> Out and About: Kate Gardiner, owner of Fair Street Crafts

Out and About: Kate Gardiner, owner of Fair Street Crafts

Out and About: Kate Gardiner, owner of Fair Street Crafts
Interview by Tracy Rotkiewicz
Photo by Michael Taylor

Kate Gardiner is the co-owner of Fair Street Crafts, which she started with her husband, Jim. The Gardiners originally came from Maine. Due to Jim's job as IT at Berkshire Blanket in Ware, MA, a move was necessary. They chose Springfield as their new home, but soon went back to Maine. Only, Berkshire Blanket did not want Jim to quit. So, the Gardiners once again headed to southern New England.

In October 2013 the couple had discovered the website marketplace Etsy, where they wanted to try their hand at selling handcrafted burlap table runners. Kate was skeptical of the whole online selling venture, but it did take off and proved profitable as she states, "Burlap is very popular." She stuck with it for a couple of years. Kate says, "So naturally the next big step was going to be a storefront." Jim found the building at 55 Poquonock Ave. "We just thought it fit the character of our shop. An older, rustic kind of building." The location seemed to fit their needs as the couple had moved to Somers, CT., in July 2015. They opened the shop in May of 2017. Kate had worked the Etsy shop full-time, until the grand opening of their physical store, Fair Street Crafts.

Getting the shop off the ground has proved challenging, as with any start-up business. Kate says that a lot of the marketing is word of mouth. There isn't too much foot traffic in the area. During the holidays though, it gets busy. "The people who have come in are really great. They've really loved the shop. They've been very welcoming." Along with Kate's crafts, she wanted to showcase other crafter's wares from the Etsy community. All of the items are American made. Competing with the big craft retailers doesn't deter some customers when it comes to Fair Street Crafts though. Kate further goes on to say; "I think it makes them feel good when they're buying something local and unique." She explains about her own feelings when she first started selling her own wares online. "I know that it was pretty exciting for me when I started making stuff and people were buying it. Suddenly, I'm sending stuff to Dubai and Australia. It's cool to think your table runner, that you made with your hands is somewhere in Japan or wherever." Fair Street deals in selling a lot of home decor that can only be described as farmhouse
style or shabby chic.

Kate and Jim found Windsor to be very quaint. It's a small town, but big enough. They take advantage of a few various businesses. Fair Street Crafts is a member of the Chamber of Commerce as well. As cat owners, the Gardiners have used the services of Happy Cat Hotel for their feline family. Kate loves going to Get Baked for their gluten-free fare as she
notably answers, "I have a huge sweet tooth."

On her off time, Kate likes to read, loves to watch birds, learning how to crochet. Three words that describe Kate: Family, creative, cozy.

Photo by Mike Taylor


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Kick-Off to Summer Art Week
Jun 18 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Evolution of Bradley Airport
Jun 19 at Windsor Historical Society
Lunch & Learn: Business Financing
Jun 19 at Hilton Garden Inn, 555 Corporate Dr
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jun 20 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Strawberry Festival
Jun 22 at Brown's Harvest 1911 Poquonock Ave
Windsor Art Center Tag Sale
Jun 22 at Windsor Art Center
Call for Artists - Member Show
Jun 23 at Windsor Art Center
Keney Park PGA jr. League
Jun 23 at Keney Park Golf Course
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jun 24 at Windsor Art Center Studios
How to Hire Top Talent
Jun 24 at Wilson Branch Library, 365 Windsor Ave
Monday Morning Book Club
Jun 24 at Windsor Public Library
Summer Movie Series - Planet of the
Jun 25 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Veterans Coffee Hour
Jun 27 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Edward Jones Grand Opening
Jun 28 at 697 Poquonock Ave (Price Choppers plaza), Windsor, CT 06095
Mid-20th C. Tiki Drinks & Culture!
Jun 28 at Windsor Historical Society
Christopher Martin Art Show
Jul 1 at Windsor Public Library Artspace
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 1 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Young Artist’s Watercolor Day
Jul 1 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movies Series
Jul 2 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Windsor Business Connection
1st Wednesday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jul 4 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Christopher Martin's Art Reception
Jul 6 at Windsor Public Library Artspace
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 8 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Jul 9 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Business After Hours
Jul 10 at Northwest Park, Lang Rd, Windsor
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Yoga at the Windsor Art Center
Friday at Windsor Art Center
Windsor Art Center - Member Show
Jul 13 at Windsor Art Center
Windsor Garden Club Garden Tour
Jul 13 at Windsor, CT
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 15 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Diabetic Support Group
Jul 16 at AP1, LP WIlson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Summer Movie Series
Jul 16 at Windsor Public Library
National Hot Dog Day
Jul 17 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Ukulele for Beginners-B
Jul 17 at Windsor High School J113
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jul 18 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Windsor Art Center - Artist Talk
Jul 20 at Windsor Art Center
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 22 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monday Morning Book Club
Jul 22 at Windsor Public Library
Summer Movie Series
Jul 23 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Veterans Coffee Hour
Jul 25 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Yoga at the Windsor Art Center
Friday at Windsor Art Center
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Jul 29 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Jul 30 at Windsor Public Library
Blood Drive Windsor Historical Soc.
Jul 31 at Windsor Historical Society
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Photojournalist Jessica Hill Art
Aug 1 at Windsor Public Library Artspace
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Aug 1 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Aug 5 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Aug 6 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Windsor Business Connection
1st Wednesday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave
Alzheimer's Support Group
2nd Thursdays at Kimberly Hall N.
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Yoga at the Windsor Art Center
Friday at Windsor Art Center
Drawing and Painting 101 for Adults
Aug 12 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monster Madness Art Day
Aug 12 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Summer Movie Series
Aug 13 at Windsor Public Library
Bring Your Gadgets to the Geeks
Wednesdays at Windsor Public Library
Business After Hours
Aug 14 at Edward Jones, Poquonock Ave, Windsor
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Summer Concerts on the Green
Thursdays at Windsor Town Green
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Aug 15 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT