Collin Garrity, a wood worker and furniture designer, has an Etsy shop selling simple everyday objects. Collin sells a variety of wooden items, from lamps to bowls, toys to tables, which are handmade in his studio in Saint Louis. He collaborates with other makers to incorporate leather or ceramic elements into his designs. Encouraged by his sister, artist Kelsey Garrity-Riley, to open an Etsy shop in 2011, Collin made his first sale within 15 minutes of establishing his shop, and hasn’t looked back. His customers are parents who value the wholesome nature of handmade toys, homemakers who cherish every item they use, and makers who use his tools and desk products. There are also 40 shops that carry his work.
Collin Garrity learnt woodworking at Warren Wilson College whilst studying poetry. Collin used You Tube and books to refine his craft, building four guitars and nine other instruments before turning to furniture and smaller objects. He worked at The Paris Market in Savannah, GA, where he was allowed to sell his prototypes, an invaluable learning experience for discovering what customers are interested in. Inspired by architecture and furniture designed by architects, Collin can marry those influences with his knowledge of material and method to create unique products. He is saving for his dream workshop, a solid old building with strange quirks and an interesting view, and a small showroom that he can open to customers once a week. He participates in several craft fairs, including the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, and The Enamel Project in Saint Louis.
On The Future of Retail
“Anyone with a smartphone can open a virtual shop. There’s a lot of mediocrity especially since many shop owners curate their favorite things, so their shops carry things that can be found in countless other places. This puts makers at a real advantage and is part of why there’s a movement around it. Selling a collection of your own wares is an easy way to stand out from the crowd.”