The 100 Mile Diet For Your Home. Well, why not? With all the emphasis on buying local these days it seems a natural progression that we should be supporting local artists and artisans as well as food producers – especially in view of the fact that there are so many really talented folks right here in, figuratively speaking, our own back yard.
When Tanya Streeter first opened the doors of her charming 400-square–foot Artzi Stuff shop in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter in 2008 she was looking to market not only her own line of scarves and T-shirts, but the work of many of the other talented artists she had met over the years. Tanya had been creating beautiful wearable art since 1996 and for more than a decade kept hoping someone would open a shop in the central Island area where she could sell her work. That never happened, so what began as annual ‘open studio’ events featuring her artistic endeavours and the creations of other local artists eventually morphed into the opening of Artzi Stuff. By the autumn of 2013 the small shop was bursting at the seams and Tanya relocated to a much larger space in downtown Nanaimo.
The west coast/island influence is evident in virtually all of the work on display, from spectacular hand-crafted wooden bowls to the pottery, fused glass and wearable art, original paintings and prints, jewellery, calendars, handbags, stunning hand-crafted journals – the list is endless and ever-changing. The larger store is flooded with natural light and affords the opportunity to effectively display all of the work to maximum advantage, with plenty of space for customers to move comfortably throughout the shop and contemplate the varied and very lovely offerings.
At the moment Artzi Stuff markets on behalf of about 50 artists, but Tanya has plans to acquire more display furniture so that she can accommodate additional work by new artists and artisans. She also is planning to stage four art shows scheduled for the coming Spring months with themes of fabric, metal, found objects and music.
I am probably one of the most devoted ‘anti-shoppers’ on the face of the planet, and since we down-sized to a smaller home a few years ago I am very resistant to purchasing more ‘stuff’ for the house, no matter how much I may love a piece. But I never get out of Artzi Stuff without something tucked away in my tote bag. There is always at least one piece that catches my eye and ends up finding a home with us, even if I can’t think of where to put it when I am contemplating the purchase. Which says Tanya – and the many talented artists she represents – must be doing something right.
Artzi Stuff is located at 2 Church Street in downtown Nanaimo. At present there is not a website, but information for the business can be found on Facebook under ArtziStuff, or you can contact the store by telephone at (250) 716-8989
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