By Suraj Sait
In the midst of this pandemic, many local businesses have suffered revenue losses due to decreased traffic. To combat this, some have begun improvising with new, creative ways to generate sales.
One such business is Heritage Art Gallery and Glass Studio, a company run by Alice Gebhart. As an artist and teacher, her glass-decorating business has been impacted by the coronavirus. In response, she has created a new project, specifically designed for children.
The project begins when a child picks up a $5 kit from Alice’s gallery on Post Road. In the kit is a 4-inch by 5-inch clear sheet of rounded glass, little ziplock bags of multi-colored frit (granulated glass), a paintbrush, a spoon, and glue. Using different colors of frit and the paintbrush, the child creates a rainbow on the sheet of glass, and glues the frit on so it sticks. After that, the child then brings the finished piece to Alice, who fires it in the kiln to create the finished product. The child can then pick his or her creation up after the process has finished– and because both the kit and final products are located on a table outside of Heritage RI, no human contact is involved.
“[It’s] a little present for the kids,” said Gebhart. “[You] don’t have to jeopardize your health for it.”
So far, Alice has sold 100 kits, and the first batch is going out this Thursday or Friday. Due to the demand, she’s offering more kits. She has also developed other kits meant for individuals of all ages, including a “spring garden” kit. To her, these projects are more valuable than just keeping up sales.
“[I’m] trying to find a market and find a way of helping,” said Gebhart, “but also keep a business.”
In the context of helping, the choice of a rainbow was actually a deliberate one. For Alice, rainbows represent a specific concept, one that she hopes others will remember during these trying times.
“Seeing the rainbow is [a sign of] good things happening in the future,” said Gebhart. “[It’s a] positive thing amongst all these problem signs.”
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