A handcrafted dream: Village Arts and Crafts

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2016

By Summer Jenkins

Special to The Charlotte Gazette

The smell of carved wood and fresh linens makes Village Arts and Crafts, located at A 285 George Washington Highway in Charlotte Court House, a warm inviting place. Founded as a non-profit in 2005 to create a new opportunity in the surrounding communities, the store stocks handmade quilts, jewelry, paintings and a variety of other products all made and sold by local crafters.

It has a bit of everything for everyone, from football-themed clothing to recycled bags and oil paintings depicting the natural beauty of the community.

Handy with a sewing machine? Enjoy making furniture for friends and family? The board of directors for Village Arts and Crafts offers memberships for any crafters that passes an interview and sample review.

All members fund the organization through a yearly fee of $30, as well as a monthly rental fee of $18 for inventory space in the store.

Members receive 100 percent of their profits from product sales. Many even man the store during its business hours.

Village Arts and Crafts’ Treasurer Tammy Copenhaver, and Susie Hopkins, vice president of the board, take turns behind the scenes, maintaining communication between members, inventory checklists as members review their products in store, and the steady flow of paperwork involved in running a successful business.

Only the member fees fund the store. All profits return directly to the members in a monthly inventory review and check.

These profits then go towards supporting the welfare of community members which, in turn, sends funds back into the community.

“Myself and several others have been doing this a long time and the showing off to the community, (sharing our talent) it’s what our membership is all about,” said Hopkins.

“We do have a few folks who hold it together on the business end, however, without everyone’s support it, wouldn’t be as successful. Thanks goes out to the local community who have been our greatest asset.”

Recognizing local craftsmanship and artistry is a major goal for Village Arts and Crafts, with a standing membership of 28 community members and growing.

One community crafter even moved for retirement to Florida but remains loyal to the membership.

She ships her inventory back to the store and receives her sales check and review through the mail.

Anyone interested in joining the membership can stop by the store.

Copenhaver and Hopkins are usually there to answer any questions, including scheduling a time to meet with the board of directors or discovering a new area talent.