Living Edge Handcrafted Furnishings & Robert Lowdon Gallery
- 333 St. Mary Ave
- (204) 229-2332 - Living Edge / (204) 799-8774 - Robert Lowdon Gallery
Living Edge Handcrafted Furnishings and Robert Lowdon Gallery sampled operating a downtown shop together through CentreVenture Development Corporation’s Pop Up Shop Hop (PUSH) program, and never looked back.
Previously unknown to each other, the two made fast friends and the business arrangement evolved into cohabiting a permanent space in Cityplace.
“We decided to make it more like a gallery and really bring people in,” describes Ryan Henderson, owner of Living Edge, of the new shop. “We’re also hosting a lot of events as well.
“It’s really accessible to anyone to come check out the artwork.”
Extending the exposure to other artists, and adding more products to the shop, has proven a winning strategy.
“People really enjoy the idea that it’s all local – it’s sort of a one-stop shop.
“It’s not the ordinary thing that you’d see in a mall.”
In addition to being a showroom for Living Edge’s handcrafted furniture and Lowdon’s photography, the store features stainless steel and bronze sculptures, stained glass, ceramics, jewelry and even crocheted sweaters – all made by local artists. The duo plans to use its space for hosting paint nights, photography workshops led by Lowdon, and craft-making courses.
Lowdon and Henderson first clicked through their shared business philosophies – “we’re super like-minded, it’s kind of the perfect fit,” says Henderson – including an environmentally conscious approach to their work.
Henderson’s furnishings are rooted in reclaimed material – quite often sparing wood from the landfill. He works with natural shapes and flaws, making something original out of each piece that complements its bones.
Lowdon’s photography is worldly and landscape-based, documenting his travels and stunning natural sights. Internationally published, Lowdon says, “I’ve basically photographed most of North America in the past few years.
“I always kind of wanted my own gallery,” adds Lowdon. “(The pop-up) was an easy way to assess the risk without going bankrupt.”
After finding a brick-and-mortar space viable, the two has also found a rhythm working together, occasionally doubling as employees for one another – though they see the benefits of buying directly from each artist.
“Having us in the store is very value-added for the customer, to feel comfortable with us to purchase a large ticket item,” says Henderson. “I myself would never buy furniture online. It’s tactile. You want to be there and see it and touch it.”
Meeting clients from their downtown base has also proven easy – and the walk-up traffic is instrumental.
“There’s so much traffic flow through this mall,” says Henderson.
“We’re always working on improving every day and getting more people in. We want (to have) a little bit of everything.”
Living Edge Handcrafted Furnishings & Robert Lowdon Gallery is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Cityplace.