Joann Grasser is not your normal retailer. She’s an artist aiding other artists.
When she opened JJ’s Boutique and Studios in Downtown Kenosha final August she says it was as substantially to market matters she favored as it was to present studio space for these in the in the executing and visual arts.
These days the organization will keep an open up dwelling to introduce by itself to the group.
Situated at 5721 Sixth Ave., JJ’s Boutique and Studios is a multi-faceted business comprised of consignment vintage apparel and locally crafted jewelry and add-ons, dance classes and rental area for photographers and videographers.
“I’m also inviting neighborhood customers to come hire the space for crafting functions,” mentioned Grasser in a modern interview at the store/studio.
Grasser resolved to put with each other a house and studio in element because of to the affect of the pandemic on artists and the Kenosha group overall.
“People are so completed with (producing artwork) from their residences,” she explained. “This spot is also for artists who shed their spaces.”
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She named it “JJ’s Boutique and Studios” for her nickname which is Jo Jo.
Grasser’s mission to support others is reflected in her retail inventory. “Ninety p.c of the things in this retail outlet are consignment from good friends, types or other organization homeowners,” she explained.
It is also a put to recycle high-quality classic clothing on consignment. “So perhaps you’ve got your mom’s outdated outfits and you never want to just donate them. I just can’t ensure they will offer, but (sellers) will get points out of their closets.”
To accommodate the many business enterprise entities, Grasser has transformed the prolonged, slim storefront into unique parts for retail, health and resourceful arts.
The spot of the room closest to the avenue is stuffed with vintage attire, add-ons and a couple menswear products.
“My classic interval is from the 1970s and before,” she suggests. “I really like pin-up lifestyle and hippie clothing of the ‘flower power’ interval.”
Mainly because it was most not too long ago utilized as a yoga studio, the center of the space has several flooring-to-ceiling mirrors which make it a organic for dance lessons.
Mane’s Dance Academy provides a weekly slate of Hip Hop and African dance for youngsters with instructor Shar’mane Wilson-Martin. In February Wilson-Martin is giving Valentine’s Working day dance workshops this kind of as “learning to dance in heels.”
Also occupying the house is an massive wood trestle with a hammock utilised for courses in aerial yoga. The teacher, Mindi Matera, also gives workshops in “the artwork of chair dancing.”
The studio’s instructors are not staff, but impartial contractors, notes Grasser.
The final portion of the storefront is in the approach of staying established up as a studio for rental by photographers and videographers.
The storefront studio is a 1st for Grasser, but the native Kenoshan has a lot of innovative private knowledge.
The 44-year-old’s resume features practical experience in theater, pole dancing and burlesque. This weekend she carried out in the K-City Burlesque creation, “Seventh Heaven,” which ran Friday and Saturday at the Rhode Center for the Arts.
Due to the fact 2009 Grasser has worked at the Bristol Renaissance Faire as a errand runner for some of its vendors. Functioning there she honed a fascination for time period vogue and she enjoys participating in Victorian-themed get-togethers with her Ren Faire friends.
She has also been a “hobby model” participating in vogue runway shows hosted by Southeast Wisconsin Goodwill Industries.
As a design and a retailer of vintage clothes, Grasser feels she is “helping to reestablish garments standards.”
“I get pleasure from interval apparel simply because (culture) has gotten into an simplicity of dressing and we tend to be lazy about it. Matters definitely slid after leisure suits and the 1980s.”
All through Sunday’s open up property, Grasser hopes to introduce Kenosha to the possibilities of JJ’s Boutique and Studios. According to the studio’s Facebook web page, the event is also a networking party for area artists and celebration coordinators. “This is not just me. I want to enable construct a group of artists,” she said.