... A very un-arty term used in good fun to introduce the fact that we offer a combination of qualities unique in the business -- or nearly so:
a) We the artists run the store
b) We pay rent but keep 100% of sales (minus credit card fees)
c) We the artists work at the store too.
So there's value for the operation because it's relatively simple and inexpensive to run.
There's value for customers, because you can see our work in an excellent gallery space, while you visit with us personally. There's always an antique dealer, jeweler, painter, woodworker, potter, weaver or fabric artist in the store. The Collective is a nearly unique opportunity to shop for amazing art or high-end gifts, and 'meet the maker.'
... and there's value for the artists, too, because ALL of a purchase goes to the artist -- the house keeps nothing. This is why, Gentle Reader, this Collective, which started as a pop-up in November of 2020, has been too successful to close.
If you're an artist in the greater Mid-Coast Maine area and would like to inquire about joining the Collective, we would love to hear from you. Please use our contact form (or the email address you'll find there) and give us an earful. You might also be interested to read our current member contract.
A jury of our current Collective members evaluates all interested applicants, using the images, pricing, websites, social media and other information provided by the applicant. It's not a painful exam.
We are always happy to hear from interested artists, although membership is dependent upon jury approval and the availability of an appropriate space.
Interested artists should also Come On In and talk to the Collective members they find in the shop. Meet the Feet On The Ground, and see what they have to say.
Although it's a surprise to some customers and a hardship for a handful, we do not take cash at The Collective. We feel bad about the rare inconveniences, but there are good business reasons behind it.
The reasoning starts with the fact that we sell lots of items at $200 or more, each. You simply must take credit cards if you are going to sell items in that price range.
If we're also going to take cash, it means training our 20 part time cashiers (aka Artists) on how to do Both. So there's a training issue. With cash you have a change drawer, which opens the door to bad-change and security issues. And finally, everything about adding cash more than doubles the time it takes to properly account for each artist's sales and earnings. It becomes a manpower issue for an all-volunteer staff.
All this is side-stepped if we stick with credit cards only.
We're motivated to keep the cashier job simple so we can spend more time with you and so we can make certain we are all properly and quickly paid for our sales.
So you can leave that cash right there under the mattress (yes, we see you, you nut...)
Cleo Vauban and Aaron Turkel bought the Lemont Block in the fall of 2019 and spent the next two years deeply engaged in bringing a largely unused building back to its former glory.
The ground-level retail spaces were updated to suit new tenants but were mainly in good order. The upper floors, meanwhile, went through massive updates structurally and functionally. The results are a beautifully updated meeting and event space, and 5 brand new luxury apartments.
The tall windows you see in the exterior photo, on the right (Maine St) side of the building, are The Lemont Hall. And here you see an interior shot of the Hall, ready for your wedding, reunion, trade show, concert or lecture. It's a beautiful space and those who've seen it are proud to have it back, polished, painted and ready for all.
The Lemont Hall and the Lemont Block Collective are separate business managed by different groups. If you would like to know more about the The Lemont Block building, or more about The Lemont Hall, including how to rent the hall, or how to get tickets for an event in the hall, use one of the links below!