Marlee’s South Division Live/Work Space

published Sep 27, 2014
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(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Name: Marlee Grace of Have Company
Location: Avenue for the Arts; Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan
Size: 1,500 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented

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Located on South Division, a street also called The Avenue for the Arts, Have Company is a shop and artist residency. Marlee Grace, Have Company’s owner and curator, is always changing the shop’s interior to accommodate new merchandise and make room for visiting artist workshops and zine readings.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Behind the shop area, artists in residence find a workspace, full kitchen, bed and bathroom. The movable curtain wall separates the living space from the retail space and allows just the right amount of soft light from the front windows into the kitchen, bedroom and studio areas.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: “Things my friends make” meets “church rummage sale” meets “family heirlooms.”

Inspiration: Most of my inspiration comes from textiles I find at estate sales. I love rummaging through an expert weaver’s old supplies and her books, in a room with her looms. There is something about being amidst the past that informs and inspires me to make my own work and do it with great care. Also, Yoko Ono’s book Acorn. I find myself a better curator and a more attentive human by reading her words.

Favorite Element: The big windows and my fiddle leaf fig tree. The light that comes through the windows and the exposed brick walls are just a few features that set this space apart. I love the fiddle leaf so much I had it tattooed on my leg!

Biggest Challenge: Sweeping, cobwebs, dust. I’m not the best cleaner… and it’s tough for me to make myself do it. One of the many challenges of being my own boss: only I can make myself clean!

What Friends Say: “It smells and feels so good in here.” And “Water your damn plants!”

Biggest Embarrassment: I’m usually embarrassed when I’m in the shop alone and watching “Law and Order” while quilting. Then someone comes in and I get up to put a record on but forget to hit pause. Then the “Law and Order” theme song comes on really loudly.

Proudest DIY: I really believe in a shift from DIY to DIT — Do It Together. If I tried to do this all myself I’d drown. I’m proud of the entire space and feel so grateful that I was able to envision it. I have talented and skilled friends who helped me make it a reality.

Biggest Indulgence: Fresh flowers and plants.

Best Advice: Begin before you’re ready.

Dream Sources: Horrocks Market and Romence Gardens. I love sourcing plants from those places, and if I had a $1,000 shopping spree, I would go NUTS!

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Resources of Note:









(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Thanks, Marlee!

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