Airstream to sell crafts on new website


By Patricia Ann Speelman - pspeelman@sidneydailynews.com



Sculptor Gary Hovey, right, talks with his friend of 35 years Jim Perrine, both of New Knoxville, in Hovey’s workshop. Perrine sometimes helps Hovey work on his sculptures.

Sculptor Gary Hovey, right, talks with his friend of 35 years Jim Perrine, both of New Knoxville, in Hovey’s workshop. Perrine sometimes helps Hovey work on his sculptures.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Artisan Gary Hovey, left, of New Knoxville, describes to Airstream Marketing Department Content Manager Jay Cullis how he made a flower out of cutlery. Cullis interviewed Hovey in the sculptor’s workshop recently. Hovey’s sculptures will be sold on Airstream’s new e-commerce website.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Gary Hovey, of New Knoxville, heats up a spoon so that it will bend more easily.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

JACKSON CENTER — Airstream is about to launch an e-commerce website.

Within the next month or so, the maker of the iconic travel trailers will upgrade its online store and expand its offerings beyond the already available Airstream-branded clothing and RV accessories.

“We’re trying to up our game,” said Jay F. Cullis, Airstream Marketing Department content manager.

The new website will feature, among other things, locale-specific arts and crafts from regions of the country through which Airstream owners — and others — travel.

Cullis is looking for crafters in west central Ohio who would like to have their products made available through the website.

“Airstreams are handmade. We take a lot of pride in that craftsmanship,” Cullis said. The crafts that will be featured on the website will also be handmade and unique.

“It’s a really important criteria,” he said.

Cullis and a team of Airstream employees will select items for inclusion from submissions by area crafters.

In addition, each month, the website will focus on one area of the country ediorially.

“One of the features is called Round Trip. We’ll go into a community and publish a travel guide. We also want to tell stories about how a thing was made. We’re looking for stories about adventure,” Cullis said.

An upcoming month will be about Airstream’s home area: Jackson Center, Shelby County, west-central Ohio. While crafts that are selected by the committee will be offered for sale in perpetuity, stories about the artists and their processes will be posted in that specific month.

Therefore, in order to be considered this time around, local crafters should send photos of their wares and a 100-word description of their processes to jcullis@airstream.com by May 3.

“Because of our location in Jackson Center, we want to share pride in our area,” said Airstream Director of Marketing Carey Walley.

“It’s a pretty big thing for us,” added Cullis. “We want to find a way to sell local stuff nationally. We’re really trying to tell stories about products that would appeal to our audience.”

Walley noted that while the website is targeted to Airstream owners, anyone who travels and enjoys adventure will find it of value.

“Airstream is all about adventuring. We have so much content and so many great places you can go with your Airstream. (The website) gives us a place to tell those stories. You find all those great places and artists and things to buy. This site pulls all those things together,” she said.

The site is designed to appeal to people who want to buy things that are quality, that have a story behind them and that are handmade.

“There are a lot of people who are tired of buying junk, something that breaks,” Cullis said.

The site will offer products branded by Airstream, products to use on an Airstream trailer and “cool products we’ve found,” Walley said. It will also list area restaurants, attractions and service businesses that travelers would find useful.

Future months will find Cullis and his staff visiting locations around the country in search of places to highlight on the site.

“We’re looking for places that are a little off the radar,” he said.

Sculptor Gary Hovey, right, talks with his friend of 35 years Jim Perrine, both of New Knoxville, in Hovey’s workshop. Perrine sometimes helps Hovey work on his sculptures.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/04/web1_SDN041619Sculptor3-3.jpgSculptor Gary Hovey, right, talks with his friend of 35 years Jim Perrine, both of New Knoxville, in Hovey’s workshop. Perrine sometimes helps Hovey work on his sculptures. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Artisan Gary Hovey, left, of New Knoxville, describes to Airstream Marketing Department Content Manager Jay Cullis how he made a flower out of cutlery. Cullis interviewed Hovey in the sculptor’s workshop recently. Hovey’s sculptures will be sold on Airstream’s new e-commerce website.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/04/web1_SDN041619Sculptor1-3.jpgArtisan Gary Hovey, left, of New Knoxville, describes to Airstream Marketing Department Content Manager Jay Cullis how he made a flower out of cutlery. Cullis interviewed Hovey in the sculptor’s workshop recently. Hovey’s sculptures will be sold on Airstream’s new e-commerce website. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Gary Hovey, of New Knoxville, heats up a spoon so that it will bend more easily.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/04/web1_SDN041619Sculptor2-3.jpgGary Hovey, of New Knoxville, heats up a spoon so that it will bend more easily. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

By Patricia Ann Speelman

pspeelman@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.