New downtown business combines art, photography, baby items
For the Craig Press
Amber Drew Collective Studios is just that: a collective.
While Amber Drew herself is the mastermind behind creating a new business downtown, Teagann Pearce and John and Wendy Furman help bring it all together.
“It’s set up a little differently,” Pearce said. “The back half of the building is Amber’s photography studio, where she does newborn, family or other shoots. Then the front half is divided between my business, Peachy Llama Boutique, and Furman Artworks.”
The collective business is located at 543 Yampa Ave. and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The new business officially opened on May 29.
A customer walking into the collective could walk out with original pieces by the Furmans, handmade clothing by Pearce or set up an appointment with Drew.
A photography shoot was actually what led to the business idea between Drew and Pearce.
“Amber did my newborn’s photos last November, and we talked about what I was doing (making children’s clothing) and she thought it was really cool,” Pearce said. “Then we didn’t really talk about business at all, then one day she messaged me and told me what she was doing with this building and asked if I was interested in getting involved.”
Pearce, a Craig mother, was absolutely on board. She has been making clothes for a little more than a year, starting out by making an outfit for her oldest daughter’s first birthday. Then she expanded into hairbows, and began making more and more inventory.
Drew explained that she needed to upgrade her studio space, and when she found the downtown location, she knew it would be perfect.
However, she also understood that she wouldn’t be in the building every single day, so she thought she could bring a few businesses together.
“I wanted to help other moms in this area become entrepreneurs and sell what they’re making, while also helping with the overhead cost,” Drew said.
By having her studio, Pearce’s handmade clothing and the original pieces done by the Furmans, Drew has managed to offer art to the Craig community in three different ways.
Pearce credits her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law for teaching her to sew and sparking her newfound love of making clothes. However, as a full-time nursing student and mother, owning a business is also a major stressor in life.
So being able to join a collective like what Drew has created was a perfect opportunity for Pearce and the Peachy Llama Boutique.
“I wanted to make this boutique into something where I offered items you can’t get anywhere else in town,” Pearce said. “I wanted to offer people in town different styles and options than what you could get at the run-of-the-mill big-box stores.”
Peachy Llama offers children’s outfits in a variety of sizes, such as rompers, dresses, shorts and bell bottom jeans. Additionally, she has feeding essentials (silicone section bowls and utensils), activity mats and more. She continues to expand her inventory regularly, and can also make pieces to order.
The Furmans have locally-sourced wood creations such as side tables, plant holders and benches, as well as hand-painted pieces and cards. No one piece is alike, meaning customers can always rely on getting a unique item from the couple.
Drew is now hoping that she can add a couple more vendors to the building by the end of the year. She knows how talented many of the Craig residents are, and she thinks this collective will allow for more opportunities to showcase these artforms.
“In 2016, I lost my daughter at eight days old,” she said. “When we moved to Craig in 2017, after never having stepped foot in the state of Colorado, I really just needed to come here to heal. Since I’ve been here, I’ve realized this town is just like a big extended family. So I want this concept to be a community-oriented thing.”
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