Sudbury

Northeastern Ontario artisan helps others sell their products

There's a new website that highlights the talents of northern Ontario artisans while helping them make a few extra dollars at the same time.
Northern Art Market is the brainchild of Caroline Parnell-Barry of Astorville, southeast of North Bay. It's an e-commerce site similar to the global site Etsy. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

There's a new website that highlights the talents of northern Ontario artisans while helping them make a few extra dollars at the same time.

Northern Art Market is the brainchild of Caroline Parnell-Barry of Astorville, southeast of North Bay. It's an e-commerce site similar to the global site Etsy.

Parnell-Barry says it's hard to pay the bills from selling her wares. She wanted a space that helped northern Ontario artisans but also showcased their work.

"They want to make things but it's hard to make money at that, at selling those things that they create, in this part of the province," she said.

"So the website offers them a way to make money year round in between the time that they're at shows."

She started the site in February with just a handful of other northeastern artisans. The site has now grown to offer work from more than 30 artisans.

"My goal when I started this was not only to help local, meaning northern artisans make money in between the time that they're at booths but also to grow an appreciation in northern Ontario for the talent in their own backyard," she said.

Caroline Parnell-Barry started the website NorthernArtMarket.com to showcase and sell work from northern artists. (Submitted by Caroline Parnell-Barry)

Parnell-Barry says she only charges the artists who use the site if they sell something. The vendors who sell their products keep the site updated as to what's available for purchase. Customers who want to make a purchase do so directly on the site.

From there, the customer and artisan connect to determine shipping.

"I am focusing on northeastern Ontario [and] we're all neighbours," she said.

"There's a strong likelihood of drop-off or pick-up from artisans who live not far from you."

The site features a variety of work, including quilts, leather works, stained glass, tapestry, knitted products, jewelry and wall hangings.

With files from Angela Gemmill