losing the best little art shop in K-town

31 May

I am very sad to share that the greatest little shop for vintage funk and artists creations has come to their end, and even sadder is that i see this happening to shops offering handmade goods all across the world. They make it to 5 years, and then kaput!

This shop I’m speaking of is RareFunk, and its right here in Kitchener.

RareFunk is the only shop of its kind, offering jewelry, clothing, and housewares to dolls, purses and even funky undergarments! there is nothing else of its kind in Kitchener, and nothing offering this diverse range of items in any of the surrounding cities either. most are just jewelry, or just housewares. But its closure is going to effect a lot more than just our ability to purchase funky gifts for all our loved ones. Tamara, the owner, is more than just a shop keeper. Shes a motivator of artists, encouraging all of us to be bigger and better than we think we are. She’s a promoter of art related events, enthusiastically spreading the word of local shows even though the activity has nothing to do with her shop. She built a large community around a tiny little trend, and all of these Kitchener artists – and art events – really have Tamara to thank. She is our leader — and i worry how connected we will all stay without her.

As an artist selling goods through the shop i worry about the success of my own crafting business without the help of RareFunk. She was an easy connection to my customers, and i really relied on her advice and ideas, as well as the feedback she was able to share based on my consumers opinion – “ooh this one is waaaay too much money” … “woah this one is awesome! i want SEVEN”. Easy was the key, as my little clothing line unfortunately is not my only job, leaving little time to do what it takes all by myself to become famous. I’m not saying i wont keep trying, just that now it will be more difficult, and time consuming

if you’ve read this blog before, you will know i am also the organizers of a huge earthday festival (bloomin earth) … which i fear will also suffer from the loss of this shop. Artsy folk who shop at RareFunk are the very people who attend our show and buy from our vendors. if the shop is gone, they will have no reason to come downtown. eventually they will find another favorite shop … will their connection to what used to be bring them back for all the art shows Kitchener has to offer? Have we created a tight enough community of artists and art lovers that will be able to sustain itself without its fearless leader? … or will it fizzle off until someone else steps up to the plate?

WHAT!? you’ve never heard of RareFunk?! well there’s the issue right there.

why haven’t you checked it out yet? Now, im not ordering you to do it (not really) … im actually interested in why you may not have ever entered the funky doors of the unique little shop. Were you unable to find it? Were you just not interested in buying handmade? Were you unable to travel downtown Kitchener? Or perhaps you dont buy gifts for other people (ooops that one was rather sarcastic – sorry). really though, i want to know.

You see… i too had a dream of opening a shop. but is Kitchener just the wrong place? is it inevitable that all art shops born here will die?

for the purpose of future growth, please share this post so others can share why they do or dont shop handmade in Kitchener


3 Responses to “losing the best little art shop in K-town”

  1. Ada Meyers June 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I was reading your article with interest. However I still don’t know the location where it is?
    I would like to get to know this place, but I don’t know where it is.

  2. Ted Parkinson May 31, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    I walk around downtown Kitchener all the time and like the bookstores, coffee places, boathouse, Vic park etc. There are lots of great things to do. I walked past RareFunk a few times, looked in the window and thought “why would people buy that kind of stuff”?? We are older and are trying to clear stuff out of the house, not buy more “unique” things. So that is why we never shopped there. 🙂

  3. Kate May 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    I thought they were actually going to make it. I started hearing about them at work, so I thought it if could break through there (I won’t mention where this is), then that’s a good sign! Very sad to hear.

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