by: Daniela Sol
In Marcelle’s Coop, inspiration is seen throughout the walls of studio #15 in Brookland’s Arts Walk. A big metal sign illuminates one of the store’s main walls with the message “create” as an array of pennant pillows that the artist calls the “American Road Trip” fills the wall too. The pillows are decorated with vintage flags from teams of different US cities and are handmade by the owner of the store, Marcelle Fozard. On the opposite wall, different scented soy candles make the place smell like vanilla and lavender. Baskets filled with pillows shaped like chickens are also found in this tiny eclectic paradise. Jewelry is also sold in the store; from rings to necklaces made with buttons, or sea shells, or anything a women artist in DC imagines to create next.
The Arts Walk has enabled a sense of community where people with the intention to buy locally and support local artists gather around to enjoy their common interests. It has given artists like Fozard the ability to pursue their passions and most importantly, “make their stuff”. At Brookland’s Art Walk unique pieces are crafted with love and care. It has become a place where artists can create and sell their work, promoting local talent and the selling of local goods. Fozard with her store exemplifies this idea to buy, support and create locally handmade things.
“I love the people, the positive feedback that we get, the opportunity to try. It is very important when you have a job that you love that you can try,” Fozard said.
Fozard does show initiative and passion, making her an excellent fit for the Arts Walk. What’s unique about Fozard’s coop is that everything in her store is made by local women artists. It’s a space that in a sense is literally a coop, filled with all her chicken pillows.
“We promote all women artists. Our youngest women artist is in second grade, Frida.” Fozard said.
Frida’s designs include hair clips decorated with sea shells and she’s currently working with Fozard to create a jewelry box. Fozard’s space in the Arts Walk has enabled artists like Frida, a second grader, to have the ability to expose and sell her pieces.
The walls of the artist’s studio are also filled with fabrics of all sorts and colors and a variety of tools to work such as her sewing machine where she creates her most sold item, the American Road Trip pennant pillows. All over the table where the artist works there are lots of needles, thick and thin. With vintage flags from cities all over the US, Fozard creates comfy, emblematical pillows. For her, the ability to transform a vintage, old object into a useful, practical thing is what makes these pillows so special.
“I love making them. I love giving new life to these old vintage objects and creating a sense of space,” Fozard said.
For Fozard having the opportunity to open her own store is a dream and Brookland’s Arts Walk gave to opportunity to work on what she loves. It’s always been a passion of hers to create and to have the opportunity to actually make a career from it has been an incredible experience for her.
“I’ve always loved to make stuff,” Fozard said. “This has been an opportunity to just do that and go with it and have fun with it.”