Surprise! I actually launched this site.
In temporary lieu of a FAQ page, here's my best guess at what you're wondering and my half-best attempt at articulating a jazzy response.
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Gloucester Goods is in a beta launch as of February 2012. At this time,
it is an e-commerce site for my hand-painted lobster buoys. (Yes, I realize these are under the "art" category...)
Outside of the information on the About Us page, I guess I'd like to see Gloucester Goods be a new type if voice for the community, one that speaks in a young tone to the intricate interconnectedness of our commerce and our culture. I want it to be a part of a story that starts with plans for a day-trip to Gloucester, carries into a storefront, and follows patrons, tourists, residents, and the curious back home to their computers so they can share Gloucester elsewhere. We live in a beautiful place. We come from beautiful families and carry with us beautiful, long histories. We make, build, sing, write, do, dream, and believe in beautiful things. I want Gloucester Goods to help tell that tale on both sides of the bridge.
I left my desk job in April of 2010 and moved back home to Gloucester hoping to pass the time before attending art school in Atlanta in the Fall of that year. I thought that's what I wanted: art school, somewhere new, change. To keep busy, I worked with my Dad to open The General Store which was -- is -- way more of a gift shop than anything else, name aside. His business mindedness (and energy) and my meandering creativity soon found us covered in spray paint one afternoon on the wharf, working on lobster buoys. A summer, many process improvements, and several shipments to the middle of the country later, it seemed that shipping souvenirs of a certain quality could be a major up-sell for tourists with limited space on planes and in cars and a simple value-add for Gloucester-based artists, artisans, and craftsmen. We all work hard for a sale in the summer, we create amazing things, and to see that lost to space in a plane's overhead compartment seemed foolish and wonderfully solvable. Having reached out to a few vendors of The General Store, Gloucester Goods was born in October of 2010. Born and promptly derailed. I'm fickle. And I'm honestly really scared to fail in the public's eye.
Just me, Lily, with noteworthy support and encouragement from many including my Dad and Mom, Chris Merrill of What Army (chief cheerleader, financial modeling), Jamie and Robyn Sutton of Evolution Design (Shopify development), Emily Dunkle of Fresh Tilled Soil (design), Emily Covino (photography), Alex Sylvia of Fresh Tilled Soil (landing page), David Babson and James Perry (legal and accountancy counsel and lots of patience), Bev Gardner, Sam Porter for some serious copywriting, and all of the local vendors who read (continue to read, rather) my emails and who thought this deserved a chance.
As we look past beta launch, Gloucester Goods will be aggregating high quality and unique items produced in Gloucester. Understanding of the price and cost restraints at small volumes, materials do not have to be domestic, but that would be very cool. If you're based in Gloucester and if you make something people can buy, contact us.
Outside of the About Us page, not much. It's the legal entity under which Gloucester Goods operates. It's the corporation which will hopefully incubate, launch, and set sail to other community's similar initiatives as franchises. If you want to start your own site like this, let's team up and make it happen. Shoot me an email.