New Year, New Store!

Happy New Year Ashland! We trust that you are as eager as we are to start a New Year. The past two years have been a time of growth and struggle. Covid has continued to wreak havoc on small businesses all across the country, including our little shopping center here in Ashland. As tenants continue to shutter their doors, it became apparent that the owners of the center needed to start making creative and sweeping changes in order to keep rents coming in. In October we were given 30 days notice to vacate half of our store to make room for one large tenant that could pay more rent than we had been able to afford. With broken hearts, we had to accept the new reality of a smaller store that could only accommodate half of the vendors that we had been hosting for the past 11 years. Tasked with the challenge of delicately saying goodbye to so many vendors, October became the hardest month I have had to endure since my father passed away right after opening this store. My heart and soul is here in this store, and having to make so many cuts and changes in such a short amount of time was extraordinarily painful.

As I write this, the loud sounds of hammering and sawing ring out through the store as the other side morphs into something new – while we do the same, albeit a little more gracefully. We are proud of what we have been able to survive and we are so thankful to our vendors and customers for their loyalty and patience during this transition. Everyone has had to trust and jump, especially me. My staff has been nothing short of amazing as they worked to come up with solutions to problems and to generally make sure we got through each day alive. 

As we start a new year, it’s the perfect time to unveil our new humble store. We are so proud of what we have become and we invite you to come check it out. We have many of the same vendors that you have come to love over the years. Each booth is now more thoughtfully curated, as we have to be more selective on who is able to vend with us. Covid has taught all of us to accept change more easily now. We understand that we aren’t in control of anything, but we sure can make the best of any situation. So, that’s what we did. We can’t wait for you to come see us.

Thank you and Happy New Year!!!

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Ashland Artisan Emporium

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.

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