so i assume by now most of you know i own and run a bed and breakfast. inside that bed and breakfast, in what used to be the living room and entryway, i have a little gift shoppe. again, if you’ve been around for a while, you already know this.

Inspired By Charm

so, this weekend i’m finally packing away all the unsold christmas items. yes, they are still up. but don’t worry the rest of the house is christmas free. i’m been thinking a lot about the direction i want to take the shoppe, what items sell well, what makes people happy, etc.

right now i do order from a couple wholesale companies who products are mostly made outside of the united states. they do have nice things and the price is right, but i just don’t enjoying seeing all this stuff coming in that says made in china. nothing against china, but i’d like to start supporting more local and/or small craft businesses, artists and designers. make sense?

Inspired By Charm

also, over the years i’ve built quite the inventory in my shoppe and it’s becoming a little too ‘full’ for me. my goal for this year is to simplify. i need more empty space. i’m feeling overrun with ‘stuff’.

Inspired By Charm

anyway, back to my point. i need your help. i’ve tried searching the internet and places like etsy for great products but i’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. so i thought i could turn to you for some help and input.

how, you ask?

well, are you an artist/crafter/small business person person that has really cool products and are willing to ship products for me to sell in my shoppe?

if you are not an artist/crafter/small business person,  is there a product you love that is made by a small shop (or larger business located in the US), local artist/crafter/designer that you think i should carry?

if you answered ‘yes’, then you can totally help! …keep reading.

i do attempt to have some sort of theme or feeling in my shoppe. the look is contemporary/traditional meets rustic/vintage. … i guess that’s the best way to describe it. i’m not a country store. though i do have a touch of primitive (more vintage) here and there. i love more contemporary things that’d you’d see in west elm. but i also love traditional things like that of pottery barn. i also love crafty, colorful and whimsical things that you’d see at a local craft fair. (though, no crocheted toilet paper roll covers.) again, if you scroll through my blog or my pinterest account you’ll get a pretty good idea of what i’m looking for. i also included some pictures in this post for inspiration. oh, and the look of things is very important to me. i love pretty unique packaging.

Inspired By Charm

i’m really hoping to find an amazing line of bath and body products: lotions, bath salts, bath bombs. i do sell this soap from indigo wilds – a company based in kansas city missouri. Also looking for maybe some crafty/stationary things? possibly a jewelry line? unique wall decor? home decor? some sort of hard candies?

some other american brand products i currently sell are bridgewater candles, curly girl designs, bebop biscotti, stone house dip mixes, goblin chocolates (actually made right here in st. marys!)

Inspired By Charm

i’m aware that the response to this may be limited but you gals and guys are so amazing i figured it was worth a shot. and i know most of you can’t visit my shoppe (due to distance) and that’s a really bummer, but i hope you can help me out anyway. maybe, just maybe, i can start an online shop some day. wouldn’t that be awesome!?

Inspired By Charm

with so many talented people and artists right in my own backyard i kind of feel ashamed that i don’t have more ‘locally’ made things available. and there is not better time to change this than right now. i came across this quote/image the other day and it’s really what got my brain in a tizzy.

Inspired By Charm

via

i’d really appreciate, if you can’t help, if you could pass this post/message along to your friends or someone you think may be able to help.

feel free to leave a comment below with any response or suggestion. you can also email me at inspiredbycharm@yahoo.com if you’d prefer to keep things on the down low. if that’s how you roll.

i will be tweeting and facebooking and pining my our finds, so feel free to follow along in the excitement!

i thank you in advance for all your help. and always remember to support small business and all things local.

Inspired By Charm

and please know i’d love to sell everyone’s work, but i do have a small space and i’m searching for a specific look, so please, please don’t be offended if i am unable to sell your products. thank you again.

Inspired By Charm

via FOLK magazine

Inspired By Charm Paint Colors
Comments

  • Clydia at

    I love doing hand painted wall art. I could do just about anything that you could think up. Don’t know if your interested in that sorta thing since I’ve seen your painting skills as well. :)Love your blog by the way!

    PS – a little or BIG sign with “Dorothy lied” would be pretty cute on the wall!

