The Local Coop: Meet the Makers Posted on 28 Sep 11:49 , 0 comments

In my pre-Stash days I explored various ways of making money with my knitting and crocheting skills. I made custom handknit items for my friends and family and in the now defunct Alchemy section of Etsy, I taught knitting and crochet summer camp at the City of Largo and did private lessons via Betterfly.com. None of those were quite the right fit for me but had I known about the business model that The Local Coop envisioned the story may have gone a different way. Here's their story:

The Local COOP, located in the Crislip Arcade on the 600 Block in Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, features locally handcrafted goods from over 40 artists and makers. The COOP carries a large selection of art, home decor, gifts, The Mini COOP, the children's section of the COOP features children's clothing, toys, games, nursery decor and more. 

                                     

The Local COOP is a collaboration between four co-owners Stephanie Bolton (Business: Sweet Treat), Jennifer Clark (Business: Monkey Toez Creations), Lauren Constantino (Business: Green Street Mosaics), and Danni LeTendre (Business: Spring Green Handbags).

The four co-owners met via a local online group for handcrafters and share the mutual goal of bringing area makers together through a brick and mortar in Saint Petersburg.

They each had an individual online handcrafted businesses or a presence at the area markets, but wanted to join forces to open a storefront to sell their goods and have a local stake in the vibrant arts community in St. Pete. We also wanted to provide fellow local artists and makers a permanent location to showcase their goods.  The Local COOP is a storefront where shoppers know can they can consistently find quality locally made gifts or treats for themselves

                                 

In addition to goods offered by the co-owners, The Local COOP features handcrafted items from over 40 additional artists working in different mediums including glass, leather, textiles, wood, and ceramics. Each maker lives in the Tampa Bay area and all goods are handmade.

Each month, the COOP features one "Maker of the Month." We also have a "Meet your Maker Wall" where customers can put faces and names with the handcrafted products he or she is purchasing. 

The Local COOP is open Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 6 pm and 11 am - 9 pm during the second Saturday ArtWalk each month.