Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet Your Makers: Pamela Grabowski of A PG Creation

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business:  I started knitting to relieve stress relief when I was working in public accounting. 

How did you come up with your business name? 
In the firm, we signed our work with our initials. So "A PG  Creation" was born. Trying to come up with something creative and clever would have just added to the stress!

Where do you live?  Brookline

Who’s in your family? My husband Michael and our cat D'Argo

If you could sit down and talk to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?  My husband.  He is my best friend.

What inspires you? Nature.  

What is your favorite item you make for Boutique 208 and why? Scarfs. Warm winter scarves and the fancy decorative any season scarfs. It is the item that lends itself to many variations of yarn and colors and styles.

What is your favorite item at Boutique 208 that’s not one of your own and why?  I can’t pick one. In fact, I have a list of items I want to buy for myself. Then there's the list of items I think would make good birthday, shower, wedding or anniversary gifts. If you would stop in when I was working at the Boutique, you would find me standing at the counter looking around the shop making a mental list of what I could buy for each birthday and special occasion. That’s how I occupy my time when there are no customers.
What advice can you offer to someone who would like to start selling their handmade creations? Take a chance. Try. Participate in craft shows, ask the local coffee shop if they will sell your creations and of course Boutique 208.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Interested in Selling Your Items at Boutique 208?

Boutique 208 is an artist's co-op and requires all of our artists working together to ensure success for us all.

Have you always wanted to open your own store but didn’t know how you’d pay all the overhead costs, work all the hours, or even where to start? 

We offer artists the opportunity to work with other artists to allow each of them to have the benefits of having their own store, while sharing the cost of overhead and helping to cover the hours and other tasks needed . All legal and business filings have already been put in place and all accounting is provided as well, including sales tax payments. We began as a Pop Up Project on December 1, 2011 and since then, sales have continued to increase each month. We have since signed a lease and are continuing to plan long term for a successful future.

 As a co-op artist, you get all the benefits of owning your own store, while retaining a higher percentage of your profits than you would if you were doing it alone, not to mention the time savings you will experience by working together with other artists to cover the store hours.

At the boutique, you will have the opportunity to reach a wide audience of customers from our location in downtown Pittsburgh, in the heart of the Cultural District, right across from Heinz Hall.

All of our items are handmade by local artists so we are helping support our local economy. Our customers appreciate the fact that our items are all local and all handmade.

All artists are required to volunteer a minimum of 5 hours each month, covering shifts in the boutique.  In exchange, artists retain 70% of their sales, with the rest of each sale going toward paying our lease and other overhead costs.

All new artists are juried in to ensure we continue to provide a varied mix of high quality products.

We all work together to help each other sell our items and promote the store.

Here's what couple of our artists had to say recently about the benefits of being part of our co-op: "We have the opportunity to use the space for workshops (teaching classes), hosting events that we come up with (like trunk shows), and benefit from extra foot traffic generated by the events that the city plans (like Gallery Crawls).”

When you’re at the boutique, volunteering to cover hours, you give yourself the opportunity to build an actual clientele. (People enjoy knowing that they can come back to meet the artist of the items they've just purchased and you have the opportunity to generate custom orders).  You can take pride in having a storefront in downtown Pittsburgh, directly across from Heinz Hall and a number of our artists find that interacting with, and feeding off of other artists, is very inspiring and motivating.

·         We are closed Mondays and Tuesdays

·         Wednesday we are open 11:00am - 2:00pm (closed 2-4) & 4:00pm - 9:00pm

·         Thursday we are open 11:00am - 2:00pm (closed 2-4) & 4:00pm - 8:00pm

·         Friday we are open 11:00am - 2:00pm (closed 2-4) & 4:00pm - 8:00pm

·         Saturday 11:00am – 8:00pm

·         Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00pm

If you’re interested in joining us, please email us at Send at least 5 pictures representative of your work and tell us a bit about you and your art.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Take a look at our Facebook page to see photos of the boutique: