Creative group members put themselves on display

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Dec. 13, 2013
Mary Crombie and Patricia Brubaker each wear examples of their artistic designs at the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours event, hosted by the Chamber's Creative Committee, on Dec. 12. Photos by Steve Smith.
Mary Crombie and Patricia Brubaker each wear examples of their artistic designs at the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours event, hosted by the Chamber's Creative Committee, on Dec. 12. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce got creative with its December Business After Hours event. The Chamber's Creatives Committee hosted the event at the Connecticut River Valley Inn, and while most attendees donned holiday attire, the Creatives literally wore their wares.

Founding Creatives member and photographer Peter Billard said the 12 participants wanted to bring more emphasis to the fact that creative services are vital to other businesses. "Businesses need creative people to promote themselves, and many of those services are right here," Billard said.

"Too often, it's the attorneys, financial planners and real estate agents who are taken seriously, as serious businesspeople. People in creative services are often dismissed as not being legitimate businesspeople. This is a way to emphasize that we all run businesses and that it's not just a hobby."

Billard said fellow member Mary Crombie of Acorn Studios came up with the idea that each creative businessperson should wear their work to the event.

Crombie wore several samples of her graphic design work. She said that when the Creatives have brought display boards in the past, people didn't really pay them much attention, but if they were wearing examples of what they do, others would have to pay attention.

"I didn't exactly have an idea for myself in mind, when I came up with that idea, but then I had to come up with something," Crombie said, while sporting a vest with several designs attached. "I have a lot of logos, including posters and direct mails designs."

Crombie added that she may wear the vest to other Chamber events.

Terry Standish, of Eye for Fashion, was dressed as "The Fashion Doctor," and explained her business as an inspirational fashion coach. "I help women with self-exploration through the use of fashion," she said.

She said that a lot of women's self-image and confidence problems are related to the fashions they choose, and that women often make clothing choices for the wrong reasons and then are later less-than-satisfied and don't know why. "The most important thing is that they feel comfortable in their own skin," Standish said. "I have programs designed for what their needs are. All the questions that I ask them give me a good idea of where it is they are having issues, and then I come up with a plan for that."

Photographer Lynn Damon wore a shirt promoting her business, but also employed a display to promote her current project of bringing awareness to abused animals. She asked pet owners to get a photo session, and donated those proceeds to Protectors of Animals of East Hartford. Her display of several portraits asked viewers to vote for their favorite animals, and votes are $1 each, also donated to the cause.

"I'm going to display it throughout the town," Damon said, adding that Appalachian Tails is also providing prizes for the winning animal's owner.

Greg Stevens of Artistic Projection, LLC, wore a table around his neck with a display of a house projected on the same house.
"I made a 3-D model of the house," Stevens said. "I animated it, then I projected it back onto the house." Stevens said the technology enables him to make anything into a video display, with no screen needed.

"You can turn anything into an advertising display," he said. "You can open it up to local businesses and help them compete, with digital media and a hyper localized, super-targeted display."

Patricia Brubaker, owner of the Connecticut River Valley Inn and also an artist, took several of her designs and created a calendar. She then attached each month to her outfit.

"I send out a calendar to a lot of manufacturers who might be interested in my work," she said. "Hopefully, they'll want to use one."

Billard had mounted his smartphone on his shoulder, using a dashboard holder and some other mounting equipment he had in his studio. The phone displayed a slideshow of more than 400 of Billard's photos.

The Creatives Committee meets monthly. For more information, visit

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