About this project
It's hard to avoid megastores these days, and frankly, there is a strange appeal to being able to buy thirty pounds of bananas and a 90" projection TV in the same shopping trip. But some of us think it's more appealing to know the people who make the things we use and pay them a fair wage to do what they love. Some of us want to keep our dollars close to home and help craft hobbyists become professional makers.
Homespun will be a place for people who think outside the Big Box; it will be a brick-and-mortar retail outlet for makers, a gallery space for emerging visual artists, and a classroom space dedicated to teaching crafting techniques to beginners and business development skills to pros. The idea for Homespun is an outgrowth of the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange, our popular bi-annual indie craft fair. Our hope is that Homespun will serve as a retail anchor in our east side Indianapolis neighborhood, Irvington, and help spur commercial redevelopment along East Washington Street.
Funds raised through our Kickstarter project will contribute to the creation of Homespun's workshop space. Specifically, it will help us purchase handmade workshop tables and seating created by Indianapolis' own Chris Foster of Fosterweld, shelving, workshop supplies and equipment, and a kitchenette for workshop hospitality.
04.22.2010 - Since we have been lucky enough to exceed our initial goal, additional funding will go to other essential start-up purchases such as handmade window signage from local signmaker Eric Nolan of Flatland Kitchen, print design and marketing materials from our friend Karli Kujawa-Smith of Karli Kujawa Graphic Design, fixtures and displays, lighting, office supplies, store-front build out, etc.
We just received word that our small business loan application through Key Bank was rejected, so we're looking to scrape together more funds through any non-traditional means we are able. This Kickstarter project has been a great beginning, and anything more we can continue to gather here will be put to very good use. We have also applied for, and received, grants through the Refresh Everything program and through our neighborhood group, the Irvington Development Organization. It was a bit of a blow to find out we weren't going to be receiving the bank loan, but in the long run it will probably be more beneficial to do this debt free. We are moving forward, and in fact, just decided on a definite location for the store front last night. We will be securing the space with the landlord in the next week!
You can learn more about Homespun by watching this short video on YouTube, listening to our interview with Don Stuck of Indy radio station X103, or reading this article on the Refresh Blog by Rebecca McQuigg Rigal of GOOD.
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