Announcing Brick & Motor: Bringing Scranton Art on the Road

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
We’ve got big news!  Our pal and ScrantonMade graphic designer Samantha Nardelli and her team are taking Scranton art on the road with a new venture called Brick & Motor.  Read all about this exciting concept and fantastic opportunity for area artists.

So what is Brick & Motor and what sparked the idea to take Scranton art on the road?
The whole idea stemmed from a few different places, actually. Tim & I like traveling, even if it’s just a day trip, and we like going to different and new events. Last fall, we were taking a bunch of mini trips (PA, NJ, & NY) and we always ended up in artsy towns, even if by accident. So we started thinking about ways that my design company, Shanty Town Design, can reach out to other communities for design work. Since I vend at the ScrantonMade events with you guys as a way to promote my design work, we started looking into other similar events to promote at. When I vend, however, I mostly use it as a way to get connected to the artists by collaborating, offering something interactive, or giving promotions away, rather than selling merchandise. So, we’re trying a new thing with selling our own art. We did a test run at the Susquehanna Breakdown and it went awesome! 

As we were chatting with friends about the idea, we thought about taking some of their work with us. I always try to promote and connect them or at least let them know of cool things going on, where they can get their names into the community and get people interested in their work. Then the gears just kept turning from there. If we’re going to do this, go on the road full time, we want everyone we know to be a part of it. The amount of talent in our little city is so inspiring. All of our intro artists are involved in the Scranton arts community one way or another. We’ll be picking up more artist work as we travel through other like-minded cities, but we still will be keeping our roots as our sole inspiration.

Where are you planning to go and for how long? 
We’re estimating the entire trip to take 6 months to 1 year. We have a basic map started, with the key areas we’d like to stop and some personal notes on festivals we’d like to hit. There are a few cities in Georgia with some awesome arts festivals, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, over to Cali, and up to Oregon and Washington. We’d like to spend a little more time than usual in some of the cities, so we can really get to know the area, the locals, and the art and music scenes. We think each major stop, we’ll stick around for about 2 weeks. The timeframe of when we’ll be in certain cities will depend on our “leave date”, which we haven’t set yet. It’s all going to depend heavily on when the markets and festivals take place. We’re going to start applying to markets like The Big Heap, Renegade Craft Fair, The Big Flea, and Handmade & Bound in late summer, early fall since the application processes start months before the actual event. Come August, we’ll really have to lock down which markets we’re going to sell at and when. In the downtime, and when we first start our journey, we’ll be hopping on Punk Rock Flea Markets, regular Flea Markets, Pop Up events, and First Fridays (or the area’s equivalent).

Do you have a roster of artists yet that have signed up to send their work on the road with you?
We’re working on locking down the specifics of who and what we’ll be taking on the road, since we won’t actually be purchasing the bulk of our inventory until late summer. Some items have expiration dates, some people are prepping for Arts on the Square, some have other events they are working towards so we don’t want to take away from that. A few people that are definite and are shown in our campaign video are as follows: 
A Daily
The Post Home &
The Hunter
Reba Handmade

As a whole, we’re looking at taking about 30+ artists work from the area, to start. If there’s anyone I haven’t contacted yet that’s looking to get involved, I encourage them to reach out to us!

How do you plan to promote Brick & Motor while on the road?
Most of our promotion will be through social media and blogging. Once we know a certain city or event we will be visiting, we’ll connect with our followers to spread the word, so people know that we’re coming, and that it’s a big deal. We’ll be posting updates about our travels, work, and experiences as we go along. We’ve also been throwing around some cute ways to interact with our customers, like offering a Daisy kissing booth. Daisy is our beagle and kissing is all she really does.

For those who would like to keep up to date, even after our crowdfunding campaign ends, I suggest signing up for our newsletter, and following us on Instagram or Facebook. Once we start the trailer renovation process, we’ll be posting photos and updates galore!

What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
It’s all challenging, in a good way. It’s all a learning process. I’m a designer, and while I’m a business owner too, there’s a lot to know about the inner working of a ’storefront business’ where you’re selling a physical item. Other than just the general growing pains (if you can call it that at this point), for me, probably understanding how camper trailers work.  Luckily, Tim’s been doing some impressive research on figuring out what’s what, and we have supportive family that’s been giving us crash courses on automotives. We’ve been looking at trailers for the past few weeks, and we just want to make sure we make the right decision.

What are you most excited about? 
Just everything! The whole thing is going to be an amazing experience. I’m sure there’s going to be bumps in the road along the way, but we’re going to be doing what we love, and what we’re passionate about. How can you not be excited about that?

How is the crowdfunding campaign going and can people still contribute?
We’ve raised enough to start trailer shopping, and we have been. The rest of the funds that we raise will go towards the renovation process (converting it into a storefront), travel supplies, and vending fees. People can contribute up until June 13th, though, depending on how the rest of the campaign goes, we may push our date to ‘on going’ through a neat feature IndieGoGo has called ‘In Demand’. This will allow us to continue to promote our story, and share more of our renovation process all summer, until we leave. We’ll actually be vending at the Scranton Zine Fest on our technical closing day; June 13th, and will have something fun in the works since it’s our last day of the campaign. So stay tuned!

Do you guys have anything else going on during your campaign that you’d like to share?

We’ve got a little photo contest going on to help our campaign gain more exposure. Everyone who takes a picture of themselves holding up something that says Brick & Motor and our URL, posts it on Facebook or Instagram, with us tagged, will go into a drawing to win a free 16 x 20 print plus one other little surprise from one of our vendors. We’ll be picking the winner on June 1st! 

Follow Brick and Motor 
Instagram: @shantytowndesign , @tim_brickandmotor , @samanthanardelli

Help us Yarn Bomb the 3rd Annual Arts on the Square!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

We're looking for knitters, crocheters, fiber artists and creatives to help us bring color to Arts on the Square!!! Join the NEPA Yarn Bombers Facebook group to stay in the loop and come to a Sip and Knit!

Arts on the Mountain Spotlight @ Susquehanna Breakdown Part 3!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

WooHoo! Susquehanna Breakdown is less than a week away!!! We are so excited to bring this talented group of local artists & makers to the festival! The Arts on the Mountain curated marketplace will be near the Susquehanna Stage and right in the middle of the action. Here’s another sneak peek at some of the handmade goodness you’ll find in the AOTM marketplace at next week’s Susquehanna Breakdown! 

Prints by Shanty Town Design

Concrete candleholders by Cole Hastings

Jewelry by Aquilina Oddities

Jewelry by Om in the Attic

Mugs by ScrantonMade

There’s still time to get your tickets to Susquehanna Breakdown HERE

Pennsylvania Bluegrass outfit, Cabinet, in conjunction with Live Nation, will host their 3rd annual music festival on May 9th, 2015 at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain. A family friendly gathering in a picturesque location, Susquehanna Breakdown, will present a variety of musical acts (local, regional & national), craft and food vending and much more!
Festivals past have featured a brilliant collection of Americana, roots, bluegrass, funk, jam, and folk artists. Enhancing the musical aspect of the festival, previous events have offered a farmers market, concert poster art gallery, kids activity area, as well as a host of vendors that kept fans occupied all throughout the day.
Twitter:  @susqbreakdown