With the Internet always at hand, it’s really no problem finding the polka-dotted planter, jasmine-and-hibiscus body butter, or stoneware serving spoon of your dreams. But if you’re someone who likes to shop closer to home for artisanal goods, The Makers Mercantile, a new online shop and blog that launched from Durham recently, might be your new favorite website.
Designed to “connect local makers with a community that appreciates the mission, story, and craftsmanship of each artist,” according to the site’s founders, The Makers Mercantile curates pieces from mostly Triangle-based makers and sells them on consignment. It also features their stories on its blog in order to further personalize the shopping experience.
The Makers Mercantile is the brainchild of Durham residents Maggie Meyer, who also owns calligraphy and design studio Lettered, and Maria Carroll-Holton, an N.C. State business school graduate and an avid buy-local consumer. They were inspired by meeting local makers at the many pop-up shops and weekend markets in the Triangle, and wanted to share their work and stories with a broader audience.
“We think our shop and blog offer something special, a glimpse into the life and personality of our artist community,” the pair told the INDY in an email. “The Makers Mercantile began with a shared personal style and the absence of an online presence for local consumers. Etsy is a great resource for artists but can often be confusing and overwhelming to buyers. We’re bringing together high quality, local, sustainable goods, as well as a shared community among the artists.”
The Makers Mercantile currently features more than a dozen local makers, including Durham’s Evie Watts and Redden Goods, as well as one maker from Charlotte, which is close enough to home to establish the personal rapport Meyer and Carroll-Holton value. That connection was made at the Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery.
“We met individually with makers whom we felt a connection with,” the founders say. “The Makers Mercantile is essentially a virtual gallery and studio tour of the community. Our makers have amazing and heartfelt stories that are poured into their work, which we feel honored to share.”
Check your bank balance and then check out the site at www.themakersmercantile.com.