Why We Fund Personal Projects

At Big Cartel we love supporting all artists, and that includes the artist in each of us here at HQ.

We believe that if we're out there building furniture, firing up a kiln, or knitting a cozy blanket, we'll be better in tune with you, your hard work, and perhaps the occasional tears that go into putting yourself out there. We want to truly understand your needs so that our help with selling your goods isn't causing unnecessary hair loss or sleepless nights. We also strongly believe in the importance of equal fulfillment at work and in your personal life. Chances are that if you're accomplishing things left and right at home, you're going to be a real gem of an employee, too.

Neat Co. Leather Carl DeCaire's Neat Co.

But sometimes it's easier said than done, and at times our hobbies suffer because of jobs and other obligations. Or perhaps someone's wanted to get into glassblowing, but the budget isn't really allowing for classes right now. Enter: The Employee Art Grant, one of the perks Big Cartel offers, to help us out if we want to take on a creative project outside of work. Any employee who has the desire to feed their artistic side in a brand new way, or hone a skill they already have, can work up a proposal to apply for the grant and we'll help make it happen.

An important part of the process is that an Art Grant project isn't only about getting something done - sharing the progress along the way is just as important. So, each project has a blog or Instagram account associated with it so we can all cheer and high five each other while we watch everything come together.

Behind the scenes filming Andy Newman's Easy, Over Eggs

The folks behind the scenes at Big Cartel have dug their hands into everything from candy-making to leather craft to recording an album. Some of us have even kept these endeavors going long after the official grant is over. Sarah is behind City of Industry, home to adorable pins and patches, and she used her art grant to dive into the world of gift wrap. Nick, of Nick's Wood Shop, continues to keep himself busy making beautiful wooden cutting boards, utensils, bottle openers, and much more.

If you're curious about what other Big Cartel worker bees have been up to lately, check out these recent blog posts:

  • Andy is making two movies in one year
  • Mollie has made truly gorgeous shoes
  • Anthony is working on some rad 3D-printed controllers
  • Vanessa is becoming quite the clothier

Vanessa's process Vanessa Wardy's Uncommon Clothier

Big Cartel's Art Grant is our way of fostering creativity and artistry in our team, so we can pursue many of the same artistic passions as you. Coming soon we'll have more updates as Christy hones her live performance skills for her band in Austin, and Cella learns the art of paper-making and bookbinding! We hope you're just as excited as we are to see what's next.