Happy Mud Season!

Although, as I write this, the snow has returned and the temperature is frigid, Spring appeared for a brief moment and we’re pretty sure it will come to stay by the time you read next month’s newsletter.  We look forward to that – and in the meantime, here’s what’s been happening and what’s coming up!

New in this issue, our first “Featured Business.”  You, too, can have your business featured here and on the websites – just fill out the form and send it in!  If you’re a new member, you’re already in the queue so look for an email from Shira asking for information.

Speaking of new, I wanted to tell you some exciting news about our new website!  First, I've heard from several members that a payment plan would be very helpful - please know we are happy to work with you to create a payment schedule for your dues, sponsorships, and/or place map advertising.  We even have an option on the website to pay monthly for your dues and place map ads (the ads must be paid in full by March 24 each year but after that, you can do a payment plan).  If you would like to make payment arrangements, please call or email me and we'll work it out!

Also, with our new software, we can now track how many people found your business through our website.  Although only recording data for eight months, the average number of clicks for each business exceeded 330 in the first eight months.  This is especially important as today’s average consumer questions a businesses legitimacy if it has no web presence.  It is that important.  Especially as we seek to benefit from – and compete with – internet sales.

Which leads me to picking up where I left off last month regarding information taken from the "Future of Downtown" workshop I attended in January conducted by the DHED, TA Connect, and Mass Development. 

Here’s some interesting statistics compiled for and shared at that workshop:

  • Nearly 75% of consumers will conduct online research before making an in-store purchase.
  • 47% of Millennials (roughly ages 15 – 35) use social media WHIILE they are shopping;
  • 37% of Millenials spend more due to their use of digital devices and 19% have items in their online shopping cart before even stepping inside the store.

Boomers are less likely to use digital devices in the store, but equally likely to research online for savings.

The importance of having a presence on the web only increases with time.  We'd like to help our members establish your own web presence (in addition to your presence as a member of the GSFABA!).  It's relatively simple to create a new website - check out,, or, to get you started.   These will run about $150/year (more than your member dues!). 

You can also build your database using Robly (mention we sent you and we’ll get a present from them), or Constant Contact or MailChimp.  Also, go to Facebook and sign up!  It's super important and easy to reach customers through this social media platform.

If you need help, have questions, or just want someone to bounce your ideas of off, that’s why we’re here!  Just call or email the office and we’ll help you through it (see our new “Ask Shira” option below).

“Inspiration” was a big topic at the workshop.  How do you connect to your customers?  Some effective and easy ways to think about this – “INSPIRE” consumers to come to you. 

  • Online:  Facebook posts announcing new products, new hours, and events nearby.  (Be sure to let people know what “nearby” means by providing directions and using location finder apps); use email blasts with exciting content. 
  • Brick & Mortar:  Great window displays can entice buyers into your store!  Hold a vendor trunk show, send post cards announcing sales or new items, provide fliers about your products and/or business cards for take aways – you want customers to remember you and find you again! 

It’s also important to encourage good reviews from customers – 67% of consumers browse and research on-line and read reviews. When you get a good one, put it on your website or FB page;  if you get a bad one, respond and make it right. 

Some more tips for in-store success:  Make sure your sales people – or person – is well trained, friendly, helpful, and able to give advice and directions.  Offer gift wrapping, shipping, and delivery – and be sure to take credit cards.  Make it easy for your customers to buy, ship, and come back to your store.

Thanks for reading, stay in touch, and check in next month for more ideas about how to compete in the new marketplace of the 21st century.

See you around the Hilltowns!


Marjorie and Peter

Marjorie Moser, a fabric artist, practiced her craft in New York City’s demanding world of fashion and Broadway Theater for three decades. During those years, Marjorie also worked with street involved youth, teaching printing and design on fabric, and leading wellness workshops.

In 2013, Marjorie moved from Brooklyn, NY,  to Shelburne Falls with her husband Peter Moser, a graphic and web designer and they set up shop on Water Street working together to create beautifully designed and carefully printed pieces. In May 2016, Marjorie opened her workshop at 2 Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls where you can find Peter and Marjorie’s printed textiles and Marjorie’s hand-dyed, sewn, and quilted pieces.

Print and Dye Store

Marjorie’s dyeing work has evolved into a joyful and pleasant pace of creating original cloth pieces that are rich with color and inspired by the natural surrounds of this beautiful place, often using flowers and leaves from her garden on Water Street. Her blog “I dye every day” chronicles her day to day experiences with dyes, both natural and synthetic and the beautiful markings that result from folding, binding and printing on silk, linen, cotton, and wool.

Visit Marjorie’s website, designed by Peter, at And be sure to stop by the lovely little shop that hangs over the Deerfield River between the Iron Bridge and the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls!


