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ETHAN MURROW, LARGE DRAWING FOR SALE

 

Ethan murrow. pinto brothers, drawing 54x36 for sale
Ethan Murrow, 2006, large scale drawing from Pinto Brothers Series, for sale

This beautiful, large -scale drawing by Ethan Murrow is now for sale. 

I bought this piece in 2006, when Murrow had a show at Burlington City Arts. Ethan was raised in Vermont, and has many friends and admirers here. I hadn't know Ethan when he lived here, but I had been somewhat friendly with his father when we were kids because his father (Ethan's grandfather, Edward R. Murrow) was very good friends with my father, Lou Cowan. The small-world effect of the Cowan family has ceased to surprise me. 

But that's not why I bought this piece. I bought it because it's that good. THAT good. I bought it to sell, because at the time, I was running Pine Street Art Works. I had it framed by my favorite framer, Jennifer Koch of Frames For You And Mona Lisa Too, and it hung at PSAW for several years. Finally, when we closed, I had no place to hang the work, so I loaned it to the University Of Vermont, where it has been on view at the Davis Center, much to the delight of the thousands of students, faculty and visitors for the past 5 years. 

Now it is for sale. If you are interested, or know someone who might be...just click this link to my online store, Small Equals. 

The piece is avaiable framed, but I'm also willing to have Jennifer Koch take it out of the frame, for much much easier shipping and delivery. 

Ethan Murrow website.


Heinz ads from 1925, fun reproductions now available.

Did you know that Heinz used to make peanut butter? I didn't until I ran across this series of ads in The Saturday Evening Post from 1925. I bought a stack of the old magazines years ago and made copies of the ads. I've reproduced them, full size, and had Silver Maple Editions in Burlington  fine-art laminate them on high density wood. You can buy them at my online store.

Heinz peanut butter  saturday evening post 1925, Heinz Peanut butter. 1925. Ready to hang.


heinz peanut butter ad 1925 saturday evening post detailHeinz Peanut Butter, ad, Saturday Evening Post, detail


Heinz baked beans ad 1925 Saturday Evening Post Heinz Baked Beans, 1925 ad. Saturday Evening Post


heinz oven baked beans ad 1925 Saturday Evening Post detaildetail, heinz baked beans

Heinz pure cider vinegar saturday evening post 1925 small equals     Heinz Cider Vinegar, 1925 Saturday Evening Post. 



Heinz cider vinegar ad 1925 Saturday evening post, detail  detail, Heinz Cider Vinegar.

These are all available in very limited quantities  at the Small Equals online store. HERE



BIG CARTEL: finding a great online sales platform

 ┬ęsmall equals online store at Big Cartel
Small Equals online shop at BigCartel. Screenshot. 

After I closed Pine Street Art Works, my bricks and mortar store, I had to figure out how to keep selling, but online. I was developing a line of products - wooden Keepsake Boxes - that I was excited about, and wanted to offer on the web. I did my research and decided on BigCartel as my platform. I considered Etsy because I know a lot of crafters and antiques vendors who are happy with it, but I thought about the tradeoff - possibly more visitors via the well known site vs. the ability to jump around once the shopper is inside the site. I decided I'd rather have a captive audience. And on BigCartel I can sell products made by other people or manufacuturers, like Seed Bombs by VisuaLingual, or Canetti Pure Acrylic Magnet Frames, two of my most popular items.

Screenshot small equals online sew to the moon keepsake box big cartel
Small Equals at BigCartel. Screenshot, product page for Sew To The Moon 

When I first started selling on BigCartel the design options were more limited than I would have liked. I don't know how to code but I have high standards. But that changed recently when BigCartel offered new design options for the coding-challanged. 

 

Screen shot small equals big cartel online store close up dogs rule keepsake wooden box
Small Equals online shop at BigCartel. Screenshot, Large image of Dogs Rule Keepsake Box.

 To have a beautiful storefront you have to start with a good, or at least a good looking, product, good pictures and a strong enough design sense. But that's a given. All of that takes a lot of work, and a skill set that takes time to develop. Once you have that, and have found your online platform, there's still the work of marketing. But it makes all the difference to have a good platform, and I have to say I'm hugely pleased with the folks at BigCartel.

I'm very happy that I can write as much text as I like about a product. Regular readers of this blog know that backstory and provenance mean the world to me, and I get to tell it on each product page. I've even included a video on some pages, of me showing the box. 

There's even an option for pages, including a page for your blog. I love this feature because the more a customer knows about the folks who make a product, the more personal it becomes. Story sells. And as a customer, I like to know who I am buying from. 

 

Screenshot small equals store at big cartel showing seesaw blog
Screen shot, Small Equals online store at BigCartel. Showing page for this blog.

