Quality art on First Street

Quality art on First Street
written by Barbara Lawlor

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It’s the first thing that people say when they enter the Handcrafted Shop on First Street. “Wow, this is classy.” The room they have entered has an eclectic display of quality handcrafted items spotlighted in counters and antique hutches that are, in themselves, a work of art.
This is the reaction that Kelly Delia was hoping for. When she opened her shop before Christmas, she planned on it being a high quality fine craft shop that could be the first of  a series of similar shops in Colorado.
Delia moved into the former One Brown Mouse shop next to the First Street Pub and Grill and for the past couple of months, she has listened to her customers and gradually built up her inventory to include a wide variety of  work from local artists and craftspeople.
It is just the beginning for Delia. She grew up in the Washington D.C. area where she worked in the corporate world for 15 years. Ten years ago she retired as an executive assistant and moved to Nederland. She and her husband had met back East and dated long distance. After six months, she headed West to where Ian Gillespie, a graphic artist,  lived.
Delia took a year off, getting to know the area and the people and then went to work for a natural products company. She then became business partners with Tom and Katrina Harms, owners of Dog House Video, who moved into the former Off Her Rocker building.
“I got to know local entrepreneurs and talked to New Hope Naturals and joined them to start Dandelion, which was mostly a consignment model. There were three businesses: the video store, the mountain gear store and the consignment store. But there wasn’t enough business to support all of us.”
Tom and Katrina decided to continue Dandelion in their business, and in December of last your, Delia opened the shop across the street.  She plans to support local artists and craftspeople with a goal of benefitting local Colorado economy.”
Delia hopes that if someone sees something they love for their house, it will be an opportunity to get an artist’s work known. Having one’s work on display is a good advertisement of the artist.
Handmade soaps and candles. Specialty food items by MMLocal, popular reload jewelry made of bullet casings and crystals. One of a kind gifts. She says she found MMLocal products at the Boulder Farmer’s Market and was so impressed with the quality, she wanted the products in her shop.The are local and organic and support our farmers.
Delia says the Ned shop is her first location. “I am looking to expand to two or three shops, but I’m not sure where, maybe DIA or Breckenridge. We’ll just see how this goes.”
With the past few months being part of a soft opening, Delia says he is gearing up before the summer tourist season begins, while she continues to get a feel for what people want to see in her shop.
She will be open every day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Mondays.
Delia says she adding new artists to the inventory all the time and invites locals to come check out the shop.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.