A sense of support in artist’s store

May 22, 2022 BY

Pop in: Kelsie White’s new shop has a studio space where she, and other artists, are leading workshops. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

IN the last two years, Kelsie White turned to creativity as an outlet, illustrating and painting with watercolours, and then selling products online.

But she knew the experience of running an online store was not quite the same as if she had her own shopfront.

“I was really missing that face-to-face interaction. I’d post pieces on social media, but never got to see how people truly reacted to my work,” she said.

White decided to find a space where she could set up her own little shop with a studio area for workshops and was attracted to Ballarat East community hub Barkly Square.

There, she found a free “hole-in-the wall” space over the hallway from A Pot of Courage Café, and an opportunity to fill a gap where there were no other exclusively arts-focused tenants.

In her new light, bright and vibrant store, White sells her own lines of “happy and colourful” cards, prints, fashion and textile pieces, and a small selection of art supplies.

“All my products from online are here in person, and I’m planning lots of exciting collaborations in the future,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome to pop in. They might see a workshop in progress, or I’ll be in here painting and can answer any questions.

“I’m planning to have the artwork of other regional creatives in here, and complement the café and BRMC, which celebrate the work of creatives and makers as well.”

Half of the space is a dedicated workshop area where both White and other Ballarat artists can share their skills with small groups of people.

“I feel I’ve created a hub for artists to come together, teach what they love, or just meet, hang out, and chat. My driving force here is to add to the sense of support and community.

“Being a creative can be such a solitary act, so I wanted to add another space where creatives can come together comfortably in any way and share a space,” she said.

Kelsie White Designs is open at Barkly Square on Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm to 5pm.