Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Made in Columbia County, NY? I'm Asking For Your Help!

Oh, my! It's been a while since I tended my blog. Life as a writer/entrepreneur gets a little unwieldy sometimes. That's why I'm back. I want to speak directly to the self-starters in Columbia County, of which I understand there are plenty.

I'm writing a lot these days, a new book (Hudson Valley Curiosities Arcadia Press 2017) and a new book which I'm pitching with my very first agent. If that's not enough, I'm producing a major history festival in Kinderhook, New York in October over the Columbus Day Weekend. Everyone can look that up on Facebook.

So while researching resources in Columbia County, I had the opportunity to talk with the Economic Development Corp. I kind of thought, by the sound of the name, that the EDC was there to support people like me, a self employed individual. Turns out that is what they do, but the resources they offer are things like loans and seminars. All good mind you. What came out of that conversation was a statistic that made me really think. The person on the phone informed me that one in two people in Columbia County are self employed. Wow. He even went as far to say that Columbia County was setting a trend in the country related to how new businesses are emerging.

Given this golden nugget of information I did a bit of informal research. First I scanned my friend network to see how many of them were actually self employed. In this basic exercise I deduced that of my 20 closest friends, nearly all, that's right, all of them were working for themselves. The range of jobs included: antique dealer, teacher, magazine writer/editor, media consultant, fashion trend forecaster, publicist, actress, author, editor, artist, farmer, beekeeper, consultant, potter, sales person, blogger, the list goes on! The next thing I did was to get busy writing this blog because somehow knowing this changed me a bit.

When I started this blog, my intention was to highlight the many extraordinary people who live here and write about the contributions they're making to our quality of life in the place I call home. I'm going to continue doing that, and as a way of helping my fellow entrepreneurs,  I'm going to highlight and review as many of the amazing businesses and the products created right here in CC as I can.

That said I'm asking for YOUR HELP. If you know of any products created in Columbia County, please let me know, or even better, send a photo a web link or a small sample to: P.O. Box 162, Old Chatham, NY 12136, so that I can review the product and promote it on the blog. If the business or artist needs to have the product returned, I'm fine sending it back.

Made in Columbia County will be a new addition to this blog!

I've already been in touch with some of you who make things and the range of items is so very impressive. Check your emails. So far I've discovered a person who makes perfume, a hat maker, and a very tasty nut butter cook/entrepreneur. Uncovering all of this creativity is super motivating for me....and I hope for you too.

Look for Made in Columbia County blog to be posted twice a month. Buying local has never been so much fun!

With thanks,
Allison :)

This is a photo of Taconic Baskets made here in Columbia County in the 19th Century.