WHAT WE LOVE: The magic that happens when a herbalist, a ceramicist and a woodturner combine forces and open a shop. Field Made Goods is the beautiful collaboration of three female artists and makers to showcase their work in a pretty, airy space.
WHERE: 198 Main Street, Picton, in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.
What makes Field Made Goods so unique? We are three women, each with our own creative businesses, who came together to form this collective as a means to share our work. We’re basically retail roommates. We share the costs of running the space (rent, utlities, etc), and we share the shifts in the shop, but we each keep what our individual businesses earn in sales. It’s a concept that makes retail work for the business owner— especially when you share a vision, and an aesthetic. Even better, our individual products mesh together in such a natural and beautiful way. Essentially, we have created a very bare bones, raw space to act as a backdrop for our work. We wanted a gallery experience in a retail shop.
Is there a story behind the shop name, Field Made Goods? In February of 2020, our lease was signed and just as we were about to get the keys to our dream space, the world was hit with a pandemic, and our plans were put on hold, indefinitely. We sheltered in place, and took care of ourselves and others by staying apart. In that time, we each thought about what we wanted. Would we continue, or was it just too much of a risk? It was decided that we weren’t giving up. We were determined to infuse this space with the passion, hard work, and uniqueness that we had originally envisioned.
We wanted a name that reflects what is at the core of each of our creative practices:
Earth based mediums— clay turned to stone, trees turned to sculpture, botanicals turned to potion.
We wanted a name that embraces the space between us and our landscape:
Field — vistas and horizons, resiliency and change, growth from both dormancy and productivity.
On July 25th, 2020, we opened the doors to Field Made Goods. We are Bethanie Lyall, of Bethanie Kaye; Caitlin O’Reilly of Cylinder Studio, and Melissa Condotta, of Sunday’s Company Apothecary.
What are Field Made Goods signature products? Melissa – Body Oils, Facial Care; Caitlin – Emerald Mugs, Large Serving Bowls ; Beth – Sculptural candle holders.
What inspired you or why did you open Field Made Goods? Melissa shared a shop with her friend Alison (Coriander Girl), next door. She always wanted the attached unit, as her own shop (now Field Made Goods), but it was being leased by a long time tenant. In January 2020, Alison gave Melissa first dibs on the space. She wanted it… desperately, but wouldn’t be able to make it happen on her own. So she thought up a way to make this dream a reality, and soon enough, four makers now three (one relocated), who formed friendships over social media, were making plans to launch a brand new retail shop, in a tiny space with tons of potential.
Bethanie, Caitlin & Melissa the shopkeepers at Field Made Goods
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? Creative freedom/expression, community, meeting new people everyday and being able to share stories, and our products, with them.
What are your favorite local independent businesses? Mighty Creative Agency, Coriander Girl, Wander The Resort, Keep, Kokito, Beacon Bike & Brew, Picnic, Piccolina, Fridays Cannabis, The June Motel, Bloomfield Beauty Co, Angelines Inn, City Revival, MacCools Re-Use
What are your favorite shops, anywhere? Melissa: Casa González & González, Montauk Sofa, Sustain Eco Store, Courage My Love, Muji; Caitlin: Tokyu Hands, Latre Art and Style, Horses Atelier; Beth: Save Our Soles, Providence, Market Canvas Leather, Frond, any thrift shops
Which Instagram accounts do you follow? Melissa – @alysonsimplygrows @sigridsminde @errer_ @crenaturalbuilding @the_interiorshopkeepers @yamamo.t.o @soyouwanttotalkabout; Caitlin – @stylistsguide @slowroads @shaunking ; Beth – @lollylollyceramics @elanbyrd @rhiannonmgriego @allisonsamuels
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
Retail isn’t easy, and it’s always a risk. This is something we’ve all wanted– owning a beautiful, successful shop. The truth is, the financial responsibility, along with the demand to be in our studios, making product to fulfill orders, and the everyday demands that come with being a business owner, made this opportunity impossible as individuals. BUT, when you rethink the way a retail store operates, and you make it work for YOU, it’s actually very doable.
The concept of Field Made Goods works, and we think it could be– and should be– the future of bricks and mortar retail. Share a space. Split the rent. Divide the hours… and conquer!
What is your hope for the future of retail? We need MORE independent retailers. They, along with other small businesses, are what make communities vibrant and diverse. They are what bring visitors to our towns, and keep the local economy going. We would love to see the government encourage more independent entrepreneurs/retailers, rather than siding with large, corporate/big box businesses.
When it comes to online retailers, we hope for more localized and subsidized shipping rates by the government for rural or remote communities.
How has the pandemic changed your point of view on the future of retail? It has proven that retail is not dead, especially bricks and mortar retail. We opened our shop in the thick of the pandemic, and we’re still here. It’s been tough. In Ontario, specifically, we have essentially been shut down for 8+ months. Business owners have had to pivot, time and time again. We’re fighters.
As heartbreaking as it’s been to see some doors close, it’s also been incredible to see other businesses flourish. There’s been a shift in shopping trends. People have a strong appreciation for small and local businesses– they’ve shown up for, and supported us and our communities, in a big way. People have even begun travelling outside of their towns and cities, just to visit their favourite retail shops. It’s been pretty remarkable to experience.
Photos: Tara McMullen of Mighty Creative Agency
198 Main St, Picton, ON, Canada