Many consider Grand Rapids' former Sligh Furniture building a haven for vintage finds and antiques shopping. And nestled amid the collectors' finds, furniture and antiques malls is elements
, a new retail venture specializing in new home décor items, gifts and handmade art.
Owner Patrice Greene has been away from the retail world since closing her tiny gift boutique, Pepperberry, about five years ago. But the bug to get back into the world where she could gab with customers and sell her own art just wouldn't let her go. So, six months ago, Greene opened the 2,000-square-foot elements at 441 Century Ave. SW.
The store -- whose tagline is: bohemian artifacts - curious acquisitions -- is littered with humorous signs, furniture pieces, home décor, handmade pillows and wall art. Among the curious acquisitions, shoppers will also find Tokyomilk
bath products, Votivo
candles, letterpress stationery, Cavallini & Co.
papers and stationery, and jewelry.
Greene's own wall art is based on her fascination with mixed media. She also has a "thing" for collecting loving cup trophies. She creates her own brand of loving cups of German glitter glass under the name The Trophy Wife
, and sells them in the store and online through Earth Angels
"I obsessively love old loving cup trophies," Greene says with a laugh. "My personal collection comes from the '20s and '30s. My best trophy is from a 1928 typing contest and has the winners' names and their typing speeds."
Elements is offering a series of art classes on Wednesday nights. Three upcoming classes, five weeks each, will engage participants in their choice of mixed media, watercolor or found objects.
"Elements is different than anything else here," Greene says. "I'm bringing the new goods, the house accessories, the candles, the jewelry. People might find a dining table [at one of the antiques stores], and find fun chairs here, or find a great couch there and find fun pillows here."
Store hours: Weds. - Fri., 10 to 6; Sat. 10 to 5; Sun. 12 to 4.
Source: Patrice Greene, elements
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor