by Sharon Cooper Murray
Cottage industries provide economic opportunities through employment and income generation activities all over the world. This type of employment once referred to traditional artistic skills of rural people inherited from past generations. Today the cottage industry model has expanded to urban areas, which include a variety of products, producing bake goods, seedlings for gardening, contemporary jewelry and the list goes on. Some believe the new cottage industry may become the new corporate America. The emergence of new products into this industry has proven to be successful in urban areas but the traditional rural cottage industry continues to face hardships. This contrast reflects the ability of urban cottage industries to secure financial support, educational resources, marketing skills etc. Unfortunately rural areas are faced with poverty, limited or no educational resources, limited or no marketing skills, lack of material andconnections will consumers and other barriers that hamper development and ultimately success.
The following industries are now considered a cottage industry because they can be performed from the home. The following listing provides some of the newly developed cottage industries:
Though these occupations can be performed in the home they benefit from mainstream corporations that provide a marketing atmosphere that promotes these skills. Unfortunately traditional rural cottage industries are often confined to a specific area and their folk art is known primarily within the community. The need for financial support, educational resources, networking opportunities, marketing and technology skills are essential in the development of rural cottage industries. How do we adapt and overcome these barriers ? Since Charleston, S. C. is the nearest urban center to Wadmalaw and Johns Island, S. C. and one of the most visited cities in the USA we seeks to utilize this resource in ways that have not been previously fully explored. Rural communities are traditional spaces with a history that is important to those living there and are not easily changed. To achieve success we are currently seeking input from community leaders and artisans to accurately and positively create an atmosphere of sustainable preservation and growth for the artisan culture of the sea islands. In addition we are connecting with the urban communities by attending art meetings, joining arts organizations, becoming informed of the available resources provided by the city, county, state, national and international resources. We invite your comments, suggestions and support for the Community Rag Quilting Preservation Initiative contact us at gullahragquilting.blogspot.com or email us at Gullahlady1a@gmail,com. See you next time.