Sunday, June 15, 2014

What is the Atelier?

I'm getting super excited about how we're going to transform our current space in a collective market. I wanted to take the time to share our vision and what the space currently looks like (in case you've never been in). If you are thinking about applying (and I hope you do), following are some FAQ's and pics of what we'll be working with:

What is the Atelier at Frenchtown? 

Atelier is the French word for "workshop"...and since we're located in the historic Frenchtown district, we thought that was an obvious choice for this new shop. A portion of the space will remain a workshop for RDFCo. and for our Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint workshops. 

The rest will be turned into a collective market featuring local artists, handmade vendors and vintage finds. We're looking to bring something new and different to this little shopping district.

The Atelier will be open the first full weekend of each month on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to coincide with other monthly local sales events in Frenchtown. We will happily open for appointments outside of the monthly sales event, in addition to special pop-up events.

What's the inspiration/vision for the Atelier?

I'm always amazed by the artistic and vintage community in St. Louis. There's a ton of small shops that sell on Etsy and local seasonal craft fairs. Or, they may have taken their business a step further and done larger markets and events. There's alot that goes into having a brick and mortar. We've made alot of changes in our lives to do it. And, we're fortunate to be able to really try and make a go of it. Now that we have some extra space, I love the idea of giving other small businesses the opportunity to sell in a bigger space and get a taste of what it's like.

Since becoming a MMSMP retailer, I've joined a group of inspiring shop owners. Two that I really admire are Abbe Doll of The Cottage Collective and Chad and Brandi Dressen of Carver Junk Company. They have created inspiring occasional shops -- if you are thinking of applying for a space at the Atelier, this is what we're aiming for!

How will my brand stand out?

We really want the Atelier to serve more as a marketplace and not like vendor booths. As much as we can, we will be blending and staging items together, creating little vignettes. We will be selecting vendors with an established brand, identity and look. You will be encouraged to have your own tags and signage.

This will also be our vendor's space. For the most part, our products will move to Main Street. We will probably have a table or two of ours, but for the most part, our product line and items will not be competing with yours. If we need some filler, we might bring stuff down as needed.

Who will be doing the staging?

Us. You. Everyone involved! We want our vendors to feel like the space is as much theirs as it is ours. We're looking to get a great group of people in who love to decorate and stage their products. I'm hoping we can all work together to make an amazing space. If that's not your thing, no worries. Your products will be blended in to create a cohesive look!

How will by brand be advertised?

Vendors will be spotlighted on our website, Facebook page and will have prominent acknowledgement in the store. We also plan on having Atelier promotion at our Main Street location. Also, the local businesses along Second Street all work together...we all carry everyone's marketing/business cards and send customers to the shops along our street.

What products are you looking for?

Since we focus on home decor at RDFCo., we'll do the same at the Atelier. However, we're also looking at bringing in smalls, like jewelry, bath products, etc. Shops currently in Frenchtown have a lot of antiques, painted furniture, and salvaged items. We want to bring in some vendors that are a bit different to compliment the other shops.

If you still have questions, feel free to email me at I also invite you to come out and take a look at the shop and chat with me. We'll be closing the application period at the end of June, so we can quickly get things ready for the first weekend in August. Click here to apply.

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