South Mountain Crafts serves as the marketing name for a wide selection of items created, produced and marketed by the residents and staff at J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center.
The Riddle Center is part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, serving an enrollment of 335 persons with Developmental Disabilities. The craft program is part of a larger network of programs on campus serving the population with adult programming services.
Being located so closely to Asheville, N.C., which is rapidly becoming a Mecca for crafts production, the Riddle Center decided over 25 years ago to start is own line of crafts. Being located in the mountains, we decided on a country theme with rustic, simple lines for the furniture line. Medicine cabinets, hope chests, linen cabinets, tater bins, chopping blocks, bookcases, and hutches are just a few items made of solid oak, cherry, walnut or mahogany woods that are stained, sealed and finish coated. Local artisans with specific skills applied for positions, bringing their skills in furniture production, pottery, weaving, floras, painting, soaps etc. with them into a new adventure of teaching, modeling and demonstrating to others. Soon new pieces of furniture, pottery, rugs and wreathes emerged, creating a feeling of unmistakable happiness with staff and residents. With all the new diversity residents began making choices regarding things they would like to create and build.
The opening of new outlet stores created an approach to marketing and gradual exposure to a customer base that has been very rewarding. Currently, with the starting of a new website, we plan to ship small items derectly to customers, while larger items may be purhcased and picked up at our retail store. Store hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Special orders are also an option. The name South Mountain Crafts was aptly chosen by many because of the small mountain range near the Riddle Center.