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Step inside Homegrown on Main and it feels a little like coming home. First you notice the aroma of candles and homemade soaps. Then you spot the wood floors and character of a remodeled old building before your eyes focus on an array of finely crafted local items.
Once your eyes settle on the shelves of pottery, baskets of photos and artful displays of jewelry and wood items, it’s hard to look away.
This store on Logan’s Main Street is home to 53 artists and craftspeople who create unique works of art from their homes and studios around the Hocking Hills region. Store Manager Rose Arthur smiles as she discusses the merchandise they sell that cannot be found anywhere else. “I love that we have such a variety of high quality work,” she said. “These are things you cannot buy anywhere else.”
The variety of mediums represented here is impressive – woodworking, fused glass, painting, blown glass, drawing, photography, candle making, writing, leather work, jewelry, pottery, knitting, sewing, crochet, alcohol inks and paper goods can be found here, representing a range of tastes and prices.
They also sell items to help local organizations including Empty Bowls, the Washboard Festival, Hemlock Heroes, the Hocking County Historical and Genealogical Society and Logan in Bloom.
“It’s a lot to look at and take in. I think you see something different every time you walk through, Rose said. “We have some regulars who come in just to see what’s new so the artists are often changing their inventory and trying new things.”
For example, painter Donna Voelkel was inspired by peers creating alcohol inks. With some research and practice, she has mastered innovative techniques for embellishing alcohol inks, creating something entirely fresh and new. At the age of 84, she is proving that it’s always a good time to do something innovative.
This storefront was actually born from the ashes of the region’s beloved Hocking Hills State Park Dining Lodge which was destroyed by fire in 2016. Members of the Hocking Hills Artists and Craftsmen Association sold their creations at the lodge.
In addition to losing their art to the fire, they lost retail space as well.
That’s when the group began devising a new plan with the help of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association, the local organization aimed at bringing tourism to the community. Efforts were already underway to revitalize downtown Logan and it made sense for the partnership to be part of the revival by opening a retail store here.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today the partnership has strengthened and the interest in locally made art and crafts is ever growing. They’ve grown so much, in fact, that they outgrew the original location and have moved to a spacious storefront just down the street.
The store is a popular stop for visitors who are looking to take home a vacation memory. “When people travel they like to take home a piece of the experience. For some that’s a painting or woodworking. Many people are collecting Christmas ornaments from their travels and we have those too,” she said.
But Homegrown on Main has a large appeal among locals too. She said that some customers come in just to see what the store is about only to find that it’s a great source for gifts, handmade greeting cards or even something special for themselves. “Locals are really starting to catch on and we’re so glad to have people in our community come in too,” she said.
Rose pointed out that most of the art represented at Homegrown on Main comes from people who have full time careers or other barriers that prevent them from being a full time artist with a storefront of their own. Having everyone work together in this partnership has improved visibility for the local artists, writers and musicians represented here. They also act as a visitor’s center, answering questions, giving directions and distributing local information and maps.
One unique quality of this store is that shoppers can sometimes meet the artists during demonstrations. “People love to meet the artists at work and maybe even buy something from an artist they met who showed them how they do their work,” she said. Some of the artists even offer workshops in their respected areas including basket weaving, glass, painting, knitting, water colors and jewelry.
Rose loves to see lots of new and familiar faces. If you’re out shopping on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, be sure to stop and find that perfect gift you won’t see in any big box store!
Homegrown on Main welcomes shoppers at 65 West Main Street in Logan. Follow them on Facebook for news and hours.