> 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


Events

November Food Drive at Many Rivers
Nov 11 at 3 Barnard Lane, Suite 205, in Bloomfield
Lobster Fest
Fridays at The Tavern at Keney Park
WHS Drama Presents "CLUE"
Nov 15 at Windsor High School. 50 Sage Park Road. Windsor, CT. 06095
Big Steak Dinner
Saturdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Dom's Fundraiser for Food Pantry
Nov 16 at Dom's Broad St. Eatery, 330 Broad St., Windsor, CT 06095
Student and Faculty Recital
Nov 16 at First Church in Windsor, 107 Palisado Ave.
Turkey and Twenty Drive
Nov 16 at Eagle on the Green by Windsor Public Library
Vendor & Artisan Fair: SagePark PTO
Nov 16 at Sage Park Middle School - 25 Sage Park Road
WF&FB Fundraiser at ACE
Nov 16 at WINDSOR ACE HARDWARE 296 Broad St.
Brunch Buffet
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Yoga Paint Party
Nov 17 at Wabi-Sabi Yoga & Wellness Center
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Diabetic Support Group
Nov 19 at AP1, LP WIlson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Nutritionist Talk - Supplements
Nov 19 at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Stillness in Motion - Art Center
Nov 20 at Windsor Art Center
Burgers and Brews
Thursdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Programs Committee Meeting
3rd Thursday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
Stillness in Motion - Art Center
Nov 21 at Windsor Art Center
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Nov 21 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
WinTech Showcase
Nov 21 at Hilton Garden Inn, 555 Corporate Dr, Windsor
Kids Movie, Craft, and Pizza Night!
Nov 22 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Lobster Fest
Fridays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Old Fashioned Christmas with Clara
Nov 22 at The Music School at Sound Crossing, 101 Palisado Ave. Windsor, CT
31st Annual "Food For Health" Drive
Nov 23 at Dr. George B. Curry of 15 Central Street
Artist Talk/Panel Discussion
Nov 23 at Windsor Art Center
Big Steak Dinner
Saturdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Holiday Auction & Dinner!
Nov 23 at The Lodge
Brunch Buffet
Sundays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monday Morning Book Club
Nov 25 at Windsor Public Library
Monday Morning Book Club
Nov 25 at Windsor Public Library
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Tacos 7 Trivia
Nov 27 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Veterans Coffee Hour
Nov 28 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Lobster Fest
Fridays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Big Steak Dinner
Saturdays at The Tavern at Keney Park
Christmas Sampler
Nov 30 at L.P. Wilson
Shop Small with HBG
Nov 30 at House of Books and Games
Small Business Saturday
Nov 30 at Windsor's Small Businesses
Santa Brunch
Dec 1 at The Tavern at Keney Park
Shop Small with HBG
Dec 1 at House of Books and Games
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
HBG Adult Game Night at LP Wilson
1st Monday at LP Wilson Rec Center
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Transportation Committee Meeting
Dec 3 at Chamber office
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
WCC Holiday Business Breakfast
Dec 4 at Hartford/Windsor Marriott
Block Printed Gift Wrap Workshop
Dec 5 at Windsor Public Library
Festival of Wreaths
Dec 5 at Kimberly Hall North Building 1 Emerson Dr Windsor
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Dec 5 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
A Victorian Country Christmas
Dec 6 at 778 Palisado Ave., Windsor CT
Holiday Open House!
Dec 7 at Therapeutic Solutions - 96 Poquonock Ave, Windsor, CT 06095
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Holiday Movie
Dec 9 at Windsor Public Library
Chamber Board of Directors meeting
Dec 10 at Chamber Office
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Tourism Committee Meeting
Dec 10 at Chamber office
Ukulele Holiday Benefit Concert
Dec 10 at Windsor High School Auditorium
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Dec 11 at Chamber office
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.
Card Stamp event to win Gift Cards
Dec 14 at House of Books and Games, Ewe and You, The Bean
Hearth Cooking Class
Dec 14 at Windsor Historical Society
Wreath Across America
Dec 14 at Windsor Veterans Memorial Cemetery
HBG Beth Caruso book signing
Dec 15 at House of Books and Games
Adult Drawing and Painting 101
Mondays thru Dec 16 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Monday Morning Book Club
Dec 16 at Windsor Public Library
Monday Morning Book Club
Dec 16 at Windsor Public Library
Diabetic Support Group
Dec 17 at AP1, LP WIlson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Intermediate Adult Art
Tuesdays till Dec. 17 at Windsor Art Center Studios
Learn to Crochet
Tuesdays at Windsor Public Library
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Programs Committee Meeting
3rd Thursday at Bart's Drive In, 55 Palisado Ave, Windsor
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Dec 19 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
Hot Lunch Program-60&Up
Weekdays at the Senior Center
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Veterans Coffee Hour
Dec 26 at Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Avenue, Windsor, CT
Red Door of Grace Food Pantry
Wednesdays at Grace Episcopal Church, 311 Broad St., Windsor, CT
Talk It Up Toastmasters Meeting
Jan 2, 2020 at 175 Addison Road, Windsor, CT
HBG RPG nights at the Bean
Jan 4, 2020 at The Bean @ 226
HBG Adult Game Night at LP Wilson
1st Monday at LP Wilson Rec Center
Transportation Committee Meeting
Jan 7, 2020 at Chamber office
Ambassadors Committee Meeting
Jan 8, 2020 at Chamber office
Business After Hours
Jan 8, 2020 at Preserve at Great Pond, 2000 Day Hill Rd
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.
Chamber Board of Directors meeting
Jan 14, 2020 at Chamber Office
Tourism Committee Meeting
Jan 14, 2020 at Chamber office