We’ve moved!—Parliament the Boutique has moved to a new space, and it is only a couple doors down from our original space. Over the past couple of years Parliament has been growing continuously, starting as a small studio + shop, growing into two spaces, and now coming back together again under one roof. We entered 2016 abrim with the possibilities, but not sure of what was next. A new store? A different studio? We greatly felt the need to streamline and simplify, but were uncertain to do so. When a space we only dreamed of having opened up, on the Avenue for the Arts and within our community, we knew we had found the opportunity. In August, we made the choice to move both store and studio back under one roof, like the original Parliament, but way bigger and better than ever before! We knew it would be a long road and transition over the next 6 months and into the New Year, but we also knew it would be oh-so worth it.
We want the new Parliament to mean something more, going beyond the products sold, we want to connect with the community of Division Street and the greater Grand Rapids area. We want to bring the craft and artistic aspects of our goods to life; every customer will now be able to understand how the finished products they purchase go from raw materials to works of art. Our old space was challenging in this regard; our audience could only shop the product, and everything was made off-site in a different space. Our bright new space will offer a comfortable environment for our visitors to both shop and learn, all under one cozy roof.
If seeing is not believing for you, why not take a step closer? We will be introducing community workshops starting in March; workshops will be taught by Parliament founders and other community makers + artisans, and you will have the chance to create under a teacher’s instruction, within our space. We are so thrilled to add this aspect to our business, and are excited to bring the participatory experience of creating an object full circle, for our audience. Throughout the year there will be a number of different workshops for the community to participate in, including basic leathercraft, natural dyeing, and a DIY clothing series in May- we are so excited!
Our goal for the new year, and new space, is to make Parliament a cultural destination. We want people from near and far to be curious as to what we are, not just what we can sell. We want them to experience the magic that goes into our craft. We are no longer just a place to buy hand-crafted and unique products, but a place that the community can come together and explore the process of crafting the beautiful objects that fill our daily lives.
We are looking forward to what 2017 has in store for Parliament, and are excited to welcome you to join us in this journey. Parliament has always been a crossroads for makers and their community; we are blessed to continue being that place, and look forward to all the new ways to deepen this space for everyone’s enjoyment. We want to thank the community for the endless support and we are excited to share our new home with you!
We hope to see you are our Grand Reopening on February 3rd, 2017 at 5pm. You can find more information on this event on our Facebook page.