and that we are very FOR profit! Not to be unkind to her, but many think that any employment specifically designed for people who have disabilities must be involved with a non-profit organization.

People who have disabilities working a real job that provides cash and capitalism. What a concept! ;-)

In addition to what we sold at the show, we signed up a few gift shops who loved our stuff for Easter and next Christmas. Everyone was very nice...well almost everyone.

One ignoramus said to KL, "I don't believe disabled people could turn out such a professional product, so I'm not buying because you're frauds".

She was like, "Hello? I'm a person who has a disability! Whatevah!"

I wish I had been able to introduce this person to Cindy. She was the prime creator of our minis, which were the hottest sellers of the weekend, and she has Down Syndrome. We sold over 100 of them.

Anyhoo, we're almost sold out for the year, but it's not too late to get an ornament or two. They're perfect for that little gift for a friend, a relative, a co-worker or even for your own tree. Come pay us a visit!


Queen-Size funny bone said...

wish we had something like that around here. Wonderful.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Outstanding! I'm so happy for your hardworking crew. They do amazing work that will grace people's trees for years to come. High five.

As for the moron with the nasty comment- Give me a break. What an idiot. Sheesh.

xo jj

Stinkypaw said...

Wow, they are beautiful! COngrats to you and your team, this is great work, disable or not. That lady was just plain idiot, they're everywhere!

Jeanie said...

What a great and talented crew you have. It is hard to believe how ignorant some can be about people with disabilities.

Willoughby said...

Some people are just so ignorant! Doesn't that woman know that you can be disabled and talented at the same time? The crafters you work with are true artists. I can't believe she had the nerve to call your artists frauds!

The ornaments are gorgeous! I'm not a bit surprised that you sold so many.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Such lovely work. Such a lovely purpose.

Brenda said...

They're very beautiful!

Chris H said...

OMG they are just gorgeous! Do you have the pattern for the lilac coloured ones with the flowers????

Rootietoot said...

To all y'all, I have a couple of these and YES, they are GORGEOUS!

Jennifer Jayhawk said...

The ornaments are gorgeous and extraordinary on so many levels.

What an amazing resource!

Chris H said...

Woo hoo! Thanks for that mate, I look forward to the kit! and of course I am happy to pay postage!