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MADE Winners - Arts Category

By Staff Reports, posted Mar 1, 2019

Frogs and Friends

Etsy.com/shop/frogsandfriends

Year founded:
2018
 
Number of employees: 1
 
Top official: Jessie Robertson
 
Company description: “I create frog artwork to share my love and knowledge of these incredible species and encourage others to conserve them.”
 
Target market: “I hope to spread my frog conservation message through my artwork with as many people as possible.”
 
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “Soon after Hurricane Florence devastated Wilmington … I was able to make consistent art sales at Art in Bloom Gallery when most galleries were suffering from a lack of sales. I also donate a portion of my sales to SAVE THE FROGS! to help amphibians worldwide.”
 
How did you originally come up with the concept of your product? “When I learned of the dire threats amphibian species face worldwide, I wanted to do something to help. I have always loved creating frog artwork, and I hoped to spread awareness about and encourage others to conserve frog and toad species through my artwork.”
 
What are your future goals for the product? “My goal is to continue my art education so that I can improve my abilities as an artist and create an even bigger impact in helping frog and toad species.”  

 

Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts

portcitypottery.com

Year founded:
2007
 
Number of employees: “No paid employees; we operate as a co-op with all members performing various operating procedures.”
 
Top official: Pat Holleman, president
 
Company description: “The first Wilmington gallery of 3-dimensional, locally made art in clay, wood, metals, textiles, basketry, gourds, glass and mixed media.”
 
Company growth: “A group of women potters invited artisans from other mediums to join the venture. Since 2007, we have grown in customers, sales, reputation and popularity amongst locals and visitors from around the world. The quality of our work speaks for itself, so repeat business is the mainstay of our success.”
 
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “We contribute through taxes, donations to nonprofit organizations and supporting marketing efforts of The Cotton Exchange and downtown projects. Our artists sell at art/craft shows, promoting our business while promoting themselves.”
 
How did you originally come up with the concept of your product? “Our products are as varied as our 20 artists, so each artist’s conceptualization and process differ. The original vision was to provide unique, quality craft to the community while allowing the members freedom to explore their respective mediums and keep most of the proceeds (80 percent).”  

 

TheatreNOW Productions

theatre wilmington.com

Year founded:
2012
 
Number of employees: 4 full time, up to 31 part time
 
Top official: Alisa Harris, owner/producer
 
Company description: “TheatreNOW is a performance arts venue featuring weekend live dinner theater shows.”
 
Company growth: “Word of mouth and support from the greater Wilmington cultural community has really helped TheatreNOW garner a great audience and following.”
 
How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “TheatreNOW is a destination attraction that is a driver for Wilmington’s cultural and tourism economy. We hire local actors, writers and directors to create new and regionally interesting original shows that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. In addition, Theatre- NOW operates much like a restaurant in employing cooks, servers, bartenders, etc.”
 
How did you originally come up with the concept of your product? “I’ve had lifelong experiences with both the bar and restaurant world and the performance world. Dinner theater isn’t a new concept and is often looked down upon by purists in either of the aforementioned fields, but TheatreNOW has managed to win over both critics with producing regionally relevant original shows and utilizing the talents of local writers and artists. And having a really delicious meal while you watch doesn't hurt.”  


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