Artisans Promote Handmade Winona Items
By DARRELL EHRLICK Winona Daily News Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Not many people know who made their handsoap or floor cleaner. A group of Winona area artisans hope to change that.
Several months ago, a few artisans gathered and it occurred to them they should sell products together; after all, they were all local individuals handmaking products. So this group came together under the name Handmade Winona and will be offering products ranging from aprons to beeswax candles to household cleaners at a holiday shopping event, Handmade Winona Neighborhood on Nov. 21 and 22 at the Village House Inn, across from Saint Mary’s University on U.S. Hwy. 14.
“The focus is on local people and keeping the money local,” said Lisa Stokes-Tadie, who makes Girl Friday 916 all-natural cleaning products. “We don’t need to import products from Ecuador or China — we can support people right here.”
A couple of the artisans knew a couple of other artisans and the Handmade Winona group grew to more than a dozen.
“People may know I make really good products,” said Stokes-Tadie. “But people also know me — they know I have three kids, that I am a hard worker and also support the community.”
Stacie Blair-Nelson, who runs Be Kind Naturals, a 100 percent natural handmade soap business, said the November event will hopefully be the first of several times the group comes together for sales. In fact, Handmade Winona will also set up an e-commerce Web site for products. “We hope this attracts other Winona area artisans,” Blair-Nelson said.
The artisans hope folks will turn out to do some holiday shopping, while also getting to know the people behind the products.
“These are conscious-driven, local and handmade,” Stokes-Tadie said. “It’s also affordable. That’s why we’re different than say, an art fair where there’s beautiful handmade items, but they’re pricey. These are affordable.”