ALGOMA, Wis. (WFRV) — In 2020, the cancellation of art fairs and craft shows lead area artisans to come together under one roof: The Honeycomb in Algoma.
“It’s just always best to have different avenues where artisans can sell their products,” Kimberly Iwen, owner of The Honeycomb and Queen Bee Handmade Soap explained. “All these artisans are friends and people that I know very well from the festivals and farmers markets, and they have high-quality products, and that’s what I wanted to focus on in my store.”
Another side effect of the pandemic is now impacting artisans like the 18 whose products are stocked at The Honeycomb.
“I have had issues with the rising cost of soy wax for my candles,” Iwen said. “My soap supplies went up 25-percent, my candlewax went up 30-percent, I’ve had to change my containers again because some are out of stock or I can’t get them on time.”
Supply chain and shipping issues are plaguing small business owners.
“Some of the artisans will be having to raise their prices due to this,” Iwen said.
Iwen said that artisans like herself are trying to keep their prices consistent heading into the busiest weekend for holiday shopping.
She hopes to see a lot of foot traffic on Small Business Saturday.
“Go to your local store, go to your local shop, whatever shops you have in town that have artisans, we need the support too,” Iwen said.
The very issues artisans are facing may help drive-in foot traffic this holiday season.
“They’re not ordering anything, I think because they feel they’re probably not going to get it on time or they’re going to pay outrageous shipping costs,” Iwen said of some customers she’s chatted with. “So they are going to local stores, which is great.”