Handmade Philly January Meet Up: Cancelled Due to Impending Storm

Posted On January 21, 2016

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Handmade Philly January Meet Up: Cancelled Due to Impending Storm. (insert sad face) We will be rescheduling in February.

 

'That's the trouble with this country - one snowflake and everything grinds to a halt!'

‘That’s the trouble with this country – one snowflake and everything grinds to a halt!’

Update Due to Winter Weather!

Posted On January 19, 2016

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Update Due to Winter Weather! Looks like we may need to reschedule. Please check back for updates on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! If you are uncertain, please email me at info@handmadephilly.com

I will be checking the weather periodically…

Handmade Philly: January Meet Up!

Posted On January 13, 2016

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Well, now that we are passed the hub-bub of the holidays, let’s meet up! Are you new to the group? Are you a long time member? Come on out and let’s reconnect. We are hosting the event in a cafe, so there will be food and beverages available for purchase. We will be meeting in the basement of the Last Drop Cafe. If we fill up the basement, we’ll have to meet upstairs as well! If you are currently working on a project, or have recently completed something that you’d like to show off, bring it! Handmade Philly is a free group. All are welcome. Come and share some stories about what makes you a maker. Perhaps you have a tale of success or a tale of caution you’d like to share? Whatever it is, we can learn from it.

Date: Saturday, January 23

Time: 2pm

Address: Last Drop Cafe, lower level, 1300 Pine Street

KivaZip

Posted On December 7, 2015

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This week I attended KivaZip’s event at the Center for Architecture, celebrating the launch of their program here in Philadelphia one year ago. Since the launch, Kiva has been responsible for 71 small businesses receiving microloans of $5k or more. Philadelphia’s repayment rate is over 90%! As a trustee with the program, I am able to recommend people, and help them with the process if they wish to become a borrower. My focus is on helping artists, makers and crafters reach the point where they can either launch their business or take it to the next level, and expand. If you are a member of Handmade Philly and would like to learn more about the process, contact me at info@handmadephilly.com

To learn more about the KivaZip program here in Philly: http://www.kiva.org/philadelphia

 

Next Stop: Democracy!

Those of us here at Handmade Philly love the idea of art that is…well, “just” art! As in emotive, expressive, purgative…it exists because it must…art! But we also love the idea of art being used to help us plug in…to help us connect…and…wait for it…to help us VOTE!! Because of this, we are showcasing a new project called Next Stop: Democracy! A local group is hiring local artists and makers to create bigger, better, nonpartisan signage for Philly’s polling places! Read on below, to gather more information about this exciting project and its founders.

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1/ Please tell us a bit about your project? 

Can public art increase voter engagement? This is a question that hasn’t been answered, so we’re getting Philadelphia’s best creatives together to help us find out. Election Day should be one of the most exciting days of the year, but to many people, it seems like a chore. Finding your polling place, finding the entrance, and waiting in line can be complicated and frustrating.

Plus, the signage required by the city to identify a polling place is nothing more than a few pieces of paper taped up on the wall outside the door. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you wouldn’t give it a second glance.

It doesn’t have to be this way! What if we could transform Election Day from something frustrating into something fun?

Our idea is simple. Election Day should be an experience. Instead of boring, confusing signs, let’s use bright, vibrant artwork to identify our polling places. Can artists and performers make Election Day in Philadelphia a little more colorful? We vote yes!

By commissioning more than 50 local artists to create large signs that say “Vote Here” in both English and Spanish, we’ll make it easier for people to find their polling places on Election Day. Plus, we’ll be hiring local musicians and performers to dance, sing, and drum at selected polling places. With art, we aim to make the voting process less confusing AND more enjoyable.

2/ Tell us more about yourself. 

Lansie Sylvia is a tornado of curls, sparkles, and great ideas. At HMC, she leads our external communication strategy, works with clients on communication projects, and builds new community partnerships. She also serves as Project Director for Next Stop: Democracy!, HMC’s newest community initiative funded by the Knight Cities Challenge and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Her areas of expertise include nonprofit communication, storytelling, fund development, and millennial engagement strategy. Since 2010, she has held director-level positions in a variety of Philadelphia-based organizations, most recently at the EHL Consulting Group and the Philadelphia Film Society.

