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Our New Location!

To ALL our Fair Wind Artists:  I’m so happy to be able to share with you all the 411 on our new shop location

The old shop was like a one-car garage, but this space is wide open and beautiful, located in a busy, central area.  Traffic has increased by 10X and sales are picking up nicely. 

Here are the photos I promised you.  You can see how your work is displayed in the new space.

Here is the front entrance.  I have placed my collection of atc’s on the stool and people are having a lot of fun looking through them.  Also, see the OOAK Valentine card display.  The carousel is about 5 yards  away, just across from this door.  I’ll get a photo including it when I think of it.

This is the view through our front window, showing the East wall with all our nautical things, and the  jewelry toward the back.

A closer look, from just outside  the front door. 

We are on a corner.  This shot was taken through our side door, as were the next ones you’ll see.  These doors are steel garage doors in bright colors and are very attractive, plus we are secure with our locks in place when we are not open.  This display piece is a new acquisition and is so handy.  I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of the other side of it where the OOAK handbags and Nuno felted scarves are!  So sorry Sassy!

From another angle.

And yet another angle through the side door.  These are some new encaustic works shipped in this week.  This shelf is just inside the door.

Here is a closer look at the jewelry corner.  Our new, lighted, rotating carousel really shows off the more upscale jewelry, but I am awaiting delivery of crystal boxes I ordered  for these pieces.  A little Valentine decorating on top.

Another display, featuring prints and small originals.  Wall space is still at a premium.

The glass and ceramics display beautifully on these new (to me) glass shelves.

This is looking toward the windows, it is a little glassed-in alcove.

Closer look at where the nautical art leaves off and the next section begins.

I hope you like the way I’ve displayed your creations, everyone.  You can see that we are upgrading in every way possible. We have a vendor in the mall who buys and sells used retail display pieces.  (We are good friends!)

I feel that sales are going to take off now.  I know that January and February are slow retail months, but we are looking at a lot of different advertising options.  Remember the radio ads I mentioned?  Well, they were going to be handled by “Al and Audra” our local radio personalities who do a lot of promotion work—  But they are traveling around with Ted Williams (the former homeless radio announcer  you’ve surely heard about or seen on TV)  as he begins his new career.  We have plenty of other “irons in the fire” and lots of people working together to promote the artsy-er shops in the mall.

I wish us all extraordinary success and personal blessings in 2011.  Keep in touch!


Happy New Year

I can’t believe how quickly this time has gone by.

If you scroll way down, you’ll see that it’s been several months since we started accepting art on consignment for the opening of our new shop.  It’s been a lot of work and we have, according to the reports of the Marketplace of the Americas management team and many of our visitors, “The most interesting and attractive shop in the place”.

That is precisely due to the wonderful artwork which has filled our shop from the brilliant artists who have joined us.

To re-cap:  We are in a mall which sat empty for several years, was bought by some investors from Florida and has been re-vamped, remodeled and updated to become a unique shopping experience in Columbus Ohio.  Having a Grand Opening on Halloween weekend, we have seen the numbers coming through the doors increase, slowly but surely, as people realize we are here and decide to come see what we’re all about.  People take their sweet time in making changes, but we feel now, that we are becoming a shopping destination in earnest.  We had a record 3,000+ people through the mall doors this past Sunday.

Fair Wind Studio sales, thus far, have not come close to paying expenses, but we are hanging on and footing the bills until the shop begins to at least pay its rent!  With that in mind, we moved our shop up to a highly visible, heavily traveled spot in the “crossroads” just inside the entrance area, where people pause and decide which way to go.  It’s right by the beautiful Carousel where the children come to take a ride.  We saw our foot traffic increase ten times on this last weekend, our first weekend in the new location.  We are only open Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, so it’s a weekend business.

I’ll be posting new photos of our shop after the floor paint dries (we did that today) and I think you’ll see a huge difference in the face we present to the public.  Unlike our old space, we have an increase in size,  a nice glassed-in display area and two doors instead of one.

Our best-sellers so far have been blank cards made from original artwork, the more reasonably priced limited edition prints, wearable art accessories ($20-$30 range) and ceramics.  I think this may reflect holiday shopping trends, but we will look at it again after some time goes by.  Lookers appear to be very interested in wearable art and jewelry and the lower priced, small  original paintings, as they begin to shop for themselves, rather than for gifting.

We will be looking for more of the smaller pieces for our “bread and butter” sales, as people are more often buying ‘under $20’ items than $300 items.  For those, we wait for just the right person to come along. 

