Delta Workshop is one of my go-to shops whenever a birthday, baby shower or other celebratory occasion is on the horizon. Owner Bridget Lewis keeps her shop stocked with an assortment of clever cards, artisan jewelry and other gift-worthy goodies made by creatives from Sacramento and beyond. In addition to offering up a thoughtfully curated collection of goods, Delta Workshop also acts as a learning space (with rotating creative classes—think papermaking, knitting, letterpress) and an art gallery (featuring local artists). Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the shop, and I made sure to stop in to congratulate Bridget, do a little shopping and, of course, sample some birthday cake.
For a list of upcoming workshops or to do a little online shopping, visit Delta Workshop online here. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Visit the brick-and-mortar store at 2598 21st Street, Sacramento, CA. Hours are Wed-Sat 11a-6p, Sun 11a-4p, and by appointment.
How did Delta Workshop come to be?
The concept for Delta Workshop started as a brick & mortar Etsy. I loved browsing for and buying handmade items, but missed seeing them in person. The only outlets for that type of work were either online or once-every-few-months craft fairs. I wanted Delta to bring the best of both of those worlds together—you can see handmade items in person, and they’re available when you want them.
Both the gallery and classroom gallery grew out of that initial concept. My background is in fine art, and I want to provide gallery space where artists can show their work and try new ideas, especially emerging artists. The classroom is a natural fit because looking at artwork in the shop and gallery can be really inspiring, and classes can provide an entry-point into artwork as well. And they’re fun.
Sometimes, there is some crossover among the gallery, shop, and classroom. I’ve had artists show work in the gallery and sell things in the shop, and even teach classes. I’ve had at least one student from a class sell work in my shop after taking the class. I Iove it when it all collides.
What’s your favorite aspect of running your own business?
I love it when people discover something new and get creatively inspired. Spreading creative energy is definitely my calling in life.
You’re two years in, anything you would do differently?
Hm, I definitely have made mistakes and learned some things the hard way, but I think I needed to make them because I learned some important lessons. I think it’s safe to say I’m glad to be past the first 2 years 🙂
How would you describe Delta Workshop’s aesthetic?
How do you select the artists/creatives that you curate in your shop?
I look for work that is high quality, made by a person, unique and beautiful. I try to include as many Sacramento and California artists as I can and I’m always on the lookout for something I haven’t seen before. I am always browsing online and try to go to as many craft fairs as I can.
Though, at the end of the day, I let my own taste drive my selections. I know that this might be limiting, but I think it’s important for a space to have a style, for people to know what to expect when they come in.
What about the workshops you host? How do you choose them?
I’m always accepting proposals for workshops based on modern interpretations of traditional techniques, whether it be screen printing, photography, letterpress, or tufa planters (coming up in August!). I’ve also hosted some professional development workshops for creatives, taught by Kate Farrall, and that has been really rewarding.
What is currently in your store that you just had to have in your own home?
Ha, I have no willpower, I end up buying something from just about every artist whose work I have in the shop! My house is like Delta Workshop II.
What stores do you shop at?
I’m currently in a big knitting phase, and I recently discovered Babetta’s Yarn, a great find. For handmade goods, I always like visiting The Artery in Davis. I need to get down to the shops at the new WAL complex—I haven’t made it over there yet, but I’m so excited about that new space and new stores, like Kicksville Vinyl and Vintage and Old Gold.
In Truckee, I always make a point of stopping by Bespoke. In San Francisco, I love Gravel and Gold and Little Paper Planes, and in LA, I love Reform School.