On July 24, 2021 we lost our partner, husband, co-founder, cohort, collaborator. After a year of increasingly poor health, Michael Secrest succumbed to the combination of diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease. His request was to "donate his body to science" since he felt as though he had benefited from the gifts of others. There will not be a service at this time but donations can be made to any charity you desire in his name. He would like that.
We opened in 1980, attracted to the Short North by the glimmerings of an arts district. In the early years we carried our own work - Michael's paintings & Maria's candles, as well as the work of a few friends. Maria did all the store watching accompanied by store dogs Sadie & Toby (two very mellow Irish setters). These days Michael still paints (occasionally), Maria is doing more jewelry & lampworked glass beads. As the years went on we picked up more artists, from all over the country (& a small handful from Canada). Now we represent over 300 artists & artisans.
We helped start the Gallery Hop in 1984, which was an amazing tool for promoting the Short North. It got people here after dark, in great masses.
Along the way we also had two boys, who were store kids for awhile, especially Eli (who, after working as a welder for a year, is now a graduate of CCAD and making art of his own). We are on our fourth store dog, a very mixed breed dog named Sisko, who liked to attract attention by sitting in the window.
There is so creativity out there, and so many wonderful collectors of it. I miss that, and the artists, more than anything now that we have closed our brick-and-mortar location. Still, there are wonderful things evolving, especially as we enter a brave new world. Stay safe and wash your hands!
The Short North Garden District
We have called the Short North home since before it was the Short North. A lot can happen in 40 years:
In 2012 we relocated, moving from the intersection of Buttles & N. High to 1190 N. High Street, just south of 5th Avenue. This part of the Short North is called the Short North Garden District & we were excited to pioneer again!
However, after 38 years we retired from having a physical location and are now a website operated from a hill on a lake in rural Florida.
Though the years, neighborhoods have renovated, buildings have come down and even more have gone up. Fewer and fewer cool retail and galleries call the Short North home. We now have more restaurants and bars in one place than any other part of the city, but modern times may have ended that. I hope you continue to support them as much as you can.
This is the Short North. The city is Columbus. It was a wonderful thing and a wonderful time. I will miss it. But, we sure had fun while it lasted.