The original article which accompanied my interview with Paula was lost in an unfortunate technical mishap. The article featured The Knack Shack which was located in the former carriageway beside the Royal Tavern in Kingston Ontario. It was a magnificent little shop which featured several intriguing works of art and curios made by both Paula herself and many local artists and makers from Kingston.
If you haven’t met Paula – chances are you’ve seen her perform at any given open-mic event here in #ygk. Her mission with The Knack Shack was to offer a store which exclusively featured locally made jewelry and artwork. Sadly, she had to make the difficult decision to close the store in July – shortly after this article was originally published.
What follows, is my interview with Paula – followed by some surviving pictures of the store and it’s beautiful interior.
What first captivated you with respect to art and creativity?
I’ve always loved the freedom that comes with creating something. That, and the fact that one artistic piece, whatever the medium, can cause a completely different reaction to scores of individuals.
What first inspired you to create this store?
I was given a unique opportunity by Jackie Jamieson, owner of Jac’s One of a Kind at the time (the shop that is now The Knack Shack), to take over the space as she wanted someone who was willing to continue using the space at 342 Princess as an artisan-friendly shop. The spirit of the former owners remains…I’ve just added more artists!
How many local artists and makers contribute to the Knack Shack’s products?
The Knack Shack currently has 15 local artisans selling their own particular work including pottery, jewelry, metal and wood, stained glass, poetry, music, mixed media art, paintings, textile, home decor, and various knick knacks.
What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
The most rewarding part of running The Knack Shack is giving local artists a place to showcase and sell their work. Kingston is blessed with a bevy of artisans and I’m grateful to be able to share that with you all. It’s also pretty awesome to have the freedom to create every day in my business and the architecture of this historic building makes for great inspiration as it was originally the carriageway through which Sir John A. MacDonald himself would have trotted his horse to the rear courtyard of the building which he owned for a time.
On the flip side, what is one of the bigger challenges you face as a new business owner?
One of the bigger challenges as a new business owner is getting our name out there. Luckily, The Knack Shack is getting a lot of love through social media like Facebook (www.facebook.com/theknackshack), Twitter (@shesgottheknack) and through our website.
Click any image to enlarge / browse.