OK Folks - it's time for me to start to connect the dots and explain how Patti and I got from There to Here.
Patti and I have always enjoyed crafts - making them and buying them. When we moved to Texas in 1993 and Patti took a painting class at a local Michael's - that was a major 'dot'. As was the decision to sell our crafts at a Crafter's Mall. We proved that there was a demand for our items and that people were willing to buy them. But we rarely got to meet any of 'our customers' - something was missing.
While living in New York and starting around 2002, Patti began networking with Crafters from all over the country. This turned out to be a major 'dot'. We had experienced selling our crafts in a Crafter's Mall along side of other crafters and we couldn't keep up with the demand. We thought about doing Craft Shows or finding another store in New York where we could sell our Crafts. We even thought about having our own Crafts Store - and our house was zoned for a business. But it just didn't work out. We continued to make crafts - saving them for a rainy day and occasionally giving them as gifts to family and friends.
Then in 2004 we moved back to Pennsylvania (we're both originally from this area). A few years later we joined some friends and entered a Craft Show. There was still a demand for our crafts and people were still willing to buy them. In a way this turned out to be a 'dot' also. As some of you know, a 1 or 2 day Craft Show takes a lot of preparation: making a lot of crafts in advance, packing them and loading them, driving to the Craft Show, unloading, unpacking and setting up the display, and so on and so on. But at least you got to meet your customers.
So we didn't really like the idea of a Crafter's Mall or Craft Shows - although we learned a lot from both of them. We did enjoy the many Craft Shops and other businesses we visited over the years as customers and we knew that was the ultimate way to share our love of crafts.
We realized that we had the Passion for making crafts - for years we made them for the joy of making them - we weren't selling most of what we made. And all those Craft Shops, general stores and restaurants - all those places Patti and I visited over the years that I've been telling you about in previous postings - those were all 'dots' that we connected and assembled into our Vision of the Craft Shop experience we wanted to share with friends.
So somewhere between the time we moved to Millersburg and around March of 2006, after walking past our Summer Kitchen countless times we said 'This is it - this is our Craft Shop!' This was also going to take a lot of work just to get the building ready - the best thing the prior owners did for us was put on the Tin roof and the porch. But right inside the door, the floor was missing - so were most of the walls. And you could watch the sun set through the old siding. We'd need a lot of time, materials and tools to get this Craft Shop ready - but we already had the most important tools waiting for us - our Passion for making crafts and our Vision of the Craft Shop experience...