Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Margo- part deux

Was having trouble loading photos yesterday, so as a continuation of my post about Margo, here are a few photos!

Margo gives a warm greeting to one of our Textures members at our annual general meeting!

Margo was a nominee for Volunteer of the Year at the 2009 and 2010 Tourism Hamilton Awards!

Margo shares a joke with her husband, Tom, at the 2009 Tourism Hamilton Awards.

Sock monkeys are one of Margo's most popular items offered for sale at Textures!

Each sock monkey is lovingly created by hand in Margo's studio, and they all have very distinct personalities...

Margo's repetoire also includes one-of-a-kind felt animals - cats are a special favourite!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Margo's Got the Cargo, Bye!

Following a brief "blog hiatus", I am finally returning for a new series of updates for our loyal followers, and offering a glimpse "behind the magic" that is Textures Craftworks! I thought I would start this series with a bit of history on our group of merry creators, and how we came to be, which naturally leads to one of our Core Members, Margo Griffith, and the founding of Textures.

After a 10 year career as a teacher, Margo Griffith was ready for a change. A keen interest in textile arts led Margo on a path where she quickly met other local artisans who shared her creative vision. Realizing that no self-sustainable, year-round venue existed in the Hamilton area where artisans could display and market their works, Margo collaborated with five other artisans to establish the not-for-profit organization, Textures…a combined effort of area artisans. Margo’s brainchild is a unique cultural attraction that invites the curiosity of visitors to Hamilton and provides opportunities for tourism.

Operating entirely through the volunteer labour of its members, each artisan participates in the running of Textures. Margo brings a very high level of professionalism to the group after years of service on local and provincial arts councils and committees, and she provides an exceptional example to our membership of what can be accomplished by working cooperatively.

As a firm believer in the importance of volunteering, Margo practices what she preaches by devoting more than 40 unpaid hours each week to developing Textures as a positive experience for visitors. Whether propelling the daily operations of our organization; or developing and maintaining working partnerships with arts organizations, suppliers, and the Locke St. BIA; or taking the time to serve the young boy who comes in with his piggy bank to shop for his mother each Christmas - deftly gift wrapping his purchase, and making sure to add the card he has made; Margo is unfailingly generous in sharing herself with others!

Margo has created a loyal following over the years by always showing a steadfast resolve to enhance the level of customer satisfaction felt by visitors to Textures. Dedicating countless volunteer hours to crafting and polishing Textures into a premier visitor attraction, and sustaining our organization through the building of relationships and partnerships within the community, Margo generously shares her time and knowledge with all she meets.

Her background in teaching has given Margo a generosity of spirit and a love of learning, and when approached, she has freely advised over 14 different arts groups across Canada in how to develop and implement their own successful “combined effort” organizations.

Many fellow artisans are drawn to Textures as visitors and they are always greeted warmly by Margo, becoming regular patrons in no time! Her natural aptitude as a communicator allows Margo to make instant, lifelong connections with people. She will spend many hours of her own time mentoring interested people in their creative pursuits, and suggesting ways in which they may develop their work.

Visitors to Textures always receive the benefit of Margo’s expert knowledge of her craft, as well as the techniques and materials used in the creation of works by other member artisans, and she can be counted upon to make appropriate gift suggestions as required.

One Christmas Eve several years ago as business was finally starting to die down, a local lady made her first visit to Textures shortly before closing. Unbelievably, she had not done any holiday shopping at all yet, and needed a raft of gifts!

Margo took the initiative to efficiently help the overwhelmed customer select the large number of gifts she needed, and thereby expedited the customer’s purchase. Once that was taken care of, Margo set to work artfully gift wrapping and tagging all the selected items, to the amazement of the beleaguered visitor.

Ultimately, it took three hours to complete the selection and wrapping of all the gifts for this visitor – two full hours past closing time. But Margo says it was worth it, as this lady now visits Textures regularly!

Our appreciative customer is better prepared now, starting her holiday shopping about a month ahead of time. She likes to remind Margo of the Christmas Eve she was so behind schedule on her shopping, and how Margo was late for dinner because Textures stayed open past closing time to help her!

To hear Margo tell the story, she says “Christmas is special, and we should put ourselves out to help people! We’re Santa’s big elves at work!!”

And that's a bit about Margo. As someone who has known her now for more than 12 years (my, how the time has flown by!), I can tell you that she is very generous of spirit, and is always willing to go the extra mile. She's smart as a whip, knows a lot about a lot of things, is willing to share her knowledge with anyone who asks, and is eager to learn more all the time! She's got a great sense of humour, and this is often evident in many of her unique creations including one-of-a-kind sock monkeys, and her "nunsense" nun dolls. I think Margo is great!

You should drop by for a visit and say "hello" to her sometime - usually at the end of the month when she is working in the shop. You may not find "dungsee clocks" gracing the walls at Textures - but if you ask Margo real nice, I'm pretty sure she'll find someone who can make you one...custom orders are gratefully accepted!



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