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26 October 2007

Third annual HACC Artisan Marketplace features emerging entrepreneurs

Amy Brightbill of Etters turns beads, glass, ribbon, sliders and Swavorski crystals into pendants and bracelets.

She has a business partner - her 14-year-old daughter, Becky. This makes the work all the more special because it gives them bonding time together. “Becky is a real contributor; she always has good ideas,” Amy enthusiastically volunteers.

But marketing the jewelry as a business is different from concentrating solely on being a creative, practicing artisan, she admits. A friend who works for HACC told her about the HACC Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies about a year and a half ago and she got involved in learning how to conduct the business side of the operation including getting her products to the right market.

The work of the Brightbill mother-and-daughter team goes on display starting Nov. 3 as part of the third annual HACC Artisan Marketplace, which makes its home in the Perry Council of the Arts’ nationally recognized arts gallery in Newport. David McNaughton, business counselor for HACC’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies, sees the Artisan Marketplace is an integral part of a plan designed to reach out to people who have home-based businesses in rural areas.

“We are dedicated to the concept of helping emerging artisans develop marketable products and identify the market they should target,” he adds.

“This is the second year in which we’ve participated in the marketplace,” says Brightbill, one of 31 artists who were accepted in the HACC program. She also has benefited throughout the year by seeking individual counseling about business development.

She calls the whole HACC experience a win-win situation.

Brightbill is among nine returning artisans who had successful runs as part of the HACC Marketplace last year. Twenty-two others met the high-quality test to participate for the first time this year.

The work of more than 100 Perry County Council of Arts members also will be part of this annual show in which HACC and the arts council collaborate.

Jasmine Campbell, gallery manager for the arts council, says the cooperative venture with HACC is a real positive. It “attracts more people” to the gallery, stimulates interest in handicrafts and art objects and increases sales of the rural artists.

The show also “provides shoppers with a friendly and personalized experience,” Campbell adds.

Gift items for the holiday season will include original paintings, pastels, limited edition prints, photographs, pottery, woodcrafts, mosaics, ornaments, ironwork, stained glass, jewelry, sculpture, hand-woven rugs and textiles, handbags, music and books.

The gallery has gained recognition as NICHE magazine’s 2006 Top Retailer for “Best Guild Store” and the 2007 recipient of “Best Arts Nonprofit.”

Fast Facts about the Artisan Marketplace

The third annual Artisan Marketplace opens with a reception from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Perry County Council of the Arts gallery, 1 South Second St., Newport.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Classical guitarist Mark Wesling of Hershey will perform. His CDs will be available for sale.

The gallery hosts the Artisan Marketplace through Saturday, Dec. 22, with the gallery closed on Thanksgiving.

November hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

December hours will expand to accommodate holiday shoppers to 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to HACC's Website, more information is available by calling HACC's Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at 717-221-1311, send an email (address below) to Dave McNaughton at HACC, the Perry County Council of the Arts at 717-567-7023 or visit the Council's Website.

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