|Looking into Art Is In Market from the entrance to the store.|
I'm sure it will take me a while to get it arranged in a way that makes me happy. I'm waiting for some glass shelves for my displays (3 are missing) and I'm using some make-shift shelves for the time being (turned the displays' plexi-glass tops into shelves), but all in all, for now it looks okay and it is a wonderful feeling to have my creations find a home in a store in the real world.
All of the artists who display and sell their work at Art Is In Market are required to make a commitment to work in the store for a certain number of hours per month. It's a great arrangement because customers have the opportunity to chat with an artist or two every time they come into the store. I will be working their 24 hours each month. I've never worked in a retail store (other than as a bookkeeper for Ulrich's Bookstore in Ann Arbor while I was in college), so this is a completely new experience for me. I'm a bit nervous about whether I will be able to keep my production of new items up ... putting so many of my pieces in a brick-and-mortar store has decimated the inventory of my online Etsy and ArtFire stores. I am also somewhat anxious about whether I can manage to schedule the necessary hours and work around the need to be available to provide support to my autistic son, design and make my creations, take care of all the day-to-day tasks of running a house, continue to do occasional legal research and writing projects ... well, you get the picture. But I'm determined to try this. I think it will be a fresh and inspiring experience to work in place filled with so much creativity.
I worked my first four-hour shift on the morning of Wednesday, July 3. It was a slow morning, but I enjoyed meeting Angelique Thompson of Cerealfly. (She makes soap. I bought a bar of the lavender scent for my sister for her birthday.) I still don't feel like I have down the process of ringing up a sale, but I learned a lot from Angelique about how things work and I'm looking forward to a second shift on July 12.
While I was in the store on July 3, I wandered around and took some photos of the store. It's not my best photography. Not sure why so many shots came out a bit blurred, but hopefully it gives you a sense of what the store is like and some of the amazing work of the artists who make their home there. As you can see, if you are looking for Detroit or Michigan-themed art, Art Is In Market is the place to go!
I hope that you get the chance to come in and browse. I love the whole concept of Art Is In Market --being able to walk into a shopping mall and yet find a store that features quality, locally-made work by local artists. I truly hope its a concept that I can continue to be a part of.
Just a quick reminder, next Sunday, July 14, Tony and I will have a booth at Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan for the Lure for the Cure event. Tony will have his books, and I'll have jewelry and accessories. It should be a wonderful day -- raising funds for Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. Watching the dogs run the course should be a lot of fun!