Merriman & Pfister's Marketplace

Oct 26, 2016

Merriman and Pfister is learning that their gift store at the Delmar Four Corners seems to be a win- win for the shop and the artists involved. In acquiring inventory for the store, efforts focus on finding smaller production vendors or those who may be looking at the ordinary in a different light. Sometimes it’s the Artist’s Story that is the draw for the buyers. Other times, a suggestion from someone will spur an interest in obtaining a product. And very often, it’s the artistic piece itself and its unusual character that drives the pursuit of the acquisition.

However an item arrives through the door, it takes its place amongst its peers. Some are from local artists who haven’t yet sold to the general public. When those items sell, excitement flow. Other items elicit an expression of joy or surprise from a customer at first sight. Good for a soul to experience whimsy and delight, good feedback for staff.

It may be the particular sentiment of a gift, for that purchaser, that creates a positive vibration. Sometimes, it’s the vendor and their mission that moves a person. A clockmaker forwards proceeds from sales toward organizations who do good. A tote bag company chooses practices which help support a clean, sustainable environment in the world.

There are international organizations represented who believe in fair trade, ethical employment, empowerment of the underserved, fostering fair economic opportunities. One such vendor, Creativewomen, believes in “conscious consumerism-in which the act of buying is also one of giving- it is a powerful way to effect change”.

Other vendors advocate for domestic violence prevention or cancer prevention. Artist and musician, Jim Sande, hopes to convey through his works “ both a vibrant appreciation for life and the impermanent changing nature of life.” Our beauty and body care products are developed and sold by people who advocate for safe cosmetics and practices. It’s these philosophies which tend to build personal connection and community.

Some of the benefits to seeking out handcrafted items is the support provided for traditions of skilled work, keeping artisans close to resources and activities of creating, and building community. In selling these unique products, “M & P” strives to offer exceptional gifts to their customers. It may just be a win-win in the community.

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