Biz Beat

It’s like Etsy, but with a front door. New Modesto boutique lets local artists shine

The new downtown Modesto artisan boutique Our Little Shop opened in September 2017. The small studio space has been turned into a collaborative boutique featuring about 10 area artists selling everything from paintings to ceramics and woodwork.
The new downtown Modesto artisan boutique Our Little Shop opened in September 2017. The small studio space has been turned into a collaborative boutique featuring about 10 area artists selling everything from paintings to ceramics and woodwork. mrowland@modbee.com

We’ve become accustomed to reading between the lines when it comes to descriptions.

A “cozy” house in a real estate listing means tiny. An “up-and-coming” artist means a complete unknown. And an “interesting” personality means, well, you know what it means.

So when comes to the new downtown Modesto boutique Our Little Shop, a refreshing frankness is built right into the name. The handcrafted artisan goods shop on Needham Street is indeed little. And while the 300-square-foot space is cozy — both in the literal and euphemistic sense — it is inviting thanks to all of the wonderful artwork on display. The shop was originally the studio for freelance graphic designer Jessica Ringer. But then the Modesto native got hired to work at a large area company and had to decide what to do with her former workspace.

What she and fiance Brian Schardt came up with was Our Little Shop, a collaborative retail space featuring the work of about 10 area artists.

“So we were talking about it and I asked Jessica, ‘What should we call our little shop?’ and that’s how the name was born,” Schardt said.

The store opened mid-September and has been building word-of-mouth, largely through its Facebook and Instagram pages, ever since.

Ringer’s work consists mostly of ceramic pieces and is on display and for sale alongside paintings, woodwork, jewelry, photography and more. The shop has limited hours and is only open on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Schardt, Ringer and some of the artists help to staff the shop during its business hours

“We are really focused on local work and want to have a brick-and-mortar Etsy vibe, said Jennifer Stoker, whose fiber arts work is for sale there.

If you’re able to find them when they’re open you’ll see a little treasure trove of cute, affordable one-of-a-kind items and gifts. Ceramic succulent planters, wine barrel glass holders, block-printed greeting cards and more are for sale. Prices range from as little as $2.50 to around $100.

Schardt said they hope to have expanded hours for the holiday shopping season and are working on adding a website for online ordering.

Find Our Little Shop at 310 Needham St. For more information email ourlittleshop209@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/pg/ourlittleshop209.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Modesto’s Funsport Bikes is finally ready to make the move from its McHenry Village site to its brand-new, free-standing shop at the corner of Briggsmore Avenue and Oakdale Road.

The longtime Modesto bicycle shop relocated into its new 12,000-square-foot space this week. Co-owner Brian Zahra and his partners, brothers Richard and Steve Burton, had hoped to open the new store as early as August, but delays in construction and design held the project up longer than anticipated.

The store already has been running many of its hosted weekly rides from the new building. Inside shoppers will find hundreds of bikes to choose from as well as a state-of-the-art bicycle fitting room with multiple mounted cameras to ensure the perfect on-bike fit for riders.

Find the new Funsport Bikes starting Monday at at 1533 Briggsmore Ave. or online at www.funsportbikes.com.

And finally, Central Valley folks looking for scares have plenty of haunting options this Halloween season. And now there’s one more to add to the list.

For the first time Boomer’s Modesto will host a Halloween Horror experience featuring “treats-by-day and fright-by-night.” The daytime event has family friendly fare like pumpkin decorating, hay mazes and a trick-or-treat trail. But once it gets dark. frightening fare like zombies, scarecrows and clowns emerge in three themed zones. You can walk (or run — depending on your fight or flight response) through Western, carnival and zombie-infection themed areas created in partnership with Higbee Horror Haunt.

Families can trick-or-treat from noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The nighttime haunt will run 8:30 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. General admission is $24.99 for the night haunt and includes unlimited attractions. The family event is free for children 12 and under.

For more information call 209-545-5248 or visit www.boomersparks.com/modesto.

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