Impact Stories

A Difference in the Making

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Nestled in the heart of Knightstown, the community comes alive with creativity and craftsmanship at the Knightstown Maker’s Market. I was able to visit the weekend after its soft opening. I witnessed not just a market but a vibrant celebration of local talent, a gathering place for artisans, and a testament to the unique spirit of Knightstown.

The Maker’s Market is a place where local artisans display their handcrafted treasures. From intricately stitched leatherwork to beautifully crocheted piggy shoes and from one-of-a-kind pottery to hand-painted artwork, the market is a treasure trove of creativity.

Beautify Knightstown Inc. director Linda Lashbrook described, “You can make it, bake it, or create it. This is a place for art and culture to thrive and provide economic support in the community.”

The Maker’s Market is more than just a shopping experience. It’s a chance for neighbors to connect with one another. As I strolled through the market with Linda, I got to meet the creators behind the products. When you stop by, you’ll hear the stories of their inspiration, the dedication behind their work, and the passion that fuels their craft. 

These local entrepreneurs pour their hearts and souls into their creations. Your purchase not only brings a piece of their artistry into your home but also helps them continue doing what they love. It’s a beautiful cycle of support that strengthens our community.

Jan McGuire, Maker’s Market Onsight Manager (affectionately called MOMM) values the opportunity to showcase her work in this affordable and enjoyable environment. She shared, “It can be too expensive for a single artist to go into a storefront on their own. As a small business owner in a large building, it can be difficult to sustain the costs. The Maker’s Market helps give people an opportunity to share their passion.” 

This plan has been three years in the making. Though it’s been a process to reach opening weekend this September, it has also been a brilliant example of the power of community support. The Foundation is grateful to have played a part in this amazing project.

Funding began with a $50,000 matching grant through the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority. Matching funds, totaling $59,000, was raised through the crowd-sourcing platform Patronicity. From there, many others were involved in the project including Freedom Electric, who donated labor; Nine Star, who allowed the market to be constructed on their property at no cost; the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, as well as other local businesses and private donors who made the effort possible. Added to this list of great supporters is the Henry County Community Foundation.

In 2020, the Foundation grants committee awarded a grant to Beautify Knightstown Inc. to help with marketing costs. Initially, this was used to help bring in leasers for the buildings. The rest was allocated to pay for their sign. Linda is excited to see this dream come to life and thankful for the grant from the Foundation making it possible, “I’m so glad we have the grant money for this sign. It will light up and be a beacon in the community, leading people to the Maker’s Market!”

The sign is still under construction, but local artists are working together to help bring a great vision to life. I look forward to visiting again and seeing it on display for this exciting and beautiful location in Henry County!