Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Why I love ByLocal?
Well the answer is friendship and common goals.
I first moved to Cheltenham six years ago and only knew my fiance and his family. It was a big shock to move to a small town after living in a busy city like Edinburgh. Three years ago, I was made redundant from my teaching post after government cuts - Yes the Labour government made cuts too! - I decided to become self-employed and sell my wares. I design and make Soft Toys (plushies), Accessories and Home Decor all from recycled leather and unloved textiles.
www.eunicemakes.com (Not for the first time as I have had a previous life as a dressmaker and upholsterer).
I soon found that it was harder to be self-employed in Cheltenham, as I didn't know anybody. I didn't know where to sell, which markets to attend etc., etc. I joined up to the ByLocal shop and soon found that everyone was very helpful and shared lots of information about Cheltenham and the surrounding area, art courses, markets... the list is endless.
As time went on I became a supervisor and enjoyed the ByLocal experience even more. I get to meet lots of lovely, like-minded people who have become good friends and also quiz them about their artist techniques, marketing and promotions.
We even have a Swap Box where artists can leave unwanted resources or books for others to use. All of us have had a good clear out and donated our "rubbish" to the swap box, there's always someone that will need it. Any leftovers go to the nearest charity shop, so it's a win-win situation.
If it wasn't for ByLocal I wouldn't have started my new online business www.airmailrepublic.com which is an online gallery shop where artists can sell their work and post it directly to your doorstep.
I realised that a lot of the ByLocalites did not have a web presence and I wanted to change that. I have sold my creations on Etsy for years and thought I could set up a website where the artists could promote themselves and sell their Art. Each week my site is growing with more and more artists wanting to join so I can only thank ByLocal for helping spread my wings in Cheltenham's creative community.
It has helped me a great deal!
Me - www.eunicemakes.com
New gallery - www.airmailrepublic.com