Concord artists finding local audience through online site

Concord artists finding local audience through online site
Residents can view a variety of artforms for sale at

For artists and crafters, this new COVID era has been a bit of a double-edged sword, says Lisa Fulmer, a Concord-based marketing consultant and community arts advocate.

“With sheltering in place, we’ve had lots more time to create. New works are literally piling up in our studios and living rooms,” she says. “But with so many public events being canceled, we don’t have all the usual places to promote ourselves and sell our work.”

Last year, Fulmer started exploring the idea for The shopping website provides an online connection between local artists and crafters and more local buyers.

“Like many small businesses, creative solopreneurs are also struggling with reinvention during the COVID crisis,” she notes. “Of course, buying art takes a back seat to paying the bills. But even in the most difficult times, people still crave things like art and handmade goods. Things that make us feel happier and more inspired.”

Twenty Contra Costa County creatives have joined Made in Concord so far. The site already has 150+ items for sale – including original art, handmade gifts and prints.

A personal experience

“By keeping most of the online sales local, artists and their customers can still connect in person to transfer the work sold,” Fulmer says. “Even when it’s with masks and social distance, buying art is always a personal, emotional experience. The creator loves knowing who’s enjoying their work. And the buyer loves meeting the person behind the passion of creating it.”

Catherine Hensiek is president of the Concord Art Association. She says Made in Concord has the potential to be a valuable long-term resource for local artists.

“Building and maintaining your own website just to share your portfolio is no small feat, let alone setting up ecommerce functions,” Hensiek says. “This site is not only affordable for artists, it also comes with the added benefit of being operated by someone with strong marketing expertise and solid community art connections. It’s a win-win for everyone here in Concord and beyond.”