Shop Talk: The Market at Serendip

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Deb Helmrich, 55 Owner, The Market at Serendip 36 N. Liberty, Powell 614-356-2784

Read the interview after the jump.

Q: How would you describe your shop? A: We like to call ourselves an eclectic collection of original art and upscale handcrafts. What we hope to do for people is give them really unique, one-of-a-kind treasures--surprising options.

Q: Nearly all of your items are made my local artists. How many contribute to the collection? A: Thirty-five -- and always taking more.

Q: You have a wide variety of goods. Would you talk about the various offerings? A: We have original art in the form of watercolors, mixed media. We have photographic art. We have things like pottery. We have awesome handcrafted jewelry. We also have thinks like dog collars, aprons. We have handbags made from upcycled fabric. We have some children's accessories. Some garden accessories. Some things you can't categorize. Oh, and artisan soap!

Q: And those items are a range of price points too, yes? A: I have big prints for $1,000 and I have dog collars. And the reason I can justify that is that art is a lot of places -- not just on walls. And art has to be accessible to everyone.

Q: Some of the artists who create the things you sell periodically offer classes. Can you explain how that works? A: As the artists can schedule them, we offer an adult painting class in mixed media. We offer a children's photography class. Children's painting. A jewelry-making class. We have a couple of craft classes in the works.

Q: You're actually a realtor by trade. What got you interested in starting a shop like this? A: My daughter's an artist...The other thing is a beautiful shop I saw in North Carolina, and I thought it could be done here.

Q: Clearly, you are passionate about this. What do you love about it so much? A: The customers are pleasant. They come in because they love beautiful things. You have all these cool conversations with people. The other thing I love about it is the artists, because they're very supportive of each other and me. They're remarkably talented and creative. It's a real energizing experience to be around these guys.