My local art and gift shop
As I’ve been mentioning for a few weeks now, I’ve expanded my online art store into a 300-square-foot studio that’s open to the public two days a week in my hometown. I spent a lot of time coming up with a store concept and layout that would combine my art prints, ceramics, and merchandise that I collected from other manufacturers.
In addition to many of my art prints on display, I have curated decorative items and gifts, with a focus on destinations and botanicals that fit the store’s aesthetic. All this took two months, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
My studio is part of a large group of artists and creators. I wasn’t ready to go full retail and work every day, so I was lucky to find this place where I was asked to be open only two days a week, Fridays and Saturdays, which is perfectly acceptable. It is adjacent to my ceramic workshop so I can continue to do pottery in the same building. The space also allows me to continue to blog here on this site and travel freely to places that inspire me several times a year, as I have done for the last decade.
I’ve set up a small work desk where I can work on my laptop between client visits. Washable rugs were a priority for me as many people entered the space, occasionally bringing their dogs or children. I was happy to collaborate with Boutique Rugs on this cosmic discovery. Beneath my desk is a five-star washable Dalaguete rug in pale pink and blue.
I’ve posted a lot of my work on the store, as well as a collection of items that would make great gifts. Now that I have a wholesale license, I purchased them from different vendors. The store presents products of local artists, as well as products of craftsmen from around the world. I sell seaweed pots hand-woven by artists from Rwanda, tote bags from manufacturers in Mexico, jewelry from India, and cotton towels from Turkey.
I painted the walls in a subtle color scheme: pale turquoise blue serves as a backdrop for coastal art, and soft apricot for landscapes and architecture. I have used a lovely grey-green as a background for vintage and botanical prints.
I am selling some of my pottery that is worth displaying and selling. Not all of my products are suitable for cutting, imperfection is allowed, this adds to the attractiveness of handmade to any product, but quality is required. Below are just a few of the watercolor textured decorative plates I sold in the store, as well as mini succulent planters.
The studio space began with plain white walls and a cement floor, the perfect blank canvas. Here is the place where I started back in March:
Now it’s much more layered, with artwork, gifts, and my favorite new washable Moora rug in a soft apricot shade. I used two coats side by side to add color and softness and to minimize the hardness of the gray cement floor.
I’ve just started this retail journey, I’ll be adding more layers as the seasons change, it’s very exciting to have that space to play with. I left the palette in pinks and blues for the summer, and switched to earthy tones in the fall. Of course, Christmas is going to be so much fun, as our building hosts many manufacturers’ fairs.
I am so happy that I expanded my business in this unique studio. It will change from season to season and I’m looking forward to the fall and holiday shows here in the store! I will be sure to post updates every few months between regular blog posts. Welcome to my store at 5400 Old Redwood Highway, Petaluma Fridays or Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm!
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