Saturday, December 30, 2006

Greenjeans Year in Review (and what's to come in '07!)

As 2006 comes swiftly to a close, we wanted to take a few moments to reflect and share with you some highlights from the past year at Greenjeans, our first whole year in business.

All told, 2006 was a great year for us. We grew, we learned, we met scores of wonderful people, and we became even more firmly committed to our mission.

Our understanding of that mission developed as well. We have come to see that Greenjeans is a place where the old school and new wave craft movements can harmoniously co-mingle. It is a place where ideas about sustainable and ethical business practices are put into action. And it is a place where people can come in, browse at ease, and have an experience with beautifully handmade objects. We feel really good about what we're creating here!

This year we added 22 new artisans to Greenjeans, doubling our roster from 2005: local soap maker Amy Bzdak, James Bettinger who makes fun bottle openers, Buff Brown of the popular cutting and serving boards, wool felters Russell and Mary Ellen Chamberlain (FeltWorks), Austin jeweler Lisa Crowder, enamel jewelry artist Alana Dlubak, Brooklyn children's book publisher Enchanted Lion Books, funky metalsmith jeweler Melle Finelli, Toronto-based Renato Foti (Trio Design Glassware) who makes the very popular candy-colored fused glass coasters and trays, stuffed toy maker Judy Geagley from Kentucky, fine and fancy jewelery maker Janice Ho, Japanese puppet master aya*shii, Julie Jerman-Melka of the sensitive river rock jewelry, Kristina Kada-Madden (Satomi) who makes stylized floral pendants on hand-knotted kumihimo cords, film-gel and silver jewelery maker (and new Mom!) Eija Lindsey, photos-under-clear-resin jeweler Alison Mackey, Whit McLeod of the popular wine barrel folding chairs, Jay & Janet O'Rourke of the handsome polished wooden boxes (Jay O'Boxes), Barbara Sebastian who makes the fine porcelain jars with robin's egg blue interiors (these are the sleepers of the shop), local candlemaker Jason Thompson, Marianne "The Sock Lady" Wakerlin (Sol Mate Socks), and local editorial illustrator and sculptor James Williamson.

It wouldn't have been possible to add so much new work without the handsome display case my Dad built for us, and the proper glass lighted case we had shipped from California. These replaced our French-door-on-sawhorses display table -- remember that?

We gave back to the community by donating items to various local charity events including one benefiting the playgrounds in Prospect Park. Through our first annual Holiday Card Project for Charity, we raised over $600 for Millennium Villages (a project of Millennium Promise), and garnering attention from customers and media alike.

Venturing away from 7th Avenue, we took an adventure to northern Vermont to visit the Bread and Puppet Museum. I traveled to Houston for the American Craft Council's conference "Shaping the Future of American Craft." We took a day trip to Hudson, NY to see what all the buzz is about there. And we spent a week adventuring in Wisconsin and Illinois.

And of course, I did lots of blogging! Click here for a sampling of highlights from the blog over the year.

Looking forward to 2007, we have lots of exciting plans in store. We'll be starting a monthly newsletter, launching the website with e-commerce, offering gift registries, introducing more book titles to the shelves, blogging for Worldchanging, and adding new artisans and items including wedding bands, jewelry boxes, and Shaker peg boards. Let us know if there are other items you'd like to see at Greenjeans and we'll see what we can do!

Last but not least, we would like to offer thanks to the many people who have made this year such a pleasure and a success. Thank you to all the artisans whose fine work never fails to impress. Greenjeans wouldn't exist without you! Thank you to our friends and family who have supported us, cheered us on, advised us, and helped us (huge props to Jason, Meagan, and Dad!!). Thank you to our wonderful neighbors (especially Rena, Temah, Sergio, Shalome, Eileen, Sammy, and Lori) who help to make the South Slope such an awesome place to run a business. And last but not least, thank you to each and every one of our customers for your patronage and your care. We are sincerely grateful.

And on that note, we would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with peace, love, joy, abundance, and delight.

Many blessings, many thanks, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

Photo sourced here

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