    XO,
    Clydia
    threemangoseeds.blogspot.com {blog}
    mangoseedmarketplace.blogspot.com {shop}

  • Lisa Haby Langlinais at

    Hi there, I just discovered your blog yesterday. Loved your sign! And love that you quilt! I do to, I’ve been a little sidetracked lately and haven’t quilted in a few months. I have Crafters A.D.D. I have so many projects going on right now. I am also working on getting a blog. Just read your post today and I discovered some really great candles by mccallscandles.com. They are made in the USA and they are awesome. They have beautiful jars so they would be perfect in your cute little shoppe! Looking forward to reading your blog! Lisa

  • Laura at

    Hi! I am a fairly new reader, but I have really enjoyed your blog so far! I have a little invitation and design shop on Etsy, and I am about to start selling stationary. Just need to snap some photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would love to send you some actual samples and see if they are something that you would be interested in! Do you have a PO Box or mailing address that I could have? I could also send digital proofs.

    My email address is butlerpaperandprint@gmail.com

    My shop is http://www.butlerpaperandprint.com

    Thanks!

  • Victory Garden Yarn at

    You once contacted me about my hand-crocheted ‘Granny Hoop’ wall art and I wasn’t in a position to consign/wholesale at the time, but I am now! I’ve actually been thinking about shooting you an email to get the conversation started again, but wasn’t quite sure if you would still be interested! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I would love to work with you, the photographs you take of your shop look so amazing!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/VictoryGardenYarn

  • Teri at

    So appreciate you supporting the “little guys”!! I love buying local artist things when I travel and it is sometimes hard to find them in shops.

  • Emily at

    Whaaaat? I’ve been crocheting toilet paper covers for you for months!! So offended.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jessica wilson at

    hi Michael!

    This may be obvious or you already do this but how a about locally made food stuffs? I know you have had some mixes and such but whand if yer interested, i can make up some pretties just for you…little pouches, sachets, shabby rustic modern magnets…dilly bags? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Miss Effie at

    Michael …. As a small shop owner that only carries locally made items .. good decision!!!

    There are times that I worry about selling a $40 apron or a $50 scarf when they are selling at Wal-Mart for 1/4 of the price.

    But I am pretty certain no one has ever written to Wal-Mart about selling a quality, handmade local item.

    One step at a time… one dance lesson or grocery bill … we will turn this economy around!

  • Brenda Watts at

    I think you are on the right page here with your new shop ideas. Folks love handmade, when they are on vaca they want to bring home something special that touches them in someway. Handmade things do that, they bring a smile and a fond memory or it may be something unique they want to bring home to someone close to their heart. I have a small retail gallery with my work in my wood studio and always love to interact with folks who come during the busy summer season up here in PEI, Can. In your case, you can tell them a story about the pieces you have there because you know the maker and why they make what they do. Go for it!!..

  • Ktvine@aol.com at

    I used to craft and do a lot of shows in my area. I gave it up since my hands developed arthritis, and have a big box of goodies I’d love to share. I’ll get my photog daughter to take some pics of them, and if you are interested in anything, I’ll happily send it to you and you can do what you like. I want my closet back! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You are AMAZING!

  • linwood avenue at

    I sell my aprons from linwoodavenue.etsy.com in various stores and would love to talk if yr interested. also, littlealouette.com is amazing. amy is the leader of this family run natural wooden teething toy biz and her packaging is adorable. I know because I designed it ๐Ÿ˜‰ they make everything in Columbus, Ohio. drop her an email and tell her I sent you!

  • Naomi at

    I have an etsy shop where I sell fabric covered boxes. I’m not sure I have anything that fits the style you’re looking for, but I also do custom work. Any quilting fabric works. http://www.boxyboxes.com

    I’m new to your blog, but I love what I see so far!

  • CT mom at

    I love your support of American and locally made items. I have found These GREAT soy candles (environmentally better also) made in Colorado in fun reusable containers. They also carry some body products. Check them out…
    http://www.evergreencandleworks.com

  • Beth @Under A Pile of Scrap! at

    I make all kinds of crafts with repurposed stuff, but I’m in no way set up in a business format (wish I was)… but I just wanted to say that I would love to give you a big hug for putting this request out there like you have. I even repinned the sign about who people are really supporting. I may use it someday.

