Awesome News – Zurina Ketola Designs Now has a Retail Location!

Well, it’s hard to gloss over the fact that it’s been over two months since my last post. I just want to go on the record and say that things have been pretty crazy over here, but they’ve been crazy in the best possible way! The result? I have a retail space! Click through to read more about it.

Back in August, I did a local craft show called the Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. It was a bit of a whirlwind, because I was a last minute addition and had just under two weeks to get everything ready to go. Typically, I’ve had at least two months notice prior to a show, so this required serious focus and organization on my part. I’m so glad I was able to be a part of the show, it was such a fun weekend! My wonderful husband took some time out to help me work the booth, along with a good friend of mine. Not only did I meet so many fabulous, sweet customers, but my fellow exhibitors turned out to be both lovely people and great resources.

I had several recommendations to check out a local retail space called the Andersonville Galleria. Located in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago, the Galleria is home to more than 90 talented local artists and designers, and has a fantastic reputation for high quality and unique finds. After the show, I asked around and as it turned out, every single one of my friends only had amazing things to say. How had I not heard about this place before?

In any case, the holidays were going to be coming up and I have to admit, I seriously wanted in on the action. There are limited spots, and the one thing I kept on hearing was that they fill up right around this time. As soon as I had everything organized after the recent show, I headed over and took a look for myself. I totally fell in love with the place! There’s three floors of unique goods, handmade or curated by distinctive artisans, designers, and creatives. Luckily, there were still some empty spaces, and I was able to apply and get a spot!

So, this is where my apparent disappearance off the face of the planet comes in. I had to go into production overdrive and crank out a retail merchandising design and make sure I had enough product to fill a 4′ x 8′ space in about a week. Kind of a tall order, I know, but I did it! It really is amazing how much you can do when you just pretend sleep isn’t necessary…

I’ve been working out a few kinks here and there over the last few weeks, but things have been great! I like to think of my booth as a kind of “mini retail space”. I’ve always loved the creative aspect of my work, but I have recently realized that I really enjoy the face to face aspect of working with people just as much. Having the primary focus of my business be online since it’s inception in 2005 really kept me in the dark on that. I’m so glad to be riding both the virtual and real world waves.

Above are just a few snapshots of some of my favorite items in the shop. If you’re in the Chicago area, come by and visit! The Andersonville Galleria is located at 5247 N. Clark Street in Chicago. My space is located on the 2nd floor, right by the big window. Actually, if you’re on the street, you can look up and see my sign from the street! It’s on the right side.

Now that things have mellowed out a bit, things should be back to normal here at the blog. I’m busy making sure I have a schedule that I stick to, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. This year has been so amazing, and I’m thankful for every opportunity that has come my way. Especially those that came as a surprise. Those have been the best!