by Kristine Acopian
There are many things one can hold dear to our hearts. For some it’s old photographs of loved ones, for some it is repurposing antiques passed down to them, and for others it’s holding a space where all of this can come together, to become connected and wholesome in the community.
Becky Goodman, owner of The Looking Glass in Visalia, did just that. The Looking Glass is not your typical arts and craft shop. It’s a collaboration of the community, with over 60 local artists working as a Co-Op. The Looking Glass stands apart from any other store of its kind.
There is a large variety in the store; jewelry, local honey and jelly, natural skin care products, antiques, paintings/sketches, decor, ceramics, woodwork, repurposed decor, candles, and Becky’s favorite, the children’s boutique corner.
For many years Becky Goodman was in retail. She managed the World Market, Levis, and Green Goddess to name a few. She has a vast working background as a bank teller, sign language interpreter, and now the Administrator Assistant with her church. When I asked her what inspired the birth of her store, light filled her eyes with all the excitement and joy, as if the flying scene of Peter Pan was on. The adventure behind her eyes said it all. She had gone to various art shows and saw all the local talent. She wanted to build a home for all the beauty and talent she saw right in her own back yard. The potential was endless.
On July 4, 2014, The Looking Glass opened its doors to the public and quickly expanded from only 25 artists to 60. Besides coming to this ‘Treasure Island,’ Becky offers a variety of classes/workshops. Some previous classes were watercoloring workshops, jewelry making, aromatherapy, and making a felt pillow. Make sure you check out their website at www.thelookingglassvisalia.com for more information and upcoming classes. There will be monthly painting classes starting soon, so be sure to sign up, all levels are welcomed!
One of the benefits of coming to The Looking Glass, is that their works of art, collectibles, and vintage pieces are from people you may know. You are supporting people who live locally to you and there is a relationship, with that relationship comes benefits—customizing is the most popular one. What’s better than being able to design what you want and having an artist bring that to life for just you!
When you walk in you will notice how “colorful and fresh” it is says one customer. “I love the smells,” says another loyal customer. Becky is always changing things around and arranging themes around the four seasons.
I was lucky to meet one of the local artists that has his beautiful work up in the store. David Smith, a local sketcher, spends anywhere from 10-20 hours of work on just one piece of artwork. He commented on how enjoyable his experience has been working with Becky and how his pieces have sold more at The Looking Glass than any other store he has been in.
Becky loves to give freedom to the artists to make whatever they can imagine, and her talents are to provide a home for their creation. Her talent is to blend both business and creativity together. When I asked Becky how would you sum up your business? She said, “The Looking Glass reflects the hearts of artists that are passionate about the products they create and ensures quality along with consumer satisfaction to each piece. We will work collaboratively respecting each artist to promote our business as a whole.” And she does so holding a mirror; to show the beauty of the community.
The Looking Glass has their Friends and Family night coming up on October 21 and 22. Items will be discounted so be sure to stop by. You can also catch them at Taste the Arts on October 15, 2016.
While you are at it, SAVE THE DATE, Crafter’s Fair, Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Local and Handmade Art, Restored Decor, Live Music, Jewelry, and much more!!! For more information, call 559-732-2787 or visit them at 242 East Caldwell , Visalia, CA.
Make sure to stop in, you will welcomed with a warm greeting and be in awe with all the unique creations!
The Looking Glass
242 E. Caldwell Avenue
Visalia, CA 93277
Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.