It was the lure of the independent business community in Concord that hooked entrepreneur Liz Stevenson. The Waltham resident is opening the Artisans Way at 18 Walden St. in the coming weeks. The grand opening will be in October, she said.
These days, Stevenson is unpacking boxes of merchandise that she and her partner, artist Jodie Apeseche selected, including textiles, woodwork, jewelry, fine art and more that are spread throughout the store in small groupings.
“We were looking around hoping to find something here, and luckily this became available,” said Stevenson. The space used to be Nicole Marie. “We think downtown Concord is unique. Centers like this barely exist anymore. It is a true shopping center.”
The space is well lit from the window on the sidewalk, as well as track lighting overhead. The one drawback: Stevenson, in 18 years in business, never used a computer before and is having a whale of a time entering all the pieces into a database.
Stevenson said she had a previous Artisans Way in Lexington for 12 years from 1993 to 2005, then left to manage another gallery before opening in Concord. While Apeseche is a painter and printmaker, Stevenson is “an appreciator,” and takes care of the business end of things.
“We call it a fine art and contemporary craft gallery,” she said. She said the art market changes with the times along with everything else. Right now, gold is costly, so jewelers switched to silver, which got too expensive, and now are using different metals for their work. Stevenson said the price range is geared to the consumer who may not have a lot of money but want a quality item.
“We have small jewelry items for $12 to several hundreds,” she said. “My feeling is why have beautiful things that no one can afford? We want beautiful things that are accessible for everyone.”
Many of the items at the Artisans Way are functional as well as decorative. “Anyone could come in and feel comfortable that there are things within their budget,” she said.
“It’s challenging or everyone,” said Stevenson as she arranged some unique pottery into an artful display.