I had been a picture framer for twenty-two years with a little shop called Arrowhead Framing in Half Moon Bay, California. For a couple of years I had a nagging feeling that I was not in the right place and for a year or so I had been actively asking myself the question, “Where is the right place?”
One day I was out in Santa Cruz and saw a For Lease sign on a space that was much bigger than would be necessary for just a picture framer. I asked myself, “What would go perfectly in that space with a frame shop?” And the answer that came was an artists collective gallery.
On the Thursday before Thanksgiving, 2018, after a couple of weeks of contemplation and research, I decided to call the Art & Soul Gallery in Ashland to ask them how they ran their business. As a frequent visitor to Ashland, I had always admired the Art & Soul Gallery and had purchased several pieces from them over the years.
When I called I happened to get one of the previous owners of the gallery on the phone and she was delighted to tell me a little about their business model. Then … several minutes into the conversation, she asked, “Do you realize that the gallery is scheduled to close its doors a week from Sunday?” A couple of minutes later she asked me, “Do you realize that the gallery is for sale?” And then a couple of minutes after that she asked, “Do you realize that the back wall is movable and that you could probably move it forward a few feet and put a framing shop behind it?”
The next morning I woke up and said to myself, “I have to go to Ashland this weekend and talk to these four ladies and see if this is possible.”
To be continued …