Entries in Arkansas DeltaMade (1)


Made in America: Marketing the People Behind the Product

John Foxx/Thinkstock(DUMAS, Ark.) -- From a potter's wheel in the tiny Delta town of Dumas, Ark., comes work that is now prized all over the country. The prized objects are from Arkansas DeltaMade, an organization that markets the goods of Arkansas craftsmen in stores and online.

In its three years of operation, Arkansas DeltaMade has helped to create or save as many as 350 jobs in rural Arkansas.

The mission is "to help those small businesses who individually might not have the buying power or the time and energy to really invest in marketing and exploring new innovative markets," Beth Wiedower, director of Arkansas DeltaMade, told ABC News.

Gail Miller, for one, has pottery that is going places.

"There's no bigger thrill than to walk through the Peabody Hotel and see our pieces all over the place!" Miller said, referring to the hotel in Little Rock.

The organization sells everything from artwork and jewelry to books and even tasty treats from home kitchens. The key, they say, is not only marketing what is being made, but emphasizing who is making it and where it's coming from.

Rita and Richard Underhill sell honey from their family farm and say customers love that.

"It's important to them, it means something to them," said Rita Underhill. "It's not just something from China."

The Underhills and other participants in the program believe it can be a model for rural towns across America. It can serve as an example for people who want to make a living with the talent and resources they possess right in their hometown.

Miller believes many people have talents they didn't know were marketable.

Maureen Jones sells her custom children's dresses that she sews at home in Helena, Ark., with the help of DeltaMade.

"There is a market for those things, people just don't know where to find you. And DeltaMade is doing that for us," Jones told ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio