Clawson Makers Market Aims for Art as an Experience

Clawson Makers Market Aims for Art as an Experience

(Christian Miller, Feb. 20, 2019)

Clawson is welcoming a new business among its ranks at the end of the month. The Clawson Makers Market, located at 808 W. 14 mile, offers patrons access to handmade creations from local artists.

Owned by Bonnie Swope, the establishment offers a creative flair unlike other businesses of its kind.

“There are a lot of stores where you shop for art” Swope said. “We have the actual artists in-house. That’s why we named it Makers Market and not Artisan.”

Customers are greeted by distinct works and the artists responsible for them upon entry.

Alongside the personal conversation, visitors also have the chance to attend artist led workshops.

The Clawson Makers Market affords individuals the opportunity to not only appreciate art, but actively practice it under the watchful guise of a professional.

Printing, cutting, etching, pressing, embroidering and more can all be done within the market.

This intimate factor, coupled with the business’ capacity to fulfill custom orders, makes a visit to the market a unique experience.

“I was overwhelmed by the amount of applications we got from local talent,” Swope said. “We had over 65 applicants but had to narrow it down to 25 for our opening.”

It would seem that the fruits of Swope’s labor stem from her sustained activity in Clawson and other surrounding communities.

After graduating from the College for Creative Studies, Swope got her start in the advertising industry. Working for enterprises like MGM Grand, she began to hone in on elements that caught the attention of viewers.

“Ads have been something I’ve done my whole life,” Swope said.

After Swope’s stint in the corporate realm, she decided to take her art on the road.

Swope’s skill resulted in displays at Eastern Market, the Lavender Festival, and other venues of the like over the past six years.

“I remember one weekend where I sold over 240 custom Christmas ornaments at the Detroit Mercantile Company,” Swope said.

Traveling all corners of Michigan opened her eyes to a variety artistic perspectives.

While this method provided a sustainable income, Swope wanted to play a more active role in helping artists create a name for themselves.

“I started to think about what was missing,” Swope said. “People didn’t have a place where they could walk in and actually see the art.”

Swope wanted to give artists more power in the promotional process. To do so, she changed the financial model of her exhibition space.

“Unlike other stores that charge commission, everything sold at our store goes directly to the artist,” Swope said. “We’re encouraging artists to provide business cards and other contact information to grow their business beyond our store.”

Interested artists simply sign up for a multi-month commitment and are charged for the rental space.

“It’s up to the artist to design, arrange, and direct their space,” Swope said. “We’ve got some really talented people putting stuff in here.”

Opening March 1st, the Clawson Makers Market is geared to be a creative cauldron for the community.  They are located at 808 W. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson, MI 48017.  For more information, check out their Facebook Page.

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