Really....What is 52RHODA?
A “soft launch” of our bright new ecommerce star www.52RHODA.com, provided feedback from selected viewers that raised some very interesting but obvious questions. We had overlooked these questions as old news after working on 52RHODA for well over a year. We thought everyone knew the tune, but some didn’t and perhaps some of you don’t either. So for those who may ask:
- Why 52RHODA is named 52RHODA?
- What does the rectangle at the top of each page signify?
- How did 52RHODA become a site celebrating the arts?
- What will I find at 52RHODA?
- Why is 52RHODA a horse of a different color?
Why 52RHODA is named 52RHODA
That's me making a funny face, next is my sister, Nancy and then our mom. We're in front of our home at 52 Rhoda Avenue. See the shadow or our dad?
Actually, 52RHODA is a street address. It is the address where my family lived for more than four decades. At an early age, I became intrigued with the excitement and glamour of stores and often secretly rode my bike to nearby Styertowne Shopping Center. Ironically opened in 1952, Styertowne was one of the first strip malls in New Jersey. In 1952 the neighborhood girls played with dolls and the boys played war: I played store in my father’s garage. I gathered items from here and there, my mother’s old straw Easter hat, sister’s pop-it beads, dad’s collection of fat ties, a game or two and lots of other treasures. Somehow, this playful beginning patterned my lifelong career in the retail and later store design industry.
Here I am with my prize getaway vehicle, a rose and a cute dog in front of the stoop at 52 Rhoda Ave
ZZZAPPPP....hit the fast forward button, it’s now 2015, and I find myself in the golden warm September of my years wondering: what next?
The future of the brick and mortar store is getting darker while ecommerce sales grow yearly. I watched this trending popularity and wondered if ecommerce might be my next step. Engaging in a start up without any experience at all, seemed ludicrous at the time, but try as I might, I could not get the notion out of my head. The more I thought about ecommerce, the more it seemed logical. Was cyberspace not just another format for selling? More than a year and a half later, a new website came to fruition. Now I see it as full circle. Beginning with a playful garage store at 52 Rhoda Avenue in 1952, the new ecommerce website had to be nostalgically named 52RHODA.
What does that funny rectangle (our logo) at the top of each page signify?
It all goes back to the store in the garage at 52 Rhoda Avenue. My favorite possession was a classy black velvet stuffed elephant given to me by my aunt who lived in the UK. The fact that the toy elephant was from what was to me in the 1950’s, another world, made him more special than any other toy. Elephant became my first customer at the garage store and had a prominent seat near the cash register high on top of the soda box counter. A romantic at heart, and although elephant has long gone the way of vintage stuffed animals, he had to play a part in the cyberspace store. Now at 52RHODA.com, elephant is watching from the header of every page, brilliantly made over by Creative Design Consultant, Grason Ratowsky. When you look at the rectangular logo, do you see the elephant head and eye? The trunk? And the legs...only 3, that took on artists tools in lieu of legs? Our logo is another nostalgic reminiscence of those wonder years gone by.
The tagline below the logo proudly states “creativity. curated.” The website’s mission is to highlight creativity. 52RHODA features the creativity of talented artists and their unique art and wares. 52RHODA also celebrates the creativity of the many contributors whose work embellishes the texture and format of the website. 52RHODA is a curated ecommerce platform. All art items for sale at 52RHODA are expertly and professionally chosen or curated and are of the highest merit and quality.
Tribal Warrior I - A Fine Art Print by Jane Shepherd Braley
How did 52RHODA become a site dedicated to artistry?
Good question. Now that the notion for an ecommerce website was embedded in my mind, a little voice was saying: Great, and just WHAT will be featured on this website? That was a puzzle I pondered for some time. I did not have a clue what this site would or should offer. One evening, I was gazing blankly and without thought at a colorful fine art print on my living room wall. It’s funny how that print would bring me some sort of peace. I enjoy its beauty and never tire of it. It was not at that exact moment, but somewhere down the line that featuring talented artists began to emerge as a vision. The seed now planted, grew and grew and bloomed from that meager beginning. As time passed, 52RHODA would evolve in several cycles to become a haven to highlight local artists and artisans. Its mission would be to shine a beacon or spotlight on the creativity of art, artists and the artist’s dedication to their craft. 52RHODA would offer curated beautiful original, exclusive art – one of a kind objects and handmade artisanal treasures always of the highest quality. 52RHODA would include art, photographs, stories and tidbits that would uplift, excite and interest all discerning visitors. It would be a website for pure enjoyment.
Ian Ratowsky, Mixed-Media Artist flips paint brushes in his Longmont, CO studio
What will be found on the pages within 52RHODA?
The home or landing page of 52RHODA opens with scrolling images of five local Colorado artists professionally photographed in their studio. These artists include a mixed-media artist, a hand built sculpture and clay artist, a fine art printmaker, a multi-media artist and a wood fired clay potter. Click on one of the scrolling images or on one of the artist’s portrait pictures below to read interesting, professionally written biographical short clips about the artist and how their talent developed.
Later as the viewer navigates the site, there are fact filled interesting descriptions of how the artist made their art