Want to be a featured business?
Fill out a REQUEST and we will get in touch!
placemap cover 2016
The deadline to send in payment and your ad for the Place Map is Friday, March 24. Don't miss out on this wonderful advertising opportunity, printed 35,000 times and distributed all over the region and the BIG E, available only to our members!
Are you having trouble with mail merges, label-making, or setting up a social media page? Are you unsure what a hashtag is or how to use it? 
Shira, Project Coordinator at the GSFABA, is ready to help you with your daily technological and web needs! 
Ask Shira about:
  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Website set-up and maintenance
  • Microsoft Office
  • Google for businesses
  • Marketing materials/printing
  • Other- if she doesn't know the answer, she will help you find it!
Call Shira at 413-625-2526 or email to ask questions or make an appointment.

Rachel Silverman is busy inspiring her students through making visual art at the Mohawk Trail Middle and High School. This March and April she brings the works of her charges to Salmon Falls Gallery. Students create artwork in her regular art classes and in Art Club. Looking at the school’s website, Silverman gives her students many prompts and inspirations for being creative. At the top of the website she suggests:

“Artists create original art, develop art making skills, communicate through art, take risks, collaborate, solve problems, reflect, and have a global awareness of art-making.” Sounds like a plan for a vibrant life!

Sketchbook prompts include, “Draw a relative by the light cast from a TV/Phone/Computer or other screen; Draw your art teacher in a fight with an animal; There is an animal living in one of your appliances. Draw it; Make a detailed drawing of five square inches of grass; Draw a flower. Make it dangerous.”

Come support our local young artists and find out just what responses to these prompts (or any others) they have created! Exhibit runs from March 3 – April 30, reception for the exhibit is Saturday, April 8, 4-6pm, with music by student musicians The Paperweights.

For more information, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Students at Mohawk Trail Regional Middle and High School

Embroidery artist Nathan Hanford wears two hats: one is for his own artwork, and the other as artist in residence and case manager to Soldier On, an agency devoted to ending veteran homelessness. During March and April, Hanford’s exhibit Friendship Thread: portraits of friends both near and far and The Artworks of Veterans of Soldier On can be seen in side by side shows at Salmon Falls Gallery. 

Hanford, a native of Becket, MA, creates simple yet stunning portraits in thread on vintage linens. The portraits seem to find the essence of his subjects. Many are men, in sometimes surprising environments. It is quite wonderful seeing men captured in a medium that has been, historically, women’s work. In Hanford’s words, he draws inspiration from “things I see; people I meet; stories from my family and past.” The use of thread and vintage linen harkens to textures of the past, while the images are thoroughly modern in their message.

At Soldier On, Hanford not only facilitates creative based education but is working hand in hand with Soldier On to create a flexible arts and culture curriculum to be used to enrich the lives of the veterans that they serve. The exhibit at Salmon Falls Gallery will show Veterans artwork in various media including embroidery, painting and mixed media. There will also be information about the agency at the exhibit. For more information,, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.


 "Chad Newlon Beeson", Antique Floss on Table Linen
    Our region depends on small business owners who take the risk to make our communities a desirable place to live and work.The Haas Award highlights positive examples of entrepreneurship based on years of hard work, community involvement and success of Dick and Janet Haas, owners of Hillside Plastic founders of Sugarhill Containers. The CDC is pleased to have honored our wonderful nominees for their hard work, dedication to our community, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Every year we ask for nominations from the community.

■ Franklin County business owner

■ Entrepreneur whose business has at least 3 full time jobs (including their own), and has been in business for five years or more.

■ Entrepreneur has made a commitment to improve our community through: social responsibility, environmental sustainability, financial contributions, volunteer time
SUBMIT A NOMINEE by March 31! | 413-774-7204 | 324 Wells St, Greenfield
will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9am til noon at Trinity Church’s Baptist Lot on Main Street in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. This eagerly awaited sale includes perennials dug from the famous Bridge of Flowers, divisions from the gardens of skilled local gardeners, and a selection of geraniums and unusual annuals and unusual plants from Hillside Nursery. There are also garden-related items available, including local handmade art, books, gifts and more. Coffee and baked goods will also be on sale. 
For more information visit the Bridge’s website: All proceeds go to support the Bridge of Flowers.
The sale will be held rain or shine!
Introduction to Yoga
A Two-week Series for Beginners with Kate Pousont Scarborough
This introductory series will cover techniques and tips for posture practice as well as gentle breathwork, meditation, and tools for learning to tailor a group class to meet your individual needs.  
All are welcome! 
The series cost is just $25.  
Meets Monday 6-7:15 pm on March 20 & 27
Registration is required.
Standing Your Ground
A Workshop for Happy and Healthy Feet
Monday April 10, 6:00-8:00 pm
Healthy feet are essential for overall strength and stability. They help us to enjoy more easeful movement, less tension, and enhanced athletic performance. Over time, a disruption to the foot's natural weight-bearing pattern can lead to ankle, knee or hip pain, diminished efficiency when walking or running, and common foot maladies such as bunions and plantar fasciitis. Learning to strengthen and organize the feet is also an important tool for graceful aging.  It's never too early to begin building more power and awareness in your feet!

