A trip to the nearest craft store always looms on my to-do list, sometimes out of necessity, and other times for retail therapy. While a trip to Michael’s, JOANN Fabric and Crafts or Hobby Lobby is a trusted classic, it’s important to remember that shopping small and local for art supplies is an achievable change from routine, especially here at Spokane.
Of course, depending on the specific supplies you need, sometimes a trip to a chain store is imminent. Nonetheless, here are two different small businesses in Spokane for you to check out the next time you’re itching to buy some new art supplies.
Are you a fan of sustainable shopping and a good DIY session? Look no further than Art Salvage. Located on North Ash Street, Art Salvage is a creative reuse store in Spokane that promotes the creativity of makers of all ages.
“Art Salvage is a non-profit creative reuse organization,” said Katie Patterson Larson, Executive Director and Founder of Art Salvage. “Our mission is to salvage usable art supplies and keep them out of the landfill, then make them accessible and affordable for everyone.”
From sewing and knitting supplies to paint, crayons, pens and other drawing and painting supplies, Art Salvage offers a wide variety of lightly used arts and crafts supplies. While this is only a small portion of Art Salvage’s local donation inventory, the creative reuse store also offers limited-find vintage items.
“We have things from every generation,” Patterson Larson said. “We have notions of sewing that are vintage, throughout decades and even with collage material. We also have National Geographic from the 1930s and 1940s.”
If you’re looking for affordable posters to decorate your bedroom or living space, Art Salvage offers a fun and diverse range of repurposed posters and printed postcards.
By browsing Art Salvage with a shopping list in hand, you’re almost guaranteed a quick and effortless save. Each crafting category is organized into baskets and by color to separate various tools and supplies.
It’s important to remember that a creative reuse store like Art Salvage might not be the best place to look for more specific items you might need. What makes Art Salvage incomparable to chain stores is the unpredictability and uniqueness of the items you can find when you visit, Patterson Larson said.
Art Salvage also offers craft kits and loot bags of various themes that are the perfect pre-curated activity to gift to friends and family. These craft kits and purses are Art Salvage’s way of repurposing scrap items that are often difficult to sell individually.
“[The kits] really inspire people when they walk in because they can see [the supplies] as a group or as a kit, and they see the purpose of it,” Patterson Larson said.
On hiatus due to the pandemic, Art Salvage has put its community reuse art classes on temporary hiatus. Patterson Larson said Art Salvage plans to reintroduce a class schedule by the end of 2022.
If you would like to donate old arts and crafts materials, you can make an appointment on the Art Salvage website. They are encouraged to review Art Salvage’s donation guidelines before attending a donation appointment.
Art Salvage also offers an online shopping platform on its website, various shopping subscriptions and gift cards. To browse the items online, visit the Art Salvage website https://www.artsalvagespokane.com and follow his Instagram page @artsalvage for shop updates.
Art Salvage is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spokane Art Supply
Spokane Art Supply is the perfect store for artists and crafters who are looking to find more specific items, but also favor shopping at local small businesses. Located on North Monroe Street, Spokane Art Supply offers a wide range of top-notch drawing and painting materials and supplies for less experienced or younger crafters, such as paint-by-number kits.
“You can find wide eyes and fun [supplies] …just a little anything you can think of for making art,” said Craig Marshall, vice president and general manager of Spokane Art Supply. “Services, brushes, paint kits and journals – lots of everything.”
Marshall said Spokane Art Supply stands out from the typical chain store because of the variety of materials the store offers its customers.
“You look towards [chain stores] for watercolor, but [Spokane Art Supply] has nine versions of watercolors from different companies, 18 palaces and a ton of paper,” Marshall said. “We have more choices than most [chain stores].”
Marshall said Spokane Art Supply’s most popular item is his “teacher’s choice” palace. Stored in a leak-proof, travel-sized container, the “Teacher’s Choice” Palace allows customers to create their own color palace, which is hand-pressed from an assortment of selected paint tubes.
Beyond the items offered in its store, Spokane Art Supply is slowly expanding its website. Currently, the website is focused on travel watercolor and supply packages.
“[Spokane Art Supply] takes paints from one company and brushes from another company and organizes them so that no one in the world sells this item,” Marshall said.
On its website, Spokane Art Supply promotes its own blog, which launched late last year. The blog highlights gift ideas, lots and new products in store.
Spokane Art Supply also offers a program of art classes and workshops taught by Spokane Art Supply staff and local Spokane area artists. Most classes focus on developing drawing and painting skills and are suitable for participants with advanced and competent artistic experience, Marshall said. However, some classes, like an upcoming Wet Felt Slipper Workshop on April 2, offer a more unique learning opportunity.
Beyond its retail items and classroom opportunities, Spokane Art Supply also offers custom framing and printing and scanning services for local artists.
“At the end of the day [Spokane Art Supply] try to price items properly and practice customer service, and just be a business,” Marshall said. “But it’s kind of cool that we’re a bit creative.”
To purchase online, visit the Spokane Art Supply website http://www.spokaneartsupply.com.
Spokane Art Supply is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.