Before receiving her M.S. in Leadership for Social Change from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, she completed an AmeriCorps Year of Service in Providence, Rhode Island. An active supporter of the arts, Lansie is the founder of Philly Give & Get, Secretary of the Charlotte Cushman Foundation, Communication Co-Chair at The Spruce Foundation, and a member of the Curtis Crescendo Club. Her go-to karaoke song is “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.

3/ Will these signs be reused each year? 

Yes! That’s why we are doing a Kickstarter. We don’t want to use cheap, plastic signs that we order off the Internet. To do this right, we want to honor our artists and offer them locally made, sturdy, and durable canvases. Darla Jackson from the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym is ready to build us sign frames that will be functional and beautiful. But these high-quality wooden signs are more expensive than the mass-produced plastic ones.

4/ What is your plan for loss prevention? 

Each sign will be custom-built to include a small lock and chain so that they can be fastened to benches, trees, and fences to make it more difficult for people to walk off with them. Additionally, we are working with a team of field researchers to collect data on the outcomes, and those volunteers will be keeping an eye on the signs as well.

5/ Is your project a non profit or for profit? Where will proceeds from this project be spent?

Our main funding is provided by the Knight Foundation and managed by the Miami Foundation, which is our fiscal sponsor. So technically, I don’t know the project counts as either, legally speaking, but any proceeds are being reinvested in the project. The project is being produced by Here’s My Chance, a small business that works exclusively with nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses.

6/ Will each artist be paid? 

Yes! All of the artists and performers are being paid. We’re really passionate about that.

7/ Additional comments? 

A major city like Philadelphia needs a lot of polling places. 850 of them, to be exact. Every year on Election Day, these locations open on nearly every street corner so that voters can improve the city and make their voices heard…or so that a few of them can.

That’s right. Despite the internet making registration and finding your polling place easier than ever, voter turnout has been dropping year after year. In fact, across the country voter turnout is the lowest its been in 72 years. Here in Philadelphia, during the recent Mayoral primary only 27% of registered voters go out to the polls, which means that 27% of the electorate made a pretty huge decision for the rest of us.

And just like eating 27% of a cheesesteak or running up 27% of the Art Museum steps, that’s just not good enough.

There are many reasons why folks don’t show up to vote on election day. Here’s a big one: polling places can be located in parks, schools, office buildings, churches, and more. The signage required by the city is nothing more than a few pieces of paper taped up on the wall outside the door. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you wouldn’t give it a second glance. Plain, out-of-the-way polling locations combined with puny signage can make finding your way a real pain. It makes voting difficult, when it should be great.

That’s why we started Next Stop: Democracy!, a public art project to improve the voting experience in Philadelphia.


Kickstarter page for this project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/306238411/next-stop-democracy-60-signs-60-artists-1-city 

Hype & Lavender: Fashionably Crafty Gals & Makers Market

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LiliGlow Boutique is turning 5 years old! To celebrate, Tamara Johnson, the brand’s founder, is hosting Hype & Lavender. Tamara is currently looking for 14 crafty female designers or makers to vend at this event. By the way, free tix to attend Hype and Lavender are currently available as part of the Early Bird Special. Here’s some more info from the event page:

LADIES, COME JAM OUT WITH US AND SHOP LOCAL FASHION & CRAFTERS!

WE HAVE A DJ, SHOPPING, FOOD, & AN ART STUDIO TO ROCK OUT IN!

Event is being held in the Eraserhood/ Loft District over at SAVERY Gallery (319 North 11th Street). Date: August 22, time: Noon to 5pm. See hypeandlavender.splasthat.com for additional details.

9 Tips to Create Your Own Publicity

Posted On July 10, 2015

Filed under DO IT YOURSELF, Media, Resources
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Great tips to gain exposure for your small business.

Kennedy Robinson, Public Relations

What is the easiest way to get publicity, build trust and gain visibility for your business? Promoting yourself is the answer. Yes paid PR can guarantee results but self-promotion never hurt anyone! If you don’t do anything, you won’t get anything.
So use one of these tips today,everyday if possible and you’ll see how easily you can create publicity for your company, both online and offline.

  1. Create your content usinggraphics and photos.Use websites likeCanva or PicMonkey to create graphics. Gather (or take) your best product photos or photos showing you in action with the services you provide. Use your content on social media to drive traffic to your website.
  2. Obtain testimonials from your customers or clients. This is pretty easy if you already have a website like Etsy, Amazon, Thumbtack or Fiverr where you sell your services or products. Most of the time websites such as these have a…

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