Why, oh why people line up for Black Friday the DAY after eating their weight in turkey is beyond me…especially when we have something called “Small Business Saturday” which is like Black Friday except the crowds aren’t ravenous, the shops are local and the products, in my opinion, are better. This is where one of my favorite boutique shops in downtown Springfield comes into the limelight: Rosette Studios Arts and Letters.
What do you get when you marry creativity with a genuine love for local artistic expressions? Arts & Letters of course! I’ve met Bridget Koonce, a passionate woman who owns this exclusive shop. Though I have seen her on a number of occasions, I have not one unpleasant thing to say about her. To be honest, it can be difficult to “talk business” with her due to her friendly nature… it always seems to turn into one of those meetings-turned-chitchat sessions where we discuss everything from our travels to how we settled down in Springfield, Mo. It’s all her fault if you ask me – she has one of those magnetic personalities.
She took over Art & Letters from the original owners in May of 2016, and it has become her and her husband’s “child” for all intents and purposes. The moment you walk into her and her hubby’s shop, your senses are awakened to the beautiful paintings, sculptures and handmade delights which decorate the boutique store. In fact, the more I peruse the shop the more hidden gems and goodies I find – and there is an especially great selection of items for men too – you know, the manly, beardy, wood-chopping, Duluth-Trader types of fellows who call a pitcher-of-beer a man-sized mug.
Gifts for Those Manly Men
For me personally, it’s hard shopping for men! It honestly doesn’t matter whether it is an anniversary, birthday, Christmas or just on a whim – I am clueless when it comes to shopping for the men in my life…all three (3) of them. This is where Arts and Letters delivers. They have an impressive array of handmade gifts such as:
- Bullet-cufflinks (yes, made out of REAL bullets),
- Handmade knife-sets (from 100-year-old steel blades),
- Forged beer-bottle openers,
- And other handcrafted metal and wood-worked items.
In an effort to support local artists, they feature a myriad of sculpted, forged and wood-carved artists in the Ozarks. They also offer vinyl lettering (you know, the signs which are on business doors featuring their logo and hours).
If you shop here, not only are you getting something awesome and manly for your lovable hulk, but you are supporting the local economy as well – does it get any better than that? Why yes, yes it does.
Arts & Letters
Classes, fashion and henna, OH MY! That’s right, they feature classes on everything from henna tattoos, fashioning your own jewelry, ceramics and more! They schedule a few classes each month in their shop, but if you have a party of three (3) or more, they will happily schedule a class on your time. I sense a future Ladies’ Night Out will have something to do with Henna…yes, the power of foresight has spoken!
Arts & Letters doesn’t shy away from the fashion scene either! Since Bridget took over, they have been in two fashion shows, one hosted by Gritty Luxe – fab vintage fashion babes who frequent local thrift shops for those hidden diamonds concealed within layers of clothes. In fact, I was there for their last thrift fashion show featuring some amazing pieces from Arts & Letters – you can check out the photos here!
In short, Arts & Letters is awesome – they even have some products from Lavender Falls Farm such as lotions, soaps, and other lavender-scented awesomeness….another local business located right outside Springfield, Mo. Whether you are a local artist wanting to debut your pieces at an upcoming first Friday, looking for some awesome local gifts for that special someone, or would like to learn the delicate art of Henna, Arts & Letters should definitely be at the top of your to-do list. See you at small business Saturday after black Friday (of which I will be hiding from the crowds under a fort of blankets with a glass of wine and a book I’ve been dying to read)!