Have you ever wanted to buy artisan handcrafted chocolate, local art work, vintage clothing and rare collectibles and antiques all in one place? Then the Ashland Artisan Emporium is the store for you! Husband and wife team Derek Lusk and Leah Fairbanks have owned businesses for 30 years prior to taking over the Emporium. Leah is a well-known glass artist who has taught all over the world and is in many books, publications and museums. Derek has mined gold and gemstones all over the Northwest and has exhibited in many gem shows. In fact Leah and Derek met at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show with booths right next to each other and the rest is history! They are both members of the Lithia Artisans Market (LAMA) and exhibit most weekends off the Plaza in downtown Ashland in front of Lithia Park. Many members of LAMA have booths in our store. Derek and Leah are both passionate about collecting fine objects and had several booths at the Emporium before they owned the store. When the opportunity presented itself they were honored and thrilled to take it over. They have updated all of the lighting and air conditioning and created a new space in the back of the store which is filled with furniture and goods for the home. The hours have been increased to better serve the community and to give the vendors more hours to stock their booths with new treasures. They are grateful to be able to provide over 80 small businesses with a brick and mortar store, giving them a chance to grow and thrive. We want to be good stewards of the store that Michelle Christian started with her dad 11 years ago, we are grateful to Michelle for trusting us to keep this great store alive. So stop on by and see the store and meet Derek, Leah and daughter Tara who all run the store!
The Ashland Artisan Emporium is owned by Michelle Christian, wife and mother of 3 daughters. Her husband, Travis, is the business manager for Adroit Construction in Ashland, Oregon. The Emporium was the vision of Michael Rydbom, Michelle's father. In April of 2010, Michael asked his daughter if she would be willing to help transform the old DJ's Video space into a crafter's marketplace. Michelle had always admired her dad's entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to make him proud, so even though she already had two kids, a real estate career and one more daughter on the way, she said yes. On November 1, 2010, the store opened it's doors to a welcome reception from the community. They were voted Best New Business of 2010 only months later by the Ashland Sneak Preview. Within weeks of opening, the store was at capacity and had quickly become the "go-to" store for all things unique and affordable.