Cindy Blumkin, realtor, wife, mother and philanthropist and her friend, Paige Perkins, an artist and landscape designer, had been doing fundraising events together for friends who were suffering and dying of cancer. They succeeded in raising money that assisted their friends in the last months of their lives. So satisfied and humbled by their efforts, Cindy began dreaming of a way to do this on a daily basis.
Having always appreciated the hand-crafted nature of artisans works and the amazing creativity that artists bring to the world, Cindy envisioned a gallery that was warm and inviting that featured local, regional and aspiring artists and an eclectic assortment of mediums ranging from recycled art to more traditional styles, including jewelry, metal art, textiles, hand-crafted lamps and sculptures made from all recycled materials.
She imagined a kind of gallery/gift store… but with an unusual business model. The idea was to foster a very inviting art setting that would help artists promote their work and at the same time benefit community charities. Since this business model wouldn’t support salaries to start, Paige and Cindy became the first volunteers. After six months of meeting different artists, they opened the doors of Art n Soul on 101 in August 2007 in downtown Encinitas.
The store surpassed their wildest dreams! The response to the variety and selection of art and gift items was amazing, and the customers truly appreciated the philanthropic nature and community spirit of the store… including one, Kim Barthelemy.
Kim’s husband had purchased several gifts for her from the gallery and Kim became a frequent (some say #1) customer. She loved not just the art, but the whole philanthropic business model, too. She told Cindy, “If ever you would like another partner or want to change ownership, I’m IN! I’d be honored to be involved and/or carry on your vision.” And Cindy said yes.
Kim recently joined the Art n Soul team and now manages some of the day-to-day operations including marketing for the gallery. Cindy continues meeting with new artists and do community outreach. Paige is still the mastermind behind the gallery refresh implementing new layouts, displays and merchandising changes.
Art n Soul is art with heart. Please visit any time during gallery hours.Share this!