Stephanie Howerton and Jenny de Venegas were sitting by each other at an art event in the spring of 2016. The two artists had been showcasing their wares and shows and boutiques for 10 years. The ladies were both Weber County residents and talked about how fun it would be to have their own store where they could showcase their favorite artists along with their own work. Six months later they opened the Local Artisan Collective.
Located at 2371 Kiesel Avenue in the heart of The Junction, the store offers a large variety of local art, art classes and special artist showcases. “The Local Artisan Collective mission is to create a beautiful community space for local Weber artisans. We showcase artisans' and crafters' work that is handcrafted by people that live or work in Weber County,” Howerton said.
Their other idea behind the shop was to make it affordable to create or buy beautiful artwork.
“Customers will find one of kind items that are made locally by people that live or work in Weber County. We have items that sell at 50¢ all the way up to over $1,000. We want to have a price point for every budget and every need,” Howerton noted.
But it’s not just about the shopping. There are a bevy of classes to choose from and that list is growing by the month. They offer classes which deal with leatherworking, silversmithing, copper cuff bracelets, silver rings, clothes plant dye, beading, glassblowing, fashion, rock painting, vinyl, crochet, nature journaling, water coloring, building fairy gardens and so much more.
Howerton said they are always open to new artists and what they can offer. Class price range varies between $5 and $170, depending on the type of class and materials involved. “We want to make art accessible to everyone, so we do have scholarships available to help people pay for classes,” Howerton said.
Both Howerton and de Venegas have day jobs, too. Howerton has a clothing line, Our Children’s Earth, that she runs out of her home and sells in the shop. De Venegas teaches shop at Highland Junior High School. Howerton has four children and de Venegas has one child. For those reasons, sometimes it’s a juggling act, but Howerton said the artists can help out in the store and it works well.
“As a collective, we all work together to make the store work. Artists can be members of the collective where they help run the store and are in the decision-making discussions,” Howerton said. The process has been working well and the response from the community has been extremely supportive. Howerton’s 12-year-old son Mason has even been able to teach a hydro-dipping gun class.
“We love supporting artists to be successful and giving them an affordable place where they can have an art studio, teach classes and sell their creations,” she added.
They just held a VIP artist event where four artists held a workshop of sorts, talking about their craft and showing what they do and answering questions. Those at the event were able to purchase the newest designs before the general public. Demand was great for the event, so Howerton hopes to be able to have more in the future.
The shop is set up to be very accessible for children as well with a children’s corner for children to create art while parents shop or just to have some art exploration. Because the owners are moms, they see the importance of kids and art.