When I closed up my Christmas pop-up shop the day after Christmas, I wasn't sure how my circumstances were going to progress. The shop was a blowout success, and I'll never get finished thanking all of you for that! However, the vision I had for continuing in that particular retail space didn't seem to be viable. I packed up my shop, crammed everything back into its previous storage locations in my home, and began waiting a little impatiently to see what might be lurking around the corner. I've lived long enough to know that when you have such a strong vision for something, things tend to work out even if you have no clue in the moment how any of it could possibly happen. The trick is not force your way forward nor grow weary in the waiting for the right opportunity.
Since the shop idea was stalled out, what I had originally thought would be a very busy January of getting a store open turned into a luxurious celebration of my 50th birthday! Danny and I flew to LA to board the Discovery Princess for sailing to the Mexican Riviera for seven glorious days. Mazatlan became a stand out favorite for us, a beautiful place we hope to return to sooner than later. The last photo above is of a few of the 325 steps and an over 500 foot elevation gain I climbed- alone due to Husband's bum knee- to reach the highest light house in North America! Quite a workout and very worth it as the view up there did not disappoint! I hope to one day be able to spend at least eight weeks in a seaside place like Mazatlan just so I can find out what kind of art comes out of me when I'm immersed in that environment!
I found myself at sea contemplating all my hopes and dreams for the near and far future. For me, there's no better place to be for inspiration, silence, rejuvenation and reflection than being on or beside an ocean! I wanted to believe there was an even better space for me to move into than the pop-up shop was, but I had no reason to believe that other than, again, knowing that if moving my work into an outside-the-home studio was the right next step, the opportunity would present itself at the proper time. We got back from our trip late Saturday night, 1/21, and by Monday I was restless enough to start scouring the internet for the few retail lease listings available in Muncie. I had already done this multiple times prior to embarking, so I truly didn't expect the search to yield any different answers. When I came across the listing for Suite 201 in the historic Murray Building at the corner of Charles and Walnut, it seemed so perfect for me that I assumed it was probably already leased. The next morning I called and spoke to the realtor who said it was indeed available, answered all my questions and even agreed to meet me there later that same morning!
You surely already know how this story ends! The photos I showed to Husband were all he needed to quickly identify what I was afraid to believe could be true: we found our new art studio/retail space! When I look back on the process, everything seems so easy. Then I remember how many times I had to choke down disappointment, frustration, and even some moments of anger and confusion during what I will always call "the waiting room period". I had so many questions, all written in my new handmade journal (thank you again, AETBooks) while at sea, such as, "Was this just all in my own head? I've not had a plan this strong for anything since I had the plan for starting CWS! How long am I going to need to wait? How can I build something bigger when I have no place to lay a firm foundation?! When? WHEN?! HOW DO I DO THIS?!"
My lease officially begins February 1, and although I was careful to ask for a six month trial period, I do hope this becomes my forever studio. There is quite a lot to accomplish between painting the space, purchasing all the display furniture I'll need to add, moving my entire studio and arranging the retail area. I have a lofty goal of being able to open a day or two before Valentine's Day, so keep your eyes peeled for official news on the grand opening. Things have fallen into place quickly enough that I'm not exactly certain what I'll do, but definitely something special to make it worth your effort to come and see!
I'll be directly above the Caffeinery with the entry door to the left of theirs on the Walnut Street side of the building. Street parking is readily available. This will also be the space where my weekend workshops and, soon to be offered day classes are held, very conveniently located just a block north of the Courtyard by Marriott. 12 gorgeous brand new windows grace this space with tons of natural light, the middle photo above taken on a gloomy day with no overhead lights on. I cannot wait to put a fresh coat of paint on those walls and a stretch a fresh piece of silk to paint in there! The realtor, Lisa Brand of ADM Real Estate, and my new landlord, Steve Murray, have both been tremendously professional, helpful and flexible, yet more blessings for which I am deeply grateful!
Last, I wanted to share my new fine art website with you: www.carrielwright.com This site is dedicated to helping me make contact with art galleries. Please take a moment to peruse the art and bookmark the site if you're interested in seeing all of my new framed pieces as I finish them. I won't bother keeping a Facebook page for that, but I do have a new Instagram account. If you care to follow, please search for "carrielwrightart". And please, if you happen to be reading this and know a gallery curator who you think might be interested in representing my current work, use this new fine art URL. (Please note: I am not available for co-op galleries nor able to take on more commission-only retail sales opportunities for my CWS line. I do remain open for fine art commissions and wholesale orders!) Carrie Wright Silk will continue to be my e-commerce website for the foreseeable future and the name under which the new studio resides.
I hope to see you soon at my brand new studio: 405 S. Walnut St., Suite 201, Muncie, IN! I'll send you an email and post on social media as soon as I know an official opening date. Stay tuned!
PS: Here comes the 11th Annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace, April 1-2. Get your tickets now to save a few dollars on admission. My fellow Indiana Artisans never disappoint with this show!