Member Spotlight: Humboldt Artisan Group
Humboldt Artisans Group is a wholesale, representation group helping small boutique artists market and sell their products beyond the redwood curtain. Founded by Christina Swingdler, collaboration and hard work are helping create new opportunities that artists from Humboldt have not had in the past.
Humboldt County has the most artists per capita of any county in the state of California. Today we highlight Christina Swingdler of Anastasia Jewerly and her fellow Artists that have put their creative skills together to form the Humboldt Artisans Group. Doing business in Humboldt can have its challenges, particularly for small artists. Christina and her partner Jim Christensen are helping these artists think big, and are with us to tell us more.
An artist her whole life, Christina started making bracelets when she was just five years old. Fast forward to 2007, and in true small business fashion she started seriously making jewerly on top of her day job. As her brand grew, she started attending trade shows where she found success, being able to sell her products in larger quantities. Sounds perfect? The catch, these shows require a large amount of work and money. Travel, lodging, entrance fees, building a booth, etc. After a show in southern California, Jim and Christina remember looking at each other and saying, “how are we gonna pay for the gas to get home?”
Enter the Humboldt Artisans Group. Currently at 20 members, this collective works together to help alleviate the costs of doing business wholesale, while still gaining the exposure of selling outside Humboldt. Traveling to trade shows around the state together, each artist submits their own work and Christina and Jim do the heavy lifting regarding the business side of things. When asked their biggest challenge, Christina states, “Getting everything dialed in. Making the paperwork line up, creating the systems. Trying to streamline to be a green organization. Being green is very important to us, and using biodegradable is costly but important to our values.”
What are you most proud of?
“It is working! We have brought more revenue in the last month then average person in Humboldt makes in a year. We are hoping to get to the point where artists can quit their day job, CREATING JOBS in Humboldt. We want to give more artists the chance to go for it.”
The Humboldt Artisans Group is proving that our business community is stronger together then separate. We commend Christina and Jim on their forward thinking, and encourage everyone to check out the beautiful, functional work of these amazing thirteen artists.
The twenty members stand as the following
Letterpress Cards, Stationary and Coasters from Just My Type Letterpress
Greeting Cards and Stationary from Alice Shaw
Functional Ceramics by Denise of Hisel Pottery
Stained Glass Ornaments, Mandalas, and Windows from Colleen of Dune Bean Stained Glass
Hand Blown Glass Air Plant Vessels and Ornaments by Lisa Shiller and BJ of Terrapin Treasures
Organic Skincare products and Non-GMO Soy Wax Candles from Collen Bones of Witch in The Woods
Exfoliating and moisturizing artisanal soaps by Fern Valley Goat Soap
Organic and natural skin care therapies by Blue Heron
Hydrating lotions and soaps handmade by One Blessed Acre
Up-cycled wooden writing instruments from Jill and Art McClure of McClure Products
Reclaimed Redwood and Cedar Birdhouses from Mike and Lisa of Delaune Birdhouses.
Organically turned wooden bowls by Zac She
Wooden stickers by Wood Lab Designs
Cutting Boards, Wine Accessories, and Outdoor furniture using ethically sourced lumber from Dustin Johnston of West Coast Woodworking
Metal Sculpture by Pat Blair
Cement stepping-stones and wall art buy John King
Individually dyed silk scarves by Silk Bliss
Silversmith jewelry by Erin Austin
Bronze cast jewelry Tynel Jael
Christina Anastasia Jewelry
Check out the Humboldt Artisans group on Facebook to learn more and stay up to date.