Learn how-to make a recycled paper pad in #ShopShowcase with Shelf Life Art & Supply Co.
How did you get started?
I had started thinking about the concept of an "art supply thrift store" when I was in college for art and the cost of materials was so high. Some classes required materials I didn't love using, but I held onto those things for years, moving from place to place because I didn't want them to go to waste.
After several years working in e-commerce after college, I decided to start a store on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/ShelfLifeArt) selling some of the supplies I no longer needed, and announced to my Facebook friends that I had the intention of opening a store within the year. Donations of art supplies and found objects started rolling in. A former colleague who owned a coffee shop offered to rent me part of his shop out of which to run my business. An art supply store near our city's university closed up, and I made them an offer on their remaining inventory.
And thus in October 2014, Shelf Life Art & Supply Co. opened it's door, in the window-less back-alley basement of a coffee shop.
Where are you located?
We stayed open in the coffee shop space for about nine months before moving into a store front in the same shopping center. Our space was built in the 1950s with a red brick exterior, painted turquoise awning, and great aluminum-cased windows.
We are just north of downtown on a well-trafficked thoroughfare in our city of nearly 300,000 residents.
The address is 2178 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408 USA.
Which products do you specialise in?
We sell an assortment of art & craft supplies, both brand new and pre-owned. People can bring in pre-owned supplies in exchange for store credit. We have everything from fine oil paints to scrap pieces of metal! Anything that can be used for art-making in some way.
We also offer custom framing!
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
I love the vintage art and office supplies that we get in. Old paint boxes and easels, fabric, staplers, pencils. I always try to get stories behind unique or unusual items that come in and about the artists who used them, so I can pass that information along to their new owners.
What's on the stereo?
This afternoon we've been on a Joy Division kick - earlier today it was Madonna.
Where else should we visit in your area?
This is the hardest question because I have so many recommendations! If you are visiting our shopping strip, I would recommend eating at Hops Burger Bar, and checking out Acme Comics, the oldest comic book store in Greensboro. For an experience unlike anything, I would recommend visiting Elsewhere, the "living museum" and artist residency set in a former downtown thrift store. Artwork from established North Carolina artists can be found at the GreenHill Center. We've got breweries, hiking trails, a cross-town greenway system. Oh, and if you come next year we will have a Janet Echelman sculpture downtown!
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
Our current location has a large classroom space that we use for many classes, workshops, and artist visits! Currently on schedule are a series of art summer camps for kids, a metal enameling workshop, and a free fibers art workshop with visiting artist, Andrea Vail. We are looking forward to expanding our class offerings throughout the year!
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
We are very appreciative of you featuring us on Cut Out and Keep! We focus so much on reuse and re-purposing, so we've loved browsing your tutorials, and passing along your site to our visitors! Thank you!
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!