INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is back fill empty shop fronts in town with local entrepreneurs for the month of May.
Be-Z-Art, 231 Virginia Avenue, is one of 11 locations with 30 different brands under this initiative. Inside, you’ll find everything from photography and paintings to unique monster masks.
Be-Z-Art is a group of local artists selected by the Chamber to showcase and sell their work.
“We try to combine art and visual art, but also fashion,” said Marc Ebinger, moderator at Be-Z-Art.
They are a diverse group with unique talents and skills.
Jessica West is a costume and apparel designer featured in the Virginia Avenue store. She can make anything of you 7 foot Chewbacca costume to an eye-catching street wear ensemble. She has been sewing for more than 25 years and was invited to design costumes with Cirque Du Soleil on one of her cruises before the pandemic postponed the season.
Photo Provided / Jess West (Instagam: @jesswestcostumes)
“Everyone always said,” Where did you get that from? “And I decided to share it with everyone and create a clothing line called ‘Gawdy’,” said West.
She has exhibited two clothing lines at Be-Z-Art, her handcrafted line of loud, eccentric pieces called “Gawdy” and her thrift store line that she is building to enable a new sustainable life is called “Twisted Thrifter”.
She says the opportunity to showcase her work in this store allows her clients to see and feel their work in ways they couldn’t otherwise, while reaching new audiences at the same time.
“It’s always nice to see people looking at things I’ve done and how they feel about it when they wear it out,” West said.
Other items in this particular location include photography, paintings, shoes, and even taxidermy jewelry.
“Designs that you can’t see anywhere else. Some things that are created locally are not a standard, real design, ”said Ebtinger.
West also values diversity, both in terms of the goods themselves and the people who produce them.
“And get a multitude of artists instead of having a pop-up where it’s just one thing,” she said.
Photo provided / StartUp317
Each of the 11 locations featured as part of this initiative will be open until the end of the month. At each location there are different entrepreneurs who offer different specialties and services.