Tell us about 517521.
We are an indie department store that sells a vast array of new, vintage, and artist-made goods. We are on the first floor of the old G.C. Murphy building in Bellevue, Pa. We are hoping to open the basement (which used to contain the pet and toy departments) theatre/lounge in a few months.
EJ and myself (Lz) saw a vague ad on Craigslist; a week later we had ourselves a huge store and a whole lot of work to do. Andy started the store, then moved to Arkansas. Sam is just insane, but in the best possible way, and he helps us stay optimistic. This is the space of my dreams and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to try and make it work.
Eclectic. There are so many different things here, it is impossible to take it all in at once, but most people fall in love the minute they walk through the door.
What do you think your greatest challenges will be?
Raising funds to restore and improve our fabulous old building and keeping this huge space clean!
You'll be selling lots of artist-produced items. What items are you most excited about?
LemonCadet's yeti panties are incredibly cute and come with tiny plastic yeti combs! I'm also expecting lots of paintings and photography, as well as a ton of gorgeous handmade jewelry (including my own!) I'd love to get more handmade clothing ASAP.
It sounds like a very creative space. What else is going on in the building and the neighborhood that you find interesting?
The Creative Treehouse on the second floor of the 517521 building is a shared studio space with a darkroom, photo studio, spaces for client meetings, and so much more. It is a fantastic space with huge windows and wood floors (I can hear someone up there right now, probably doing something cool.) For a very reasonable monthly rent, artists get their own key which allows them 24-hour access to the Treehouse. They have their Open House on June 30, and I am really looking forward to working with them for future events.
Down the street, there is a great hot dog shop called Frankfurter's, a super swank restaurant called Vivo, and the best neighborhood coffee shop ever, Affogato (be sure to stop by for their Sunday pancake buffet!) The friendly, walkable neighborhood of Bellevue has lots of other great shops and restaurants, but if you're looking to booze it up, you'll have to bring your own: the church-going founders of the town made it so there are no noisy bars to add traffic and crime, but many establishments have BYOB nights, so you always have exactly what you want to drink.
If you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, please stop in and say hi! Call 412.223.2552 to check store hours. If you are interested in consignment - handmade or vintage - email me at mmmmLz@gmail.com :)