Brick & Motor is a dream we have of packing up 3 lives (Sam – Artist/Entrepreneur, Tim – Music Enthusiast/Social Butterfly, & Daisy – Beagle) in a trailer towed by 2001 Dodge Durango, traveling across the United States selling handmade goods from the best artist’s we know. It’s a collective starting with work from creators in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and growing as we travel; selling at festivals, fairs, flea markets, and pop up shops. Our goal is to connect ourselves and our vendors with all kinds of creative minds and show off work that we believe in.
How are we going to make it happen?
We’re creating a crowd funding campaign through IndieGoGo in April 2015 to assist in covering the costs of a trailer and renovation, along with some supplies for the open road!
My name is Samantha. I’ve always been a dreamer with an appreciation for business. I started Shanty Town Design in 2013. I’ve worked with people all over the world on a variety of design related projects.
The one thing I’ve learned throughout all of it is how much I’ve grown to love the idea of creative small business. The people who pour their heart and soul into projects to build their dreams and become successful. The long, unpaid hours of planning, managing, and creating that people put into something they’re passionate about is nothing short of amazing. There’s no paid holidays or hard work bonuses from ‘The Big Guy’ when you’re a small business owner. But there is the satisfaction of making a difference somewhere along the line. I know and appreciate this, because I’m a creative small business. Shanty Town Design is my full time job and my dream. I’ve been so lucky in the past 5 or so years to have met and worked with such passionate people. They’ve inspired me and motivated me to keep moving along even when times are tough. Because if you love what you’re doing and you’re putting in the effort, everything will work out, right? The whole law of attraction thing.. but I won’t dive into that here.
The great thing with small businesses, is that they can turn into big businesses. They can be so successful and before you know it, your own idea is selling out in shops all over the country or you become a leader in your industry. It happens all the time. Everyone starts somewhere. But how can it happen more? There’s so much talent out there and I find new creators, through social media, every day that are constantly blowing me away. Some don’t even realize the potential that they have. So what can I do to possibly make a difference in the world of creative small business? This is where it all started…
I’m not going to lie, the whole idea of Shanty Town Design’s Brick & Motor started with Tim (my guy) and I talking about traveling more and all the places we’d like to see. We started talking about how we want to just do it all at once but of course, eventually, money would run out. As a designer, I can work anywhere that has wifi. But for me to find work on the road, we would have to go to areas that have my demographic – which is… (you guessed it!) creative small businesses. I had a short stint with book binding, once upon a time, and sold at a ton of craft shows close to my hometown, so I thought about revisiting that idea and vending at some marketplaces as we moved along to meet new clients.
Well, a crafter friend of mine told me once how much she’d love to sell at this one specific market in Texas. I thought, “Gee! Well I’ll take your stuff with me and sell it for you!” Since most of my friends are creative in some form of the word… that’s where the idea was born. Scranton, PA has an amazing community of creators, all kinds. And I just want to show the world (or at least the country) what our area (and other areas like it!) has to offer. To see your work being sold and appreciated thousands of miles from where you created it is a success in my mind. I also used to make punky looking patch coasters for a hot minute. I sold the entire batch to a coffee shop in California. I cried. See what I mean? It’s all about people supporting your work for what it is and it’s an amazing feeling when that happens to you.
Of course there’s places like Etsy, Big Cartel, and even just selling your work yourself online. My thoughts behind it are (thinking like a consumer) I am much more likely to go to an event and spend money on something because I can touch it. I can see the quality. I can move it around in my hands and examine it to determine if it’s something I want to buy. I can talk to the artist who made it and listen to their stories about where the idea came from and why they use that particular material or design. Maybe they collaborate with other artists that you never would have known if not for that conversation. Sure, you can get a lot of that information online, if they have a website. But, I’m a web designer as well. I know that a website, for an average visitor, has 3-7 seconds to catch your attention. We live in a world of ‘browsers.’ More often than not, people are going to a website, browsing the products, maybe buying something, maybe not. You miss that interaction of learning a person’s history. That’s why people sell at physical market places as well, because of course you want your customer’s to know how much time and effort you put into what you create. Plus you make connections. I’ve met almost every vendor that will be starting this journey with me at 2 events right here in Scranton: Arts on the Square and Holiday on the Square by ScrantonMade.
Shanty Town Design
We are a small graphic design company servicing Northeastern Pennsylvania and Denver/Boulder Metro Colorado. We appreciate community and the idea of helping others succeed through visual marketing.