Date: October 28, 2013 | Story: Jennifer Bonds | Styling: Mandy Keener |
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Amber and Jonathan Perrodin have certainly found that to be the case. Their company, Perrodin Supply Co., was born one Christmas Eve after the pair found themselves in need of extra income and decided to open a shop on Etsy selling Jonathan’s handmade artist canvases and other supplies Amber had on hand. “The shop just kind of rolled out of the situation. We were dreaming big, and it actually paid off,” says Amber.
A Springdale native with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking, Amber had long-desired to make a living creating and selling art. Jonathan came into the woodworking trade only after the couple met and began dating. “I started out making canvases for her to use (her mixed-media works are currently on display at the Springdale Public Library), and basically learned on my own,” he says. “Eventually I started investing in better tools and improving, and then we came to a point where we had to ask ourselves ‘What skills do we have and what can we do to make ends meet?’”
Today, the shop sells Jonathan’s handcrafted artist panels and canvases, as well as letterpress prints designed by Amber, packaging supplies, custom rubber stamps and other artistic supplies, all with the couple’s signature clean, industrial aesthetic. Even though their goods are now available in retail shops nationwide from Oklahoma to Michigan, the couple is still dreaming bigger. They recently purchased a 3,200-square-foot warehouse nicknamed “The Hatchery,” and hope to use the space as a creative cooperative for other artists in the area.
“We’d been watching a series on public television about people doing handmade crafts and one of its recurring themes was creating a community of makers helping one another,” says Jonathan. “We realize that the process is bigger than just one person, and were inspired to see what that idea could look like for us.”
In a region of the state known for its energetic creative community—and now home to a world-class art museum—there is no shortage of projects into which the couple can dip their hands. In addition to their ever-growing online storefront, Jonathan recently loaned his woodworking skills to a local artist who creates solar-powered light-and-sound installations, and Amber is teaching a printmaking class at the aforementioned Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
While they are active in the vast craft community on Pinterest, Etsy and Instagram, they hold their local community dearest. “We’re always talking shop with our artist friends,” says Amber. “They are our biggest inspiration, and the drive that keeps us doing what we do.”