A casual scene unfolds on a quiet one-way street in Wallingford every weekend. Here, seated on a yellow Goodwill sofa in a former garage...
A casual scene unfolds on a quiet one-way street in Wallingford every weekend. Here, seated on a yellow Goodwill sofa in a former garage, its double doors flung open to the neighborhood, Meredith Ida knits and listens to the radio. Her boyfriend, Ian Lewis, leafs through a magazine or plays on his computer.
A glance into this cozy space at 3516 Carr Place N. feels a bit intrusive … until you notice there are a few too many elegant glass pieces and pendant lamps placed neatly around the room. Look closer, and you’ll see tiny white price stickers.
The open room is in fact a store, albeit a store with no name.
Run by Ida, 26, and Lewis, 38, it’s on the first floor of their rented Wallingford house. It’s open only on weekends and by appointment.
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“[Ian] just lets me play store in the basement,” Ida said. “It’s like a lemonade stand for kids.”
Still, it’s a lemonade stand with a purpose.
3516 Carr Place N., Seattle, 360-224-8534. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or by appointment.
Lewis, a full-time glass artist, was tired of hauling pieces around in boxes to show potential buyers and needed a place to showcase his work.
Ida, a freight forwarder, has a retail background, and they decided together they could sell some of the numerous glass pieces. A storefront was too expensive, but the little room in their rental was perfect.
They paid a friend $500 to make wooden boxes for the room, stocked it with glass art from Lewis’ stash and pieces from four artist friends and voilà, they had a shop.
“If you want to have a store, it’s a great way,” Lewis said. “There’s no expense.”
Though small at 8 feet by 7 feet, the store is plentifully stocked with glass pieces in dreamy cloud whites, muted blues and greens as well as clear pieces shot through with color.
Prices range from $2 to $4 for garden stones to $350 for a more elaborate vase. Lewis also shows high-end glass, such as a $3,700 sculptural piece of a curving, deep blue stand with a pitcher hanging from the top. Some pieces are seconds or leftovers from previous orders that Lewis made, but he will also create custom pieces.
For the holiday season, he made blown glass ornaments and candy canes. And they keep vases, pendant lamps and glass cups on hand.
It hasn’t been an exceptionally profitable venture. Ida estimates they’ve made $50 for each day they’ve been open. Their customers are mostly people walking or driving by, or they’re the garage-sale set drawn in by the sign they put out on North 35th Street.
Their only other advertising has been the flyers they put on the bulletin board at Essential Bakery Cafe down the street.
But they’ve met a lot of neighbors who have stopped while walking their dogs, and others just interested in seeing the art. They’ve even brought out pieces to show to mothers in cars who don’t want to leave their babies sleeping in the backseat.
“It’s not really about selling as much as it is about meeting people, and getting to talk to people,” Lewis said.
Besides, at $50 a day, it can’t be about the money.
“We didn’t have too many expectations for it,” Ida said. “It’s more about fun.”
Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or email@example.com
The Craft, an occasional feature in digs, profiles an artisan or craftsperson in the Puget Sound area. Send us ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.