A full house enjoyed the comfy confines of the Wachusett Business Incubator on January 17 for the first event of their Intersect Series. ‘I am extremely pleased with the turnout this evening’, recounted Executive Director Scott M. Graves. ‘Once again, our staff, Board of Directors and citizens can be proud of themselves for the ever-increasing critical mass of interest this organization is creating for the region.’
Audience members hailed from a variety of backgrounds and came from the Pioneer Valley, Berkshires, Southeastern MA, NH and VT. It was an excellent opportunity for the WBI and panelists from Gardner to present our city’s story of de-industrialization, innovation, perseverance and craft to a broader group of interested people.
The Wachusett Business Incubator wishes to thank its panelists as well as the featured artists of our ongoing exhibit provided by Gallery Sitka of Shirley, MA. A thanks goes to all of our audience members who came prepared with insights, ideas and inquisitive minds. We say thanks especially to Katie Cavaccio of Free Ramblin’ Kids and Gretchen Laise, two producers who also made use of the first batch of textiles made in this project.
Panelists Michelle Parish and Peggy Hart recounted the process of sourcing and processing wool into yarn, then spinning the yarn into textiles on Peggy’s circa 1940’s loom. Gardner Entrepreneur Erin Keiwel recounted her experience turning their fine and locally sourced textile into finished high-end hand crafted wool clothing. Keith Tetreault, Owner of Plainview Farms of Hubbardston, MA took his audience into what it takes to lead a small freehold, diversified and destination farm including the care and breeding of alpacas. We also thank Keith and his wife for providing our guests with some quality time with a pair of their beautiful animals.
Their process was part of a grant-funded project to demonstrate the viability of such a craft-quality based process.
Working in conjunction with the Wachusett Business Incubator such a project could go from proof of concept to a viable business as together, we experiment to discover the viable financial model(s) that profit each member of the ecosystem and in turn provide consumers with a long-lasting, valuable product and art piece.
Discussion also included the importance of converting our current consumer culture through education and experience, so more people see real value in clothing whose price reflects the real cost of production and marketing.
The Intersect Series, a discussion series of the Wachusett Business Incubator seeks to instigate compelling discussion on topics the meet at the intersection of art and commerce. Future topics/disciplines will include challenges faced by dealers and artists of fine art, changes in music merchandising and how they have effected indigenous american music and others. Complete updates to the WBI events schedule can be found by clicking here.
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