We had the good fortune of connecting with Karyn & Tanya Mielke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karyn & Tanya, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Definitely the decision to not go it alone. Although we are the sole owners, we have created a meaningful community with our 30 plus vendors. Although we are not a co-op, we are collaborative. We not only appreciate, but depend on our vendor family to help us make the shop what it is. Nearly every day we hear about how “well curated” the shop is. Our response is always to give a huge “thanks so much!” and to give credit to all of the people that make it so. We quite literally could not do it alone.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Although the D&R dream began with our own art & craft aspirations, it quickly turned into organizing and collecting other creatives and makers. We still love to get creative doing things like making jewelry, refurbishing furniture, painting, crafting, sewing, building, and drinking wine around the witching hour, but most of our time is currently spent fine tuning our vibe and growing our brand. We think what set’s us apart is the great variety of styles and personalities that we surround ourselves with. When somebody new to the shop walks in, we describe the shop like this: “We are a collection of over 30 artists, makers, collectors, and up-cyclers, We have a little bit of EVERYTHING!” And we truly believe it. From furniture and home décor, to local art and jewelry, clothing, collectibles, gifts, cards, vintage, modern and everything in between. We specifically curate the shop to fit in to the Northern Colorado Vibe, but stand out amongst the standard gift shops. We pride ourselves in helping people find a perfect gift for a friend or their next favorite piece of furniture, but what we are most excited about right now is expanding from our current retail space into a new location with room to grow. We have always wanted to have artist studio and class room space. We love selling local art, but we want to be able to introduce the community to some of the amazing makers that reside in Northern Colorado.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Northern Colorado is such an awesome place to visit. We have so many things to offer any visitor. Let’s say it’s summer because we LOVE fun in the sun! We’d love to take our friend to Turtle Mountain Fermentery for some Kombucha. Next we could do a little tubing down the Poudre River getting out at Lee Martinez Park. There’s a little farm there to take the kids if you find yourself entertaining little ones. If good food is important to our guest I’d take them to Blue Agave on Oak St. The Fish Tacos are amazing and the margaritas are strong. There’s a splash pad there so the kids can play while you relax on the outdoor patio. When downtown we love to shop at Maker Folk inside Bean Cycle on College Ave. It’s a small space filled with creatives and you can get a good cup of coffee. We love to shop so we would wrap up the visit with some shopping down on antique row or at the new Hometown shops in Centerra.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to give a HUGE shoutout to all of our vendors. And instead of leaving it at that, we want to tell you who they are. (In alphabetical order…just to be impartial…cuz we love them all). 12 Stones Art & Design, Anise Designs, Archaic Objects, Black Bear Art & Vintage, Blue Daisy Stray Dog, Bryan Clark Photography, CeeCee’s Closet, Colorado Kitty Clay, Copper and the Bee, Cu29 Creations, Elena Johnson Art, Far from the Sea, Fifth Essence Jewelry, FoCoasters, Francesca, Harmony Bazaar, H.O.P.E., JOY Designs, Judy, Lilith’s Daughters’ Altar, Michie Bee, Mountain Botanics Soap, Mountain Girl Macrame, Peace Crane Creations, Playhouse FoCo Vintage, Red Bird Naturals, RemDog Designs, Rockhound Mercantile, Rust Pottery, Rust Vintage Marketplace, Sarah E. Bott Art, Savoni, S.K.Y. Leather Designs, Sunflower Market, Southpaw Salvage, and Thru the Paintbrush. These are just the vendors are currently with us! We also owe big shout outs to all of our past vendors, guest vendors, musicians, and bakers that have joined us in the shop or at our markets. What an amazing D&R family we have! Please look all of these amazing people up if you have the chance!