The support staff at BigCartel is superb and that counts for a lot. Quick, friendly advice and help? I'm hooked. 

BigCartel even has an app that connects to my my small equals Facebook Page, for seamless shopping online.


Small equals facebook page screenshot with big cartel app
BigCartel app on small equals FaceBook page. Screenshot

My ancestors peddled door to door and then opened up one of the worlds' first catalog companies. It makes me proud to continue in the family tradition...but in a 21st century venue.

Find my online store HERE

If you are interested in using bigcartel as your online platform you can find them at www.bigcartel.com

and happy shopping! Or selling.


SMALL EQUALS KEEPSAKE BOXES

Keepsake box, small equals, chicken painting by Liza CowanSmall Equals Keepsake Box, chicken painting by Liza Cowan
For those readers who have been enjoying my ephemera and my art over the years - I'm now putting them on the Keepsake Boxes I've been developing for the past couple of years.
I have the boxes made for me in Vermont, of Vermont pine, so they are lovely and local. Small footprint for me, please. Vermont Wooden Box, the company that manufactures the boxes, is a tiny outfit on a dirt road about an hour's drive from my studio. Feels just right to me.
Box-sew_to_the_moon_for_store
Small Equals Keepsake Box. Sew To The Moon. Cowan Ephemera Collections
I know there are a lot of needle pack lovers out there, and these make great sewing kits.  See more about needlepack HERE on this blog.
Box lacted food open
Small Equals Keepsake Box, Wells Richardson Lactated Food, Cowan Ephemera Collections

You can read more about Wells Richardson & Co. HERE on this blog.


Small Equals Keepsake Box, Trumpet Vine, photo Liza Cowan
These boxes and more are available at the Small Equals Online Store HERE

 


MARY LOUISE SPOOR 1917 POSTERS AVAILABLE AT SMALL EQUALS ONLINE

 

Ml spoor hickory dickory three mice liza cowan collections
Mary Louise Spoor. From 1917 schoolroom poster

Two Mary Louise Spoor schoolroom posters are now available at my online store. One is a single sided triptych of Hickory Dickory Dock.

 

Mary Louise Spoor, Hickory Dickory Dock. Cowan collections. Mary Louise Spoor, Hickory Dickory Dock  


ML Spoor Bye baby bunting med.
Mary Louise Spoor, Bye Baby Bunting

Posters available HERE
More about Mary Louise Spoor on this blog HERE


Holiday Craft Fair: We'll be there!

queen city craft fair burlington vermont

Queen City Craft Bazaar, Holiday 2010

I hope some of you will be able to come to this one day event. Several of the artists from The S.P.A.C.E. Galery, (home of Small Equals) will be there too. I'll be selling my Keepsake Card Kits, and many of the fun and exquisite things that go in them.

See you there!! If not, remember to check my

ONLINE STORE


Build a better business through reciprocity

Call it the Golden Rule, the threefold law of return, Karma...every culture has it's version of Do Unto Others. Running a retail  business offers endless opportunities for beneficial mutual exchange with all kinds of people...vendors, customers, suppliers, staff, delivery people, neighbors, tech support: the question is - what are you going to do with it?


 Kids on seesaw, constance heffron, happy days, 1951, allyn and bacon
 It takes a relationship to make it work. Illustration by Constance Heffron. Happy Days, 1951 Allyn and Bacon

For me, part of the thrill of retail is being able to cultivate relationships. If I'm excited about a piece of art, a product, a service, a website, I want to get to know what, or who, is behind it. My first impulse is to write an email, make a phone call, write a blog post, send a note on facebook or twitter. If I like something I want to tell the world about it. But after a point, I really do need to be supported in kind.

It's been my experience that only a portion of the people I extend myself to bother to respond in kind. Do I understand why? Not really. I guess some people are just not connectors. Do I accept it? Yes. And move along.

I'm not quite snarky enough to tattle on those businesses who don't see generosity as part of their work ethic. The law of threefold return will bite them in the derriere eventually. If I like their products or services enough I might continue to use them, or sell them, but I won't go the extra mile to help publicize them. There's no juice in it.

But those who do... ah, the sweetness of mutual delight and support. Here's to the connectors.

Manufacturers:

flashbags Flashbags started in business the same time I did. We are all Burlingtonians. Our kids go to school together. I adore them, personally and professionally. We've always featured each other in promotions and events. Ali and Laura, now just Laura, are the most generous, enthusiastic co-conspirators a business could ask for. Flashbags are the staple of my retail business and I couldn't imagine retail life without them.

