Local artists to open home and bath store in downtown Springfield

Four local artists have collaborated to open an eclectic home and bath store in downtown Springfield.

The store, Stick + Stone, is set to open Friday, Feb. 2.

Located next to Winan’s Coffee & Chocolates on North Fountain Avenue, the store will offer an industrial modern-style mix of furniture, art, home decor and handmade soaps.

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All of the items in the store will be made by the four store owners: Derek Snowden, owner of IndistressCo., a custom furniture company; Corie White of White House Art Studio; potter Allison Dudney of Dudney Made; and Valerie Rieker, who sells artisan soaps and balms through her company, Ludic Soap.

“We wanted the store to be us,” said Snowden, who used to play in the Urbana rock band Small Town Sleeper. “With all the products together, we could build a whole vibe.”

The simplicity of the store’s name fits that aesthetic, too, Dudney said.

“It has an elemental, earthy feel,” she said.

The artists’ products will be displayed together throughout the space — Rieker’s lip balms placed in a Dudney Made ceramic bowl sitting on an IndistressCo. table displayed beneath one of White’s paintings. In addition to their own creative processes as makers, they said, the actual assembly and curation of the store has been its own creative process.

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It’s a process that’s had to move quickly: They’ve only been in the space since Jan. 1, giving the artists just a month to assemble the space before their opening.

They also hope the store’s setup will help shoppers imagine how to use their products.

“Not everyone is visual,” White said. “This way, they can get an image of what it would look like in their home.”

Snowden assembles his IndistressCo. line, which includes everything from decorative wall hangings to do-it-yourself barn door kits, in a wood shop behind Winan’s, so when the North Fountain Avenue storefront went up for sale, opening a retail space there felt right, he said.

“We didn’t choose this out of a lack of options,” Snowden said. “We chose this flat-out just because we want to be in Springfield. We really want to inspire more people to come downtown.”

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The local aspect of their business is one that’s drawn all of them to the project, they said. White wanted an industrial setting. Rieker fell in love with old buildings downtown. Dudney, a recent Ohio State graduate and Springfield native, wanted to show that young artists don’t have to move to a bigger city to be successful.

“So many people want to go to a place that’s established and beautiful to make art,” Rieker said. “I like the idea of taking a place and making it beautiful.”

The store owners will celebrate their grand opening with an event from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 2. Customers can browse and purchase items, and the first 10 people to arrive will receive a free Stick + Stone t-shirt.

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