Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Women's Boutique and Gallery Coming to TechArtista

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 6:04 AM

click to enlarge TechArtista is home to numerous startups. - COURTESY OF TECHARTISTA
  • COURTESY OF TECHARTISTA
  • TechArtista is home to numerous startups.

Starting next month, Living Collective, a women’s boutique that primarily features work from local artists and independent brands, and HEX, an influencer marketing startup, will join the designers, non-profits, engineers, and other small businesses headquartered in the Central West End co-working space TechArtista (4818 Washington Boulevard).

The 13,500-square-foot TechArtista building has hosted a variety of startups since opening in 2014. Now Living Collective, which began as an online store, will bring in customers, too.

As part of TechArtista’s new “retail-in-residency” program, Living Collective founder Katy Noonan will work with emerging artists and curators to organize events and showcase their work. She and HEX founder Laura Heying also hope to showcase local female artists along the 13,500-square foot location’s extensive wall space, in what Heying calls an “evolving gallery.”

Visitors to Living Collective will have a chance to see the 24 x 10-foot mural Supper Club, by local artist Edo Rosenblith. The storefront will also host events, openings, and trunk shows—a unique integration of retail and art in a “collective living experience.” “The retail and boutique showroom will double as a gallery and workspace, which is exciting for us to explore,” says TechArtista partner Eric Hamblett in a prepared release. “By highlighting designers and technical arts in one area, we hope to cross mediums and introduce a new concept for everyone to enjoy.”

click to enlarge Supper Club, now on display at TechArtista. - COURTESY OF TECHARTISTA
  • COURTESY OF TECHARTISTA
  • Supper Club, now on display at TechArtista.

“Retail is difficult in this day and age, so we’re trying to provide support for those who need it. We’ll be working with local artists to put out their products, and part of the proceeds will be donated to a charity of the artist’s choice,” says Noonan.

She adds, “The energy … is incredible; they’re trying to cultivate some really fun, exciting things. By having all these startups and businesses in there, you can bounce ideas off of a lot of people.”

For the boutique, that includes HEX, a one-woman agency specializing in matching projects with creators and influencers to elevate brands, and telling their stories through creativity and art. A “creative collaboration agency,” HEX will work with Living Collective and TechArtista to organize events and pop-ups, as well as curate art and local brands to exhibit in the space.

“What drew me to TechArtista was that it’s got such a collaborative and inspiring atmosphere,” Heying says. “There are people from all kinds of businesses that are in the same position as you.”

The two enterprises are hosting a joint launch event, entitled “Love Spells & Locals: A Mushy-Gushy Launch Story,” at TechArtista on Friday, February 10 from 7-10 p.m.

The event is free to the public and will feature free food, music, and pop-up booths by other local favorites like Taco Circus, Intoxicology, May’s Place and more.

“It’s a showcase of [HEX and Living Collective]’s favorite brands,” Heying says. “It’s a tribute to the local community and all these amazing businesses. It’s a way for people to come out and learn more about the kinds of people I like to work with—small businesses that are trying to reach more people.”

In addition to the festivities, the “Love Spells & Locals” event will feature a donation drop-off for the Edwardsville chapter of Support the Girls; the charity collects and distributes donations of new and used bras and new, sealed packages of tampons and pads to homeless women and girls.

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