With its dynamic collection of independently-owned boutiques, restaurants and cultural centers, Downcity offers a vibrant community of businesses intertwined with residential space. Smack in the heart of the neighborhood lies Craftland, an eclectic showcase of handmade goods ranging from jewelry and clothing to housewares and wall art. Co-owned by artist Margaret Carleton and jewelry designer Devienna Anggraini, Craftland celebrates handmade objects and the people who make them.
Like any good Rhode Island destination, Craftland wasn’t always located at their current 212 Westminster Street address. In 2002, at the beginning of the downtown revival, Craftland opened up as a holiday-only craft show featuring 25 artists. “We were a pop-up before pop-ups were popular,” says Devienna. Year after year, the roster of artisans grew, as did the local following. “It became a holiday tradition,” says Devienna. After seven successful years as a December-only shop, the owners took the leap and made Craftland a year-round storefront.
Today Craftland features about 100 artists from the USA and Canada, with roughly 60% hailing from Rhode Island and Massachusetts. “It’s a unique business model. We’re essentially a collective of small businesses,” Devienna explains. For some artists, Craftland is their first retail exposure. “We take on new artists all the time. It’s a giant step for some of them,” she says. As artists themselves, Margaret and Devienna know firsthand the challenges of selling at retail. In addition to featuring new artists, Craftland also offers workshops and classes to artists to help them with the business side of art. From social media tips to how to price items, Craftland provides support and guidance along the way.
212 Westminster Street, Providence
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