A company with the cutesy name of SouveNEAR is expanding its network of airport vending machines that sell the work of local artists and craftspeople to passing travelers, a distinct upgrade from the usual souvenir shop fare.
Until recently, the company's machines were limited to four airports and a total of 17 machines, but today marks the beginning of an expansion, with its first installation at Sacramento International Airport and another in October at Las Vegas McCarran International.
Expansion can't go too fast, though, since each city has its own product line, according to Suzanne Southard, a co-founder. “In each city, we work with locals connected within the arts community to scout for truly local goods. We visit local craft fairs, markets, etc. The stock varies and changes depending upon the location. And we use real-time reporting of inventory levels to stock as needed.” Item prices range from about $4 to $50.