Artisans List was born from an ‘AHA!’ moment at the Brimfield Antiques Market in Massachusetts. It all started when co-founder, Cindy Bogart, a former Better Homes & Gardens editor, noticed that a lot of the vendors didn’t have websites. Passionate about vintage antiques and lifestyles she started to notice that other traditional trades, artisans, home restoration professionals and farmers had the same issue. It was clear. They were too busy engaging in their crafts and professions to spend time on a website or social media.
That started the idea of developing a niche directory to help these small businesses get an online presence. It had to be really simple for the business owner – a set-it and forget-it model where they could successfully connect with the growing number of people who were shopping fresh and local, ship-lapping their walls and reusing salvaged materials in their homes. After all, these folks were busy and could use some help finding great sources. It was a win-win for everyone.
As the idea started to take shape, Cindy met Mary Gervais, who was head of Rhode Island’s SBA supported Women’s Business Center. Mary, a former business owner herself, loves helping folks realize their dream of owning and growing their own businesses. A true connection was made and the creative soul of Cindy and the business acumen of Mary created the ideal partnership. Their first office was at a fireside table at Felicia’s Coffee Shop in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, where they set out to bring the ‘artisan’ minded community together in one place online. Their vision: A vetted resource directory that would include an online community where people could connect, share and learn. Their mission: To help people reuse the methods, materials and values from the past.