In Focus: Bemidji Shop Uses Local Art For Global Reach
While a Bemidji shop primarily sells local goods, their work reaches beyond city limits. The Least of These is a fair trade boutique promoting area artisans while donating to various causes.
Heather Harrom is a born and raised Bemidji artist. She’s been making her jewelry and mixed media art on and off for the last 10 years.
In 2014, she began to sell her work at The Least of These. Shortly after, she began to work there as well.
She says pricing is a challenge for her – balancing what consumers are willing to pay versus the hours and money she has put into her pieces.
Depending on the item, a piece like her wire wraps could take anywhere from four to 30 hours to make.
The price point at this store also reflects a philanthropic aspect. In 2016, part of the proceeds from her art when to Village of Hope, a homeless shelter in Bemidji.
The store-owners even started a non-profit in Uganda and directly trade with artisans in the county twice a year to be featured in the shop.
Harrom says it makes her feel good to know that other artisans like herself are getting a fair share.
Heather is looking to use a portion of her 2017 profits to fund her mission trip to Uganda.