  • Ali Richardson at

    I think it’s so awesome that you want to sell more hand crafted USA made items in your beautiful shop!! If I could underline and bold and all caps the word beautiful, I would ๐Ÿ™‚
    Don’t know if it fits the look, but I have an Etsy shop you could take a look at. I am a fan of cute packaging, so anything you see in the shop will be packaged to perfection ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://www.oohlalaco.etsy.com
    Anyway, no hard feelings of course, just throwing it in the mix ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy hunting and I’ll let you know if I find anything amazing out there too ๐Ÿ™‚ Ali

  • EeeBeeDee at

    Hello! A friend told me about your blog and sent me the link to this post because she thought my whimsical plush items might fit well in your shop! Here is a link to my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/EeeBeeDee

    If you want to get in touch with me about sending you a sample or if you have any questions you can contact me at emilybennetdesign@gmail.com

    Thank you! Glad to see you are supporting small DIY businesses!

  • Slugabed at

    I take pictures and blog for a rug weaver in Iowa. I think her rugs would b a good fit for your store. She also has a huge fabric store. Quilt fabric anyone? Her prices are killer good.
    Rugs are at inweaverugs.com
    Fabric at inweavefabric.com
    Best wishes for your store, off to explore your site.

  • Anonymous at

    Bless, bless, bless your heart! THANK YOU! If americans supported americans there would be no unemployment or bad economy! Thank you dear michael! i hope your business booms! sharon

  • azteclady at

    If I were you, I would post in the Etsy forums explaining what you explain here–and if you tell them the area you are in, you will quite likely receive numerous suggestions for local craftspeople who could help you out with great, handmade, original and tasteful (in whichever way tickles your fancy) items, both for your shoppe and your inn.

  • Jane at

    If you’re interested in handmade eco-friendly cheerful greeting cards, inspirational mini journals, gift tags and other paper goodies I do wholesale. All my items are made from 100% recycled/100% post consumer fiber or tree-free linen and are handcrafted by me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://www.happydappybits.com

  • Christa at

    I am a new, but already devoted, follower of you blog and pins. I don’t yet have my own products to offer, but was thinking that if you did smaller versions or prints of your fabulous “beautiful place” sign, they would be very popular, especially with folks that stay at your inn. You have a great eye, obviously, and with so many fantastic artisans around, you will find just the right mix of hand-crafted, made in America goodies for your shoppe.

  • Holly at

    Hi Michael, my name is Holly and I make unique feather jewelry and accessories. I sell my items wholesale and would love for you to take a peak at my little shop when you get a chance. You can check my stuff out at http://peacefrogdesigns.etsy.com and I can be reached thru my email at hollydenny85 @ hotmail.com or directly at my Etsy shop. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon!

  • Anonymous at

    http://www.faribaultmill.com makes beautiful wool throws and accessories in Minnesota. I came across their incredible story in a USA article a little while ago: http://www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/story/2011-11-29/small-business-startup-economy-risk/51475676/1?loc=interstitialskip

    It’s a worthwhile article. I was so impressed I bookmarked the page so I could go back and order from them. I love that the new owners brought this mill back from the dead and rehired the old workers.

    Good luck with your shop!

  • Walking on Sunshine... at

    I just found your blog through Pinterest. You had a recipe up there of cookies that I also make. I enjoy your blog! Very nice! Love all the items, especially the lanterns. You should open an online shop one day! Enjoy your weekend!

  • Angie at

    Hi Michael!

    I have a bath & body line that you can see on Etsy. (SudsNSuch.etsy.com) If I have what you’re looking for I’d love to work with you. What part of PA are you in? I grew up in Boyertown.

    Angie

  • Brandi at

    Hi!

    I just recently found your blog and I LOVE IT! I want to come stay at your cozy little bed and breakfast so bad!

    I do not sell anything, though I hope to one day. BUT, I have bought a number of Christmas gifts from a local company here in Texas – http://www.loungelizardusa.com/ . They make the most beautiful wrought iron products. All handmade. They are usually at our Austin Christmas Classic. I am a new reader, but I think some of their products would fit your style nicely.

    Good luck! I bet you are going to find some really amazing things!

