LAKEWOOD, Ohio – When a family of artists moved to Lakewood a year ago, they sought out a locally owned art supply store and couldn’t find very many.
Shortly after, Galadriel Olson started a joke: that they would open that kind of shop themselves.
“We’re a family of artists and we needed an art supply store. We looked for one and there wasn’t one, and it started this joke about opening one,” Olson said. “At some point, that joke turned serious.”
On Jan. 28, the family opened Lakewood Art Supply at 13345 Madison Ave., offering supplies for artists of every level.
Olson works as an art teacher, her husband Kevin Olson works as a professional artist on the side and their two children are also artists. Now, Galadriel leads the shop, after researching and working with local small business mentors.
“We are not entrepreneurs by any stretch of the imagination. We never intended or dreamed about opening a store of any sort, but when we moved to Lakewood, we really fell in love with it,” Galadriel said. “I don’t think this would have been possible anywhere else. Lakewood is super supportive of small businesses.”
The space, which previously was a consignment toy store, now hosts a colorful interior — complete with a rainbow floor — filled with art products for various formats. Products fit for beginners or more seasoned artists can be purchased at the shop, and the owners can take requests to stock certain items.
“We really do serve all levels,” Galadriel said. “We have families coming in with little kiddos, all the way up to professional artists. That’s part of the reason we did it: to connect everyone.”
Galadriel designed Lakewood Art Supply’s products to be moved easily, so that the shop can host events like workshops, demonstrations and gallery shows in its space. She hopes to tap into the local art community in creating the shop’s programming, hosting classes by area artists and participating in neighborhood events.
So far, Lakewood Art Supply is already involved in a few upcoming fests. The business is set to be a part of Superscript’s Free Comic Book Day festivities May 6-7, and a part of BayArts’ Art & Music Festival on June 18.
“We’re going to be all over town doing things,” Galadriel said.
Though the shop aims to have a regional presence, its focus will be to provide a local option for artists based on the west side of Cleveland and its suburbs.
“If you don’t have an art supply store near you, what is the likelihood that you’ll pick up that hobby?” Olson said. “We wanted to add to the community and be a benefit to the community we loved. I think accessibility is really important in the art community, and proximity is a part of that.”
Find more information about Lakewood Art Supply at its Facebook page, facebook.com/lakewoodartsupply.
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