In this workshop we will:
-learn exercises to soften and "wake up" the feet
-assess current alignment patterns
-learn about the bones of the feet and how to best utilize their structure for maximum support
-strengthen supporting muscles
-apply new patterns to walking and some common yoga postures
-learn self-message techniques using sesame oil
(please bring a pair of old socks!)
Taught by Kate Pousont Scarborough
$20. Pre-registration required at
Gentle Flow
An Afternoon Practice for School Teachers (and everyone else!)
Mondays, 4-5 pm, with Kate
Created for our local school teachers, this gently-paced, afternoon practice is designed to build strength and mobility and to support relaxation and integration after the school day. Class includes a warm-up, some standing and weight-bearing postures, and an extended cool-down and relaxation in a welcoming environment. This all-levels class is for anyone interested in an afternoon practice. You do not have to be a teacher to join! 
Our next session runs Feb. 27 through April 10.  Join anytime!
(Please note:  This class does not meet during public school vacation, on Monday holidays, or when school is cancelled for a snow day.)
Friends of Shelburne Falls Yoga
A new membership period begins March 1.
Two years ago, amidst concern about keeping pace with the rising costs of operating our beautiful space, a group of students joined together to create the Friends of Shelburne Falls Yoga.  This membership program was designed to ensure that our yoga community remains vibrant and sustainable for many years to come. Membership is available at a range of levels and includes  volunteer options. Seasonal gatherings, members' workshops, and discounts on individual yoga sessions with Kate are just some of the benefits of being a Friend of Shelburne Falls Yoga.
The Friends of Shelburne Falls Yoga  membership program has contributed greatly to the success of our studio community in recent years. Many thanks to all those who have participated.  Please let us know if you would like to join us!
More information is available at the studio. Contact Kate with questions or to join.
 Do you know someone interested in starting a new business or expanding an existing one in Franklin County, but they don’t know where to start?  The 2017 Business Development Resource Guide was created by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to introduce entrepreneurs to various organizations offering technical assistance, financing, training, and other resources to help make their venture a success. The Guide also includes basic information about Franklin County and the greater region that may be of interest to people developing a business plan.   
    The Guide was designed to be a quick, useful reference. While there are many organizations, businesses, and private consultants that assist entrepreneurs, we wanted to keep this document a manageable size and an easy first step for people who are not sure where to begin. The Guide is available for download HERE.
CEarp annisters
A group show at the Shelburne Arts Cooperative
March 29 through May 1  
Sun-Thurs 11-5 Friday 
Saturday 11-7
closed Tuesdays  
26 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA  
413-625-9324  ​​ 
Photo: Cannisters by Steve Earp
stroller 1961742 340
SPRINGFIELD — Are you a babysitter looking to further your skills, or considering becoming a babysitter to earn extra money? Baystate Medical Center will hold a Babysitters Academy on Thursday, April 20 to prepare area youth for their babysitting responsibilities.
The one-day program will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the BRL Conference Room at the Baystate Health Education Center, 361 Whitney Ave., Holyoke. Participants should bring a lunch.
Babysitters Academy is a certified babysitter program for young adults ages 11½ to 15. The session offers potential babysitters instruction in baby care, first aid, CPR, fire safety, home security, child behavior, and accident prevention. Participants will also receive a course booklet containing helpful tips and other information, as well as a graduation certificate upon completion of the course.
The program, offered by the Parent Education Department at Baystate Medical Center, costs $75. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required by calling Baystate Health Link at (413) 794-2229.

Davenports' Service Station, the Mobil station on Route 2 just east of the village of Shelburne Falls, will TEMPORARILY CLOSE on Monday, April 3 for an underground storage tank upgrade. This upgrade will take 3-4 weeks. During this time, customers will have limited access to the automotive repair bays and to the convenience store, so make your appointment today to get your snow tires taken off!

Everyone at Davenports' looks forward to seeing you after their reopening at the end of April. Look for their grand reopening sometime later this spring!

Follow the progress of this work on Davenports' Facebook page.

Market Your Business & Support the Community

You're invited to join us!  The GSFABA promotes the region in a variety of ways - some of the most visible are our world-class events that attract thousands of residents and visitors from across the globe. 

Sponsorship opportunities are now available to businesses and individuals, affording you broad exposure through our marketing efforts that put your name front and center.

Sponsorship opportunities still available include the annual Auction, Bridge of Flowers Classic Races, the Iron Bridge Dinner, Moonlight Magic, and our member breakfasts.  Promote your business while supporting these great community events and the economic vitality of the region. 

 If you'd like information about 2017 sponsor opportunities, please call Carmela at 413-625-2526 and we'll design a package just for you.

Join Our Mailing List

Join the Business Association

Download our Member Brochure.
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You will soon be able to join online. Until then, call us and we can help you get started. 413-625-2526

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The face of our region is . This website is supported entirely by our business association.