‘My artists are my family,’ says Carson City gallery owner
Artsy Fartsy gallery owner Jeffery Pace prepared gift boxes last week for artist Denise Jenkins’ silver earrings, specially created with unique stones, fashioned and provided to him.
The Minden resident’s craftsmanship, like so many others, could fare well in larger markets on the East Coast or even internationally, Pace says, but she comes to Pace because she believes in his gallery and in Carson City’s family-friendly community.
“My artists are my family,” he said. “We all have the same outlook. None of us are going to retire and be billionaires.”
Pace, one of a collective assortment of members belonging to Carson City’s Downtown Business Association, is preparing for Saturday’s Small Business Saturday event, an effort to encourage local residents to “shop small.”
“We love this community for a reason: supporting small businesses,” he said.
Small Business Saturday always falls after Thanksgiving and was begun by American Express in 2010 to draw support for local business owners. Consumers have generated more than $103 billion from the decade’s worth of Small Business Saturday events, according to the Nevada Small Business Development Center.
Pace said Small Business Saturday, like his neighbors are preparing for this week, is a chance to offer specials and prizes and to welcome new and familiar faces into his door at 405 N. Nevada St. Early in Small Business Saturday’s history, Artsy Fartsy would compete in an annual national competition against other small businesses and it always placed in the top 10. While in recent years, Pace said he no longer enters, it remains important to participate in the event to remind local consumers that smaller shops offer something big box stores can’t.
The Retail Association of Nevada predicts a stronger Thanksgiving shopping weekend this year, which incorporates Black Friday and Cyber Monday. An expected 1.65 million Nevadans will take part in the weekend, and while the busiest shopping day will be Black Friday, Small Business Saturday should see about 40 percent of shoppers taking part in the day’s offerings.
Pace said his own sales in 2019 were down despite others saying it was a positive year but noted what’s on his wall ranges based on consumer interest.
“Artwork is so incredibly personal,” Pace said.
But how certain pieces sell even on a daily basis is part of the enjoyment he has in running his own business, he said. While there is freedom, the public is his boss, he explained.
“You feel the energy of it; something will resonate with you,” he said. “Some people will think, ‘I don’t want a huge bird in my house,’ but that certain piece talks to you.”
And as far as what motivates him, Pace said, other than paying the bills like anyone else, it’s his own family, including the artists whose work he signs or displays in the gallery.
“Artists go through a hard time, and we make it a little bit easier for them,” he said. “It inspires me that these artists allow me to be their voice. That, I think, is beautiful. And I know each and every one of them.”