I was so excited to get the email from the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce about the Martha’s Vineyard Made 1st Island Trade Show – the first of many I bet.
Founded by Heidi Feldman (Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt) and Rachel Baumrin (Austin Designs), this trade show, held at the Chamber of Commerce in Vineyard Haven, hosted a number of local artists and food purveyors – all of which were there to meet with Island store owners to talk about how to get their products into their stores.
How clever! A great way to connect artists, who had wholesale prices available and shop owners. We all know that people love to support local artists and businesses, and this event made it easy to meet with a large number, all under one roof.
Though I am not a retailer, I went to meet new business owners, and of course to say hi to some of my favorites. I was really impressed with the set-up. There was a booklet for a resource for the Island made goods with lots of information. I can definitely see this event growing and happening at least twice a season, as products change and inventory needs change as well.
Each table featured Island made goods and their maker. I was particularly excited to meet Cathy Peters, of Mimi’s Hittin’ the Sauce. I have wanted to try her hot sauce and write about her. Here. I was able to get to know her a little, and now know that she would be a great blog topic. Also, I have a little sample of there hot sauce, though I am a bit of chicken and got medium.
Also, I was able to learn about Martha’s Vineyard Mushrooms. Kathryn Leonard-Peck and her son have a new mushroom company in West Tisbury. Not only are they growing artisanal but they’re also making some really cool things with mushrooms, including lip balm and facial moisturizer. Yes, I did put a little of that on my face. It smelled amazing and seemed really creamy. This too might be a blog topic.
I also learned that Caleen Abraham, of Caleen’s Day Spa where I get my eyebrows done, has a whole line of beautiful bath and body products, Sweet Orchids, all made with organic and natural ingredients, crafted on Island. People are very good on this Island at having more than one talent.
It was nice to see some of my favorites as well, like Abe Pieciak of Lure-Fish, who is one of my favorite Island artists. It was also fun to see shop owners buying his goods for their store.
Beth Hohenthal-Thigith from Vineyard Wick & Bath was there. You all know I love her handmade candles. And guess what!?!? She is making her body butter again. I love this stuff. So glad to find this out.
Kate Zelenaka, Noepe Designs, was there with a whole new leather key fob collection – in white no less. There were so many of these that I wanted. Not only are they white, but she has introduced metallics — so cute. She is also doing more traditional ones too. I have had a Noepe Designs orange key fob for about a year, but I see a new white one in my future for Spring.
LA Hart jewelry was there, one of the first of the 10 artisans to start the West Tisbury Artisan’s Market! It was nice learning about inspiration from Lorri Hart for her jewelry. For example, the ring in the middle was made to represent boardwalks to Island beaches. To the right and left, these rings were inspired by newly planted beach grass on State Beach, a subtle nod to the Island.
There were so many great Island purveyors at this trade show. Island Bee Company (honey that is really from the Island), Bluewave Body Co., which I must mention. I cannot wait to check out their new store in Vineyard Haven.
Founders, Heidi and Rachel where there, and I even got to try a new Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt flavor – Smoked Oak, and there are new flavors in the works and chic new branding too.
Enchanted Chocolates, Not Your Sugar Mamas, And Pam’s Pesto were there with their delicious foods. The list goes on and on. It was a great show. I learned a lot and got to see what’s new for Spring from a number of artists I like.
Rachel and Heidi came up with the idea for Martha’s Vineyard Made from a show they attended that was similar off-Island. They both thought a similar show would translate well on the Island. For retailers looking to feature Island made goods in their store, this is a perfect event.
You can learn more about Martha’s Vineyard Made on its website, and many of the artists featured here have Facebook pages. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube and Instagram.