The Southern Highland Craft Guild (SHCG)—which has supported crafters not only in North Carolina where it began, but also in mountain counties from Maryland to Alabama—has released a new logo. Besides the new look, says Hannah Barry, public relations manager, “there will be a push towards membership recruitment to invite makers and educational centers to utilize the creative benefits and opportunities of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.”
The new logo reflects the history of the Guild’s beginnings as Allanstand Cottage Industries, “a cabin among the pines,” founded by missionary Frances Goodrich in 1899. Impressed by the weaving skills mountain women displayed, Goodrich was seeking a way for women to turn their crafts into economic opportunity. A shop first opened in Madison County in 1902, relocating to downtown Asheville six years later, where it would remain until 1980 when the store and the SHCG headquarters moved to the newly built Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Today there are three shops in Asheville and one in Blowing Rock at the Moses Cone Manor. With implementation of the new logo and branding, these retail shops will now be known as Southern Highland Craft Guild in Biltmore Village, Southern Highland Craft Guild at the Folk Art Center, Southern Highland Craft Guild on Tunnel Road and Southern Highland Craft Guild at Moses Cone Manor.
Membership recruitment will accompany SHCG’s new branding. Its updated mission statement defines the organization as one “cultivating the crafts and makers of the Southern Highlands for the purpose of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation.” Currently it has more than 850 members. A goal is to attract new members of all generations.
“SHCG has always operated as a support network for makers to utilize in furthering their businesses,” says Barry, “while also promoting their work and creativity to buyers throughout the region.” With the new initiative, administrators hope to further the organization’s sustainability as membership grows. “We wanted to make sure we’re here for another eight decades and we’re putting policies in place to do so.”
To learn more about joining this historic organization or for hours and locations of the Guild’s retail shops, visit craftguild.org.