A local man has launched a new website that gives people a chance to purchase the work of local artisans and do a good deed at the same time.
Tim Rinaldi go the idea for Shop337.com from his dad, who makes beautiful wooden ink pens.
“My dad has been making these handmade wooden pens and selling them on Etsy, and I couldn’t find them, even though I tried pretty ardently to search,” Rinaldi explains. “And it occurred to me, there should be a better way for him to reach people here in Acadiana. After visiting the farmer’s market, I realized there are so many artisans here in Acadiana who are incredibly talented, like him, and I started thinking of a way that they could market their work here.”
So he started working on the idea of building a local online option. But his own personal history of mission work in Honduras worked into the equation; he wanted a way to help local groups that are putting their energies into making Acadiana a better place.
“During the checkout process, you will also be able to donate to one of our participating non-profits, we have seven here in Acadiana,” Rinaldi explains. “You chose one to donate 1 percent to, but you can also make an additional donation.”
The artisan keeps 94 percent of the sale price, 1 percent goes to the chosen non-profit, and 3 percent goes to credit card processing fees, he said. The remaining 2 percent goes to Shop337, he says.
“My mission is to support these local artisans, not to make money off of their sales,” he says.
The site offers hand knit items, jewelry, paintings, food items – like spices, pickles and jellies – as well as soaps, candles and bath salts from 18 local artisans. When you view an item, you can also go to the artisan’s page, which shows all their offerings and gives you a short bio.
There are two options for delivery: you can chose to have your item shipped, or you can coordinate with the artist to pick the item up at Brother’s on the Boulevard, Rinaldi said.
The non-profits you can donate too are Acadiana Animal Aid, Catholic Charities of Acadiana, Healing House, New Hope, Miles Perret Cancer Services and United Way. The site offers a link to each non-profit’s website so you can find out more.
To encourage people to visit the site, he’s giving away a $50 gift certificate. Everyone who visits can enter; the drawing will be held on Saturday.
“My dream for Shop337.com is for everyone in Acadiana to know about it and visit it, and hopefully buy something, but even if not I really hope they will visit our non-profits pages,” Rinaldi says. “Because what has drawn me to these artisans’ work is, it’s their craft. And the people who lead our non-profits, also have that craft, they’ve committed their lives to impacting the people who need it most. I think that’s something we should celebrate here in Acadiana.”
For more information, visit the site by clicking here.