Handmade in America
A page out of our history takes us to the region of Western North Carolina. No need to bring industry to this area as it has it's own unique culture due to it's amazing heritage and craftsmanship. Handmade in America is an organization focused on tourism, professional development, education and outreach. It believes collaborating on partnerships is an essential strategy to strengthen community and enhance economic development.
Traditionally craft artists have lived in the mountains of North Carolina as that region has a long history of crafts as an essential part of it's culture. Connecting these artists to the public has been the goal of the Handmade in America organization and they have developed two guidebooks Craft Heritage Trails and Farms and Gardens and Countryside Trails of Western North Carolina. These books feature 600 craft studios and architectural sites along with galleries, inn and restaurants. Handmade in America connects architects, builders and homeowners in an attempt to assist craftsmen who need resources. Handmades' craft registry is an online directory that assists artists, galleries and events in Western North Carolina.
Handmade supports the craftsman with a number of business training programs that aim to develop successful careers through marketing and professional development. There is practical information about product development, pricing, marketing and accounting.
Handmade also supports an outreach program in the educational system of K-12 through exhibits, craft history and hands on workshops.
Handmade has partnered with Community Development Programs to rejuvenate and develop businesses. They also partner with the Appalachian Womens Entrepreneurs a womens group which focuses on connecting women with resources and helping them create or strengthen existing businesses.
As you can see Handmade in America's contribution to the promotion and well being of historical crafts in our countries region of Western North Carolina has earned this organization much national media coverage. In 2003 Handmade in America ranked one of the top 24 arts non profit organizations in the nation. Truly it represents the best of our country's culture.