Family-Owned Art and Soul Lands in Downtown Valdosta
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
Moving downtown in July marked a turning point for family-owned Art and Soul, a furniture, art and design store that offers original, local and often repurposed artwork. The business opened in September 2013 in warehouse space but then 10 months later, moved into a 114-year-old building on Central Avenue purchased by the owners.
“Being downtown expanded our business and our customer base so much,” said Angela Crance who owns the business along with her husband and children.
“I really didn’t know how many art galleries are downtown along with the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. I look at it as an art hub and I think it draws more people to the area who are looking for original, unique stores.”
According to Crance, half of Art and Soul’s sales come from traffic off the interstate. Visitors from all over the country come to downtown Valdosta looking for a unique dining and shopping experience.
“It is such a release coming to downtown. I had no idea. Everyone is crazy and creative,” Crance said.
Located at 115 Central Ave., Art and Soul is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A family affair
Opening and running Art and Soul has truly been a family affair. Crance does original paintings often on repurposed wood. Her husband makes custom furniture. Her daughter is also a painter and does buying for the store. Her son, who works for the Small Business Administration, is handling the business-side of the store.
“When we retire from our careers, my husband and I wanted to open a business that used our God-given talents. We decided to do it now to get a head start on it,” Crance said.
“It’s been such a great release for us, so much fun. The nicest thing I’ve heard from a customer is ‘this store just makes me happy.’ It’s been so rewarding,” Crance said.
Crance has many plans to expand their offerings when they have more time after retirement. Her ideas include greeting cards and t-shirts with her paintings, and she’d also like to sell paintings and other original work to stores outside of Valdosta.
“Right now, the store is keeping us major busy,” she said.
Classes and community
Art and Soul offers classes on a regular schedule and on request. Classes include children’s art classes, birthday parties and wine and paint parties for adults. Business has largely come from word of mouth.
Art and Soul is also involved with the local community, providing classes and art work to help nonprofits raise money. According to Crance, the family is committed to supporting local charities through Art and Soul.
“We’ve had a lot of requests for support from nonprofits and we haven’t turned one down. We truly believe in it,” Crance said.
More information on Art and Soul is available at http://www.artandsoulvaldosta.com.