Local Artists

100 Reasons to Shop Local

As we are approaching Thanksgiving we are bombarded with images of Black Friday specials, Black Friday memes, backlash of being open the day after Thanksgiving, among other things. Instead of worrying whether or not your favorite big corporation store is or is not open on Black Friday how about worrying about your local  mom and pop shop? Small businesses and local businesses account for over half of all sales in the United States ( US Small Business Bureau). While that may seem like a lot, there is still room to grow. While they account for over half of the sales, these small businesses are also some of the first businesses to shut their doors and close. Shopping small and local helps generate monies for the local economy and has a positive community impact. To celebrate all things small (because good things do come in small packages!), there is now Shop Small Saturday. It always falls the Saturday after Black Friday and promotes choosing those mom and pop shops or local products over other big name stores and products.

The AQT is all about small businesses and special home made goods. Most of our stops on the quilt trail feature antique stores, upsale stores, bakeries, farms, breweries, and so much more. To help you plan your Shop Small Saturday trip we compiled a list of 100 local shops in the East Tennessee region. These places are either stops on the quilt trail or are near them. There is a store for everybody. Variety is the spice of life on the AQT. Click the link and let your journey begin!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rainy Day in Rogersville

Rain. It smells good, it feeds our crops, it refreshes the air and washes away pollen but…it can be an inconvenience. For businesses, it can mean a slow day because no one wants to get out in the rain. As a consumer, you may not like to get out in the rain. However, rainy days can lead to great adventures and some special “one on one” time with locals in the shops downtown. You can explore places you have been before in a different way.  Experiencing some quiet time as you look over art or see a different kind of beauty in the flowers that line the street.

This is exactly what I encountered on my rainy Friday trip to Rogersville. I am not a fan of rain, but I wanted to get out and explore some of the AQT. While downtown, I went to the courthouse and then onto a new favorite place, the Local Artists Gallery on Main.

As I walked into the gallery, I felt such a warmth and openness from the space itself and the three artists who were working the gallery during the morning. They took time out and walked me around the gallery, explained to me what makes this gallery special, and some of the artists that are juried in the exhibits. What is amazing about the Local Artists Gallery on Main is that it is a co-op (cooperative) and non-profit. It showcases a variety of the 50 artists that participate in the co-op. The Local Artists Gallery  updates and switches out juried material on a regular basis, so every time you go, there will be new things! You will find pottery, wood working, jewelry, Chinese Ink paintings, candles, crochet, photographs, a year round Christmas corner, quilts, and some very unique offerings. Since this is a cooperative, there is no markup on the art. So if something costs $15 it is $15, not $30 or $40 that it would be at another gallery. They focus on giving as much money back to the artist and take out only what covers utilities and rent.

Not only do they offer a special, one of a kind gallery, they also offer a variety of art classes taught by the juried artists. Classes are for all ages and like the art, it is constantly changing. I was told from the artists working that morning, that the classes are a positive environment meant to share the love of art and perhaps turn someone on to their inner artist or love for art. Walking through the huge building you can tell that each artist loves what they do by the energy that comes out in the work. There is something for everyone, and with the prices at true value you can’t help but want to buy the whole store!

The Local Artists Gallery has been open since 2006 and has stayed in the same building since its inception. For more information on classes and the artists themselves check out their website: http://rogersvillegallery.com/ or stop by and visit them at: 124 East Main Street, Rogersville TN, 37857. So, on your next rainy day don’t stay inside; head to Rogersville and support your local artists!

 

Stop 9: Pineapple Log Cabin at Local Artists Gallery on Main

 

Pineapple Log Cabin...what beautiful colors!

Pineapple Log Cabin…what beautiful colors!

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While you enter the front, go down the side road to see their quilt square

While you enter the front, go down the side road to see their quilt square

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop 10: Country Decision at the Rogersville Courthouse Annex

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