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New Adams Crafts Store Promotes Local Artisans

By Dan Gigliotti
iBerkshires Correspondent
01:00PM / Tuesday, November 19, 2013
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Kit & Kaboodle is the newest business to open on Park Street.

ADAMS, Mass. — For folks interested in artisan crafts, a new downtown business is offering the full shebang.

Kit & Kaboodle opened last Monday at 3 Park St. with an array of local, handmade artisan products from more than 25 different area vendors, including handmade jewelry, stained glass, furniture, soaps, candles and clothing.

Store owner Carolyn Albert who displays her own crocheted items, said her focus is on promoting local artisans more than making a buck.

"I want people to know that there's stuff out there that people make that is better than what's going in stores," Albert said.

More of a collaborative than a retail business, vendors pay a $25 monthly fee to display their products, which curbs rent and other startup costs incurred as a new business, like the nearly $700 Albert spent making the space attractive to customers. She said her model for vendor contributions is similar to other establishments in Pittsfield and North Adams.

Albert's concept sprang from a personal desire to own a business and the positive reception she receives regularly from her own knitting and crocheting crafts, like baby blankets, dresses and outfits for young boys and girls.

With the help of her daughter Casey Albert, a graphic designer at InLand Management in Williamstown and a freelance photographer, the Alberts sought as many vendors to contribute to the new business as they could find, using a word-of-mouth campaign and websites like Etsy.com.

Blown-glass artist Zachary Grace of Brattleboro, Vt., has worked with hot glass for 20 years. After learning about Kit & Kaboodle through a family member, Grace envisions it as an opportunity to reach a more vast consumer base. Part of his five-pronged approach to selling his work is attending craft shows and holiday fairs, though he said retailing in a business like this is new to him.

"It was a low-risk opportunity that is favorable to vendors. I was willing to take a chance with Carolyn and her store because she was also working hard to put a store together and make it easy for everyone to be involved," Grace said.

Of course, Carolyn Albert has her a personal investment in the success of Kit & Kaboodle, though she is bent on benefiting the local artisan community more than anything.

"I'm not out to get rich, I'm out to make sure that people who are making their own things are getting credit for it. They put a lot of hard work into all the stuff that they make. I want to make sure people realize that," Albert said.

The store will be open Monday andThursday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Tags: artisans & crafters,   new business,   

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