West Virginia is a hidden treasure located within 2.5 hours of several major metropolitan areas. Geographically, the Appalachian Mountains cut the state off from the East Coast. Until the development of the interstate highway system, the roads crossing its rugged terrain discouraged visitors. While the isolation of the mountains has helped to preserve our state’s largely unspoiled natural beauty, heritage and culture, it has also made it difficult for our talented artists and craftspeople to gain access to the best markets in which to sell their work.
With the development of the internet, some of the isolation has been lost. Businesses have relocated here and more and more people work remotely. West Virginia artists and craftspeople have been able to overcome some of the challenges of isolation and gain more exposure for their work by promoting their creations on the internet.
MountainMade was first envisioned as an eCommerce website with its fulfillment center in Thomas, WV. After the tragedy of September 11, people took to road trips and MountainMade’s retail location in Thomas took off and the website continued to evolve. With the advances in website abilities, MountainMade realized the necessity of a completely new, exciting website and launched our new website last October. Through MountainMade’s website, artisans are reaching new American and foreign customers.
For those of us who enjoy the benefits of being “isolated” from the metropolitan areas, the Mountain State is a great place to call home. The internet sales are helping our artisans remain here, doing what they love in a landscape that is not only inspiration for their lives, but for their art.
If you want to learn about the unique factors that contributed to West Virginia’s and the greater Appalachian Region’s cultural history, consider this wonderful Appalachians DVD Set, featuring an extended interview with the late Johnny Cash.