The idea of “All Original Art All The Time” is a big draw for people and I feel we are ‘educating’ the average mall browsers to realize what wonderful things are being produced by “real people”.  This, too, takes time.

So… if you are one of the artists currently consigning with us and would like to add to your inventory, this might give you some guidelines to consider.  We don’t want the market to dictate the art — JUST THE OPPOSITE — but we DO want to be able to pay the rent!

New artists, please see the guidelines for consignment which can be reached through the tabs, above.  If you are interested, I will send you a printable copy of the consignment agreement, via your email.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.  Questions are most welcome.

Would love to hear your feedback on this post.  I’ll update with photos in the next few days.


We are out there…selling the art.

Since our grand opening in October, the shop has demanded a huge amount of time and attention, which explains why I’ve done no updates.

Our initial selection of consignments from  the many wonderful artists who chose to be a part of our project have filled our store completely and beautifully, making our spot in the Marketplace of the Americas a favored destination.

Yes, it is slow to start.  First of all, the whole mall is new, a refurbishment of an existing mall space which had been closed for a long time.  It’s a beautiful building and the management has done their part in creating an ad campaign which has increased incrementally over the weeks.  We are just now seeing a truly satisfying crowd in the aisles and everyone is real optimistic about our future.

I would urge you to visit both the Marketplace of the Americas and the Fair Wind Studio commercial website to get a good idea of what is going on.  Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from artists who are interested in our project, so please read the info in the tabbed sections above to find out what the consignment deal is all about.

We are planning a move to a larger space and will be ready to receive more consignments then.  The timing is uncertain.  There will be some shuffling about after the holiday season.

My best wishes for a blessed and happy Christmas season to all.

Yours truly,


Grand Opening Report

We had just very moderate traffic during the two “soft opening” weekends, but the Grand Opening brought a lot of foot traffic to the mall.

Now, I must say this: the whole mall is a new thing and several customers told me they were overwhelmed with sensory input after spending some time there.  “I’m just looking to see what’s here…” was a common refrain.    The mall project is revitalizing an area of Columbus which has been quiet for a few years, since the original mall closed.  People are just now getting used to the idea that we are there, and are very happy that we are.  It’s a nice area, but the commercial zone had kind of fizzled out.  People kept telling us that they were so happy to have all these businesses there.

The food court is marvellous, and that alone will bring people over.  It’s not generic fast food chains but, along with traditional sandwich and pizza fare, features Albanian (just like Greek) and Cajun foods.  I will get lots of photos next weekend of the different areas of the mall.

You artists have sent so much wonderful stuff that my shop is the one featured in upcoming ads.  The owners are very proud of what we are doing and actually told me that when the media comes in to take photos, etc. that Fair Wind Studio is the first one they take them to.  Yayy for all of you!  And now that the election ads are going to be over, we’ll be blitzing the local TV stations, along with the cable and radio stations.

And A Big Plus:  We’re first in line for one of the large shops on the main promenade.  We’ll be able to spread out more and make our displays even nicer.

So just one photo today.  One of yours truly, taken at the grand opening.


Two Sneak Peeks and a Grand Opening

It’s been a while, I know.  My time has been so completely consumed for the last two weeks, as you can well imagine!

This was taken today, as Anne and I were unpacking and hanging a few of her original acrylics which you can see above our heads.

The sneak peeks were well attended, but people were not really shopping much — mostly looking to see what kind of shops and merchandise were available throughout the mall.  I gave out hundreds of flyers, stating our mission,  see it below.  People really read it, smiled, and many commented on the unique “coolness” of our purpose.  Lots of promises of return visitors.

and we also passed out about  the same number of  announcements about our caricature artist, Donald Guess, who will be on hand all day Saturday for the Grand Opening.  People were excited about that, too.  And here he is, now!

I hope this very quick update will help you to get a feel for what’s going on at Fair Wind.  I’ll definitely make a better report after this weekend.


Almost There!

You’ll see a few empty spaces yet, but there are consignments on the way to fill them.  If not received by the opening, Friday, I’ll spread things around to fit.  So this is almost our final setup.  I did a bit of signage after taking these pics, and cleaned up my mess!

I’m prepared to put in more display cases, easels, etc. as more consignments come in.  Email me if you’d like to be involved.  We’ve had foot traffic – workers, other merchants, people who wander in to see what’s going on with the mall opening – and we get incredible compliments on our shop and our inventory.

Sneak Peek opening for this next weekend, Oct. 15, 16 and 17 is going to be very interesting.  I may not update for a few days as things become even busier than they are now.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all you hard-working artists who have joined us in this project.  Our desire is for you to prosper and grow in your creative work.