It’s hard to say where it really began. Probably somewhere in my childhood, when my grandparents would bring me back a gift from some far-off place in the world. Like the Eskimo purse I have from Alaska, or the battery-operated panda bear from their travels to China. (That’s before you could just order on Amazon!)
The point is, I’ve been fortunate to have experienced many cultures throughout my life and career, so this idea has really been building for years. It’s been in the last few years that I started putting these dream pieces together.
I love to hear the stories of artists and entrepreneurs, their passion and resourcefulness in creating art, and often making a living for themselves, their families, and communities. When I really think about those stories and my own desire for making people smile through hosting friends and family, connecting cultures, and gift-giving, I get excited about bringing it all together … hands on and hearts in.
For years, I wasn’t sure where this was going, but I knew I needed to create it. I kept thinking about how happy it made me to visit another place. To learn about the local culture and to do something as simple as walk through a town, festival, or event to see all the wonderful items created. When I’d stop to engage with an artist and really listen to how they got there, I learned something every time. Something important—to the artist and to me.
And then there’s the color, all of the color. Do you ever just walk into a place and smile because it’s colorful and beautiful?! When I find those special places, my senses light up with engagement and wonder. It makes me happy and that’s the vibe I want our customers to feel. What’s hard to describe is how color played a role in this, but many times I found myself saying, “I just want to create something with a lot of color.”
Imagining the space over the years was a little trickier. I never had the perfect visual … until one day I did. A friend of ours bought an old bus station and introduced me to the term adaptive reuse. So, instead of bus maintenance and washing stations, there will now be retail, dining, and event space at the GreyLine Station. It took a lunch meeting and a pitch of what I envisioned for the shop, and that was that. We found our home.
Consider it your place, too. When the time is right, I hope you’ll come visit Poppy & Pomelo and all the wonderful places around it.