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How A Pop-Up Show Led to Me Creating My Own Gallery & Boutique

Thank you so much for all your support for the announcement of my new gallery and boutique! All of your positive feedback is very much appreciated!

Thanks to Cherise at Huddle and Michael at the Telegraph Journal for covering my announcement, to Uptown SJ and Economic Development Greater Saint John for your warm wishes as I join the community of entrepreneurs Uptown, and to Bunkhouse, Hemmings House and Port of Saint John for your ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ messages!

I am so excited to get started on renovations and transform the space with architect and owner of Studio Shirshekar, Sanaz Shirshekar. I’ll be sharing the progress with you here on my blog and on Instragram. I’d also like to share the story of how I came to be the owner of 62 Water Street:

 

A Pop-Up Gallery

Carolyn Edlund, the founder of Artsy Shark has been a great mentor to me. Carolyn encouraged me to hold a formal launch of the Wild We Roam collection from Sable Island and California at my own pop-up gallery. Such a great idea! But my home studio couldn’t accommodate a formal launch. So the venue search began…

With the closing of the Bustin’s furniture business came a renaissance of the area: Keith Brideau of transformed the upper floors into Historica apartments, Germain street level became Italian by Night, the Five & Dime appeared on Grannan lane and, what was once just an alley became home to Rogue Coffee, a comedy club venue, and Tuck Interiors.

Judith Mackin the creative director behind Tuck Interiors (Interior Design), Tuck Studio on Prince William Street and Tuck Interiors, a rental space for meetings, events and pop-up shoppes. The location, the exposed brick, the simple and elegant fixtures… I knew this was the perfect spot to showcase my fine-art prints!

 

Timing Is Everything

Consultant Shannon Hunter was instrumental the opening. From strategic planning, promotions, and vegan catering by Felice Kaminga, Shannon had every last detail figured out.

We chose August 24, 25, and 26, 2018 to host my gallery opening. That weekend was also slated for the Uptown Gallery Hop and the Moonlight Bazaar. The Moonlight Bazaar, first held in 2017, was organized by a former colleague of mine from my time at Hemmings House, filmmaker Lauchlan Ough, along with Jody Kliffer and Kale Harper. With so many folks flocking to the uptown for the gallery hop and the second annual Moonlight Bazaar, it was ideal timing for my pop-up gallery at Tuck Interiors, in the middle of the action!

The show was a success! Many of the people who came to view my work were interested in hearing my stories on Sable Island and California. I was delighted to have people purchase my notecards and art.

Frame of Mind

To fill the orders made during my show, I was at Mario’s Framing. Expressing to Mario how rewarding it was to meet my clients face to face, he suggested I look into the vacant building on Water Street. The historic property was built in 1885 in the wake of the Saint John fire.

The buildings most recent function was the souvenir shop Distant Waters.

I connected with the Realtor Bob McVicar for a showing. The building had been vacant and needed work. A lot of work!

But I couldn’t help but see the potential; If I could expose the beams and the original brick, this could be a gorgeous space to showcase art.

So I Made the Leap

I purchased the building at the end of January! I expect to open the doors to the public in the  summer of 2019.

I’m thrilled that I will have my own gallery and boutique on the first floor with my studio and office on the second. While my online shop will be open for customers near and far, I’ll get to meet my local clients, introduce visitors to Saint John, and help people leave with a little piece of the Maritimes with items in my boutique.

I set out as a photographer, and that work will continue with my Wild We Roam series, but I’ve fallen in love with entrepreneurship along the way! I am so appreciative to the (very long list!) of people who inspired me to take the leap with my own gallery.

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