Seven years ago this month I launched the first edition of ArtsAndCraftsCollector.com, with the goal of creating an online weekly newsletter that would connect those of us with an interest and a passion for the Arts and Crafts lifestyle with each other.
In the weeks leading up to the 2010 launch, as I huddled with my website designer, I likened the process to building a house: laying the foundation, erecting the walls and furnishing each room.
Well, over the course of these past several weeks, we have been remodeling this house.
It is by no means complete, but after a while you simply move in, open the front door and invite everyone over, all the while apologizing for the rooms which are not quite yet finished. My reasons for the remodeling were three-fold: first, the technical platform on which our first website had been built needed to be upgraded. Second, I wanted a fresh, cleaner look to the pages; and, finally, I wanted larger photographs to accompany each article.
Had my enthusiasm been tempered with a little reality, I would not have undertaken the remodeling and the learning process it required at the same time as we were preparing for the 30th National Arts and Crafts Conference. There was more than just a little irony present last month as we worked to get the traditional 88-page Conference Catalog off to the printer, while at the same time working to get our new non-print online newsletter ready for publication.
Back in 2010 I hired Alexandra Fisher, a young, enthusiastic, professional photographer and graphic designer to help with the launch of ArtsAndCraftsCollector.com. At her first National Arts and Crafts Conference, Alex had the task of handing out free coffee mugs promoting our new website. Over the course of the past seven years Alex has continued to take on even more responsibilities, including becoming the editor of this website, the author of many of its articles, and the registration manager for the National Arts and Crafts Conference.
But Alex was destined for more than this, so she recently announced that she will be departing after this month’s Arts and Crafts Conference to dedicate herself full-time to her new special events business, Lucky Penny Creative, LLC.
As for me, with the help of my new assistant Jan Wolff, I will again be editing and writing articles for our two main features: In the News and Collector’s Guide. But unlike my days as a summer intern for the weekly West Branch (IA) Times, I can’t attend every board meeting, planning session or special event, so I need your help.
If you are involved with or even just aware of an upcoming event that would be of interest to our readers, please send me an email at [email protected]. Our 42,000 readers are spread across the country and travel frequently, so they would love to learn more about future events and news.
So, thanks for your patience while we finish remodeling our website, and for helping us make this weekly website a valuable reference for everyone with an interest in anything — and everything — Arts and Crafts.