Shop local, buy handmade {a review of Fly Me Home}

Small business owners are unique. Typically in our businesses we are every role from chief cook to bottle washer, and lots more in between! Yet, commonly, we start out as makers. We have a creative niche that we have found, and we LOVE IT! This is our hobby. Our peace. Our passion. Then … one day … it happens. We decide to share our work with the public.

I daresay that for most makers, this is a humongous leap. It puts a check on our self-confidence. It genuinely terrifies us. Of course, we artists are proud of our work. Yes, it is genuine. Yes, it is meticulously crafted. And, yes, it is a piece of our very heart and soul.

So. Then comes the question. What if our work is rejected? Therefore, WE are rejected (we surmise.) Oh. Ugh. This is hard. Super hard. But we take that leap, and offer to share our hand-crafted work with the world. Because we believe in it that much.flymehome2

In this post I am delighted to highlight local small business Fly Me Home, owned and operated by Sue Guzik and her husband Dave. Fly Me Home is located at 299 Parsonage Street in Pittston, Pennsylvania. flymehome5

This creative business offers a unique blend of upcycled home decor for every room in your house. Sue and Dave create these items on site in their Pittston shop and studio, using a wide array of vintage and recycled materials.

This husband-wife team specialized in mosaics and mixed media artwork. Sue finds inspiration for her mosaic work in her love for animals, especially birds. Husband Dave specializes in a variety of items made from vintage silverware. These include wind chimes, bracelets, rings, bookmarks, herb markers and more! The crafty duo wastes very little when it comes to supplies, which they glean from flea markets and estate sales.flymehome3

To Sue Guzik, competition in its strictest definition simply does not exist in the handmade marketplace. She feels there is no need to establish superiority among fellow crafters, and she even encourages her customers to spend their dollars with other handmade vendors. After all, there is enough handmade to go around! 😉 Of course, for all us artisans, an ongoing challenge is steering people away from the “big box” mentality. True. ‘Tis true, indeed.

Fly Me Home gains business exposure largely through their awesome social media following. They enjoy a great group of fans on both Instagram and Facebook. Fly Me Home also has a listing in Happenings magazine. As in any small business, networking is a huge key, and Fly Me Home gains tons of face-to-face exposure with their customers via the many craft shows in which they participate — to the tune of 20 to 25 per year! The great thing is, many customers whom they have met at a show later visit their shop. 🙂

Sue admits, and I completely agree, that shopping local and buying handmade elicits a beautiful case of the warm fuzzies.<3 Fly Me Home goes even further in encouraging people to shop local during the holiday season by conducting a food drive on Small Business Saturday which benefits a local shelter. They offer a giveaway as well, and the response to both is always amazing! The camaraderie they experience among longtime customers is akin to lasting friendships and family.flymehome6

Sue and Dave make their products available to customers in a variety of venues. (YAY for us!) Certainly, you can find special and unique handmade gifts by Fly Me Home at their physical store located at 299 Parsonage Street in Pittston, Pennsylvania. They can also be found on Etsy and Facebook. Again, doing craft shows is a large part of their business as well. And they are excited to announce an up-and-coming website which is expected to be completed in early 2017.flymehome4

For the holidays, Fly Me Home does a lot of custom stamping. They also make great ornaments and have many stocking stuffers in the $8 to $10 price range. Are you looking for a little something extra to go with a gift card? How about some unique stamped silverware items as an add-on? Fly Me Home has plenty!

As both as a customer and as a fellow vendor, I have seen Fly Me Home in action at several craft shows local to the Scranton area. Their display is always beautiful, and the variety of items they offer at shows is vast. Sue, Dave and I will be neighbors again at the Scranton Cultural Center’s Buy Local Holiday Shopping event on Sunday, November 27 this year. I am very much looking forward to seeing you guys again! Happy crafting! ❤

 

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