Over the past year I have been adding art prints and greeting cards to my line of goods under the Gather Goods Co brand. When I first started my business in 2014 (almost twenty years ago) I began by putting my art on different products, namely apparel, jewelry and textiles that I sold through my website and in shops around the country under my name. Some of those products got significant buzz but it was hard for me to juggle being a mom to a young child, running an event business, doing photography and styling, and needing a wide margin to care for my own self-care needs too. Now that my teen is in high school and I’ve been running a brick and mortar for about a decade and only doing the occasional styling projects when they are too good to pass up, I have a bit more space to dedicate to my own art practice and I have more confidence in the process and the time required to make it a success and in myself overall.
I am equal parts ambitious and laid-back always striving for a career that allows me to be present at home and with my family (and garden and rescue dog and cat) but where I can express my creativity and challenge myself. I have always wanted to grow a product based company properly, having helped other companies do the same prior to my brick and mortar days, but knew if I was going to do it, I didn’t want to do it piecemeal and I wanted to make sure it didn’t take over everything else which is part of why I have waited so long to focus on it after such a long hiatus.
It is so much easier for me to focus on promoting other people and to tell their stories and share their art and curate their goods and create platforms for them to succeed than it is to focus on my own work but neglecting my art feels like an omission too.
My goal for this year was to just begin and to start wholesaling my products. This past year I have been setting up at markets, quietly testing different products in person and inside Gather Goods Co alongside all the other wares I curate and sell in the shop and online.
I created a series of botanical art prints that were the impetus for really pulling this whole thing together and finally making a proper go of it. I have come up with processes that help me pull together collections easier than in the past and I have given myself more grace to just “put it out there” and “done is better than perfect” and also allowing the creative process to be more fluid and loose. I am still nervous of the unknown, that I will get myself in over my head, that everything is too “basic”, that nobody will be interested. But I’m moving forward despite that.
Though my subject matter and styles vary they are unified by a colorful palette, a love of nature and found objects, a common mixed media process and an overall feel which is feminine, lovely and whimsical.
This week I am dropping of some cards at a local art gallery here in Raleigh, 311 Gallery, my first store outside of Gather Goods Co. I guess on that measure I have begun to reach my goal. If you know of other stores who might be a good fit for my wares, let me know. Meanwhile, you can always find them in-person at my space Gather Goods Co in downtown Cary located at 417 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary NC 27511 (we are open every Wednesday-Saturday 11am-5pm) or online anytime.