  • PickleLady at

    Hi Michael. I’m a fiber/embroidery artist who sells on Etsy and in local shops here in Central PA. I’m just getting started, but would be interested in talking to you more about working together.

    You can check out my Etsy Shop (www.pickleladyfarm.etsy.com)or email me and I can send you pictures of my finished work. The items I sell in a local boutique are more “contemporary vintage” than the more edgy items I sell on Etsy.

    I love that you are looking to support small/local artisans. I have a great deal of experience in purchasing and merchandising, and you’re right on top of the trends here. I encourage you to focus on customer education and market yourself to highlight the quality and impact customers get by buying from small/local artists.

  • Engineer&TheGypsy at

    We make neo-victorian clothing, but the shawls I make are also very country themed. I sell on etsy and through a store in York, PA (we are out of Red Lion). Our shop on etsy is http://www.engineerandthegypsy.etsy.com take a look and see if there’s anything you’d be interested in selling. Thank you so much for your time.

    Sincerely,
    Samara Cogsbane

  • Raziela Designs at

    I don’t know if my jewelry would be a good fit for you, but I will keep my eye out for things that I think might be of interest to you. I know I have seen some really beautiful things on Etsy. Check my shop out and see if there is anything that you might like…. http://razieladesigns.etsy.com

  • StellasKnits at

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Susie Qs Bath and Body at

    Hi Michaie,I make handmade bath & body products.I Would love for you to check out my Etsy shop and see if you are interested in anything. Made with love right here in the Kansas Heartland! SusieQsbathandbody.etsy.com

  • StellasKnits at

    Not sure if my work fits your aesthetic but please feel free to have a look around to see if anything might fit ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://www.stellasknits.etsy.com

    I have been honored to have my shawl inspired by the one Reese Witherspoon wore in Sweet Home Alabama featured in a publication in the United Kingdom and most recently one of my sports scarves was on the January 18, 2012, episode of the sit-com “The Middle”.

  • libraryleslie at

    Hi Michael,
    Have you ever used Windy Hill Farms products? They are all natural homemade lotions, soaps, etc. Sherry runs it in Hazen, PA; she’s such a great lady! Go to http://www.windyhillfarmnaturals.com/ for more information.

    If you want general crafts my neighbor just opened up a little shop, not sure what they have, but I’ve heard great things. It’s on main street in Kersey.

  • donna at

    I am a tatter and was wondering if you felt a few hand tatted items would have a place in your shop. I tat earrings, bookmarks, coasters, small doilies, etc. If you have any interest please feel free to email me at dmvtatter at gmail dot com.

  • Maureen Cracknell Handmade at

    Michael, In the Fall when I am n=making handmade full time, I’d love for you to consider my items for your shop? Let me know what you think?? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best of luck, friend!!

  • SilverCrow at

    Lovely shoppe & blog. Thanks!

  • amy of four corners design at

    love that you are looking to support artisians! I create a line of stationery – I call them vintage art cards – perfect for quick notes – great images that I create – details at my etsy shop
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/fourcornersdesign
    and would be happy to talk with you about a wholesale account…
    thanks
    amy

  • Elizabeth at

    Dear Michael,

    My family owns a small leather company, in addition to manufacturing items for the police and military we also provate lable items such as business card holders, etc. If you think that is something that yourld interest you let me know.

  • Emerald Hills at

    Check out http://lotionbarcafe.com
    They have natural, and handcrafted, products. they make lipbalm, soaps, bath products, drinks, and a bunch of other things. there lotion bars are a great little gift. gave them for xmas.

  • SandyNewhartDesigns at

    Hi Michael…loved reading your story… sounds like a lovely place! Thank you for your support of handmade items. My name is Sandy Newhart and I custom design holiday and everyday silk floral arrangements, wreaths, swags and pre-decorated Christmas and novelty trees. I do have an shop on ETSY.com… Sandy Newhart Designs. I design in any decor, Victorian, rustic, country, contemporary, shabby chic etc…and my pieces are all made by hand and custom orders are always welcome! I would love you to visit my shop and if there is anything you would be interested in please feel free to e-mail me regarding pricing etc. I am in Northeast Pa. My e-mail is: sandynewhart@gmail.com and my etsy shop is http://www.etsy.com/shop/SandyNewhartDesigns… best of luck to you!

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