NEW HOPE, PA – When Erin Simmons signed on to lease space for her business Scrambled! Gallery of Gifts in February 2020, she had no idea what to expect. But after winning Bucks Happening’s Best New Business award in April, Simmons is celebrating a successful year selling handmade products by local and regional artists – and she wants to give back.
“I always wanted this little store to do big things, so I thought I would do some kind of charity event,” she said.
The Scrambled result! Small Works Show will benefit the local non-profit Pine2Pink and the Bucks County SPCA. But because she “can’t afford to just write a check” to support these causes, Simmons has involved her community in another way as well. She contacted a friend who teaches at Painted Oak Nature School in Hopewell, NJ, and sent her students each a five by five inch canvas. When she came into contact with an art teacher at Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, Pa., Her students were also excited to create art for the benefit show.
As such, Saturday night’s Small Works Show will feature 40 student artwork, which patrons can take home for a minimum of $ 20 the piece – or whatever amount they wish to donate.
“Because I’m crazy, I also have [in touch with] 15 adult artists, “Simmons said with a laugh.” And they also have some small works coming up, and each of them will give ten percent of their sales. ”
While the pieces for the show will be on sale until the third weekend in July, this Saturday’s reception is the main event. Customers can come together to celebrate and enjoy refreshments on the store’s beautiful patio overlooking the Delaware Canal.
Creating a common atmosphere like this is important to Simmons.
“I love my store so much… and people want to be a part of this whole vibe,” she said.
Because the rent she pays New Hope Arts, a non-profit arts center, is not too expensive, she was able to support her weekend store by selling only the handmade works of art she hoped for. Today, the gallery represents the work of 23 local and regional artists.
“I love interacting with people,” Simmons said, explaining why she prefers not to sell online. “I like them to come in and touch things. … I sometimes try to have sangria or hot cider in the winter. I like it smells good. mortar store. ”
While opening a store last June was difficult and may have been slow, she also feels the atypical year has helped her find her niche and build strong relationships in the community.
“I was able to solve all the problems in my system, so I was able to grow a little slower than never having [had] a business to be thrown into the art mecca of New Hope, ”she said. “That’s why I won Bucks Happening – because customers believed in the store. ”
The scrambled! Small Works Show will be held at 39 West Bridge St. on Saturday, June 19 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Participation is free and the work will remain in place until Saturday, July 17.
Click here to find out more about the show or about Scrambled! Gift gallery.