 

I was excited about Cardboardesign from the moment I found out about their products.Liquid cardboard I think I read about them on a design blog when they first started, and was one of their first wholesale accounts. Because I was so in love with their product I started blogging about them. Because their marketing director, David Rosenzweig is such a nice and cool guy, he started emailing me. His daughter even commented on this blog. Did I mention he knows Simon Doonan? (who has never contacted me, ahem...) And recently they quoted me on their new sales brochure. Was I excited? You bet. Does this translate to sales for me..and them? Of course. Why? Because the personal connection, the reciprocity, makes me want to work that much harder for them. [update: sorry to report that Cardboardesign went out of business. sniff...]

Canetti frames Canetti frames are, after Flashbags, my best selling product. It's always easy to sell a product I love so much. But when owner Nancy Halper and I started exchanging chatty emails, when she took the time to research and answer my questions, when she invited me to Linked In,  I knew there was a real person behind the product and that relationship spurred me to be even more excited to sell their beautiful, pure acrylic magnet frames. I'm sure that in the scope of things I'm not that big of an account for them. Au contraire. But Nancy always makes me feel special. At their booth the recent NYC gift show, Canetti featured my store advertising postcard in their frames. Yeah, it's a great card, looks super in their frames, and mentions them on the back. But they didn't have to do it. Again, wow. 

Tech Stuff:

I used to send gallery and shop announcement  email blasts via my website, which was cumbersome. Then I only used facebook, which is good but doesn't have any extra oomph. Then a few months ago I was blog surfing and someone mentioned Mad Mimi email marketing. I regret not remembering which blog, but a couple of days later I googled Mad Mimi, browsed their site, and decided to give them a try.

The MadMimi webpage was inspiring, their testimonials glowing. I decided to give it a try. Heck, I need to promote this store.  At some point while I was designing my first promotion I had a question, even though their design program is super easy to use. I emailed their tech support and ....right away someone was there, live, in real time, answering my questions. Patiently. Nicely. I mean, Hello!!...when does that happen??

But then there was a bigger bonus - besides my amazing and amazingly easy to design promotion. At  the Mad Mimi site they have a gallery of some of their clients and I decided my goal was to get into that gallery. They've got cool stuff there - great clients. I emailed and got a really sweet response from Gary, CEO and Founder.  We chatted about this and that...he lives in my old Brooklyn neighborhood..and yes, they loved my promotion and put it on their site. So...not only did I get super tech support, get to design and send a gorgeous email promotion, which my customers loved, but also they put me on their website. Again, sure, my promo was great... but that's the thing. They didn't have to. But they - Gary, Dean and the others on the team,  understand reciprocity, they are nice, down to earth folks running a savvy business. Part of their savviness is in their genuine customer relations. 

 

If you've ever tried to get tech support from web or blog providers, you know just how frustrating this can be, and how likely you are to get the response, "we got your question and will be back with you soon" and then you wait and wait - and wait - until you get an answer that confounds you even more. Not mentioning any names typepad.

Some tech support makes me want to gnash my teeth and tear out my hair, which makes my happiness with MadMimi  even more impressive. 

Link some Love:

Love what someone's doing, selling, writing, designing? Send them some link love. Why not? Tweet them, it costs you nothing, and the goodwill you get back is astounding. Or post a link on Facebook. I'm new to the tweet world, an old hand at Facebook, and here's what I think: you can build community through links, tweets and retweets.

A while back, book designer and blogger Ian Shimkoviak tweeted a post of mine. I only knew because I followed the trail on sitemeter when I noticed a bump in readership. Then I wrote about him in my recent post on book covers. Then he tweeted that. And it was picked up by a couple of his followers. Again...wow. Today I tweeted MadMimi. They tweeted me. And tomorrow??? Maybe I'll tweet you. Or you'll tweet me.

Community

What it boils down to for me is more than the golden rule: in my mission statement I say that Pine Street Art Works is in business to build community  through retail. I am a fierce advocate for local neighborhood community building, but,  in addition, in this cyber age, neighborhood can be anywhere and everywhere. We build it one email, one tweet, one link at a time. Share the love.


NEW WAYS TO ENJOY JELL-O EPHEMERA

If you know me, or follow this blog, you know I'm a bit over the top about my Jell-O ephemera. I have almost every Jello recipe book ever made, starting at the turn of the last century. And I know that many of you come to SeeSaw for my Jello images. One of the top google searches that brings people here is "Jell-O and condensed milk", as well as searches for Jell-0 ephemera, Jello images, and the like.

Now I have some Jell-O images from my collections available as handmade handbags by Flashbags, and reproductions which are fine- art laminated by Silver Maple Editions, here in Burlington.



  • Hello jello silvermapled blog
  • Jello ice cream powder fine art laminated blog
  • Jello flashbag web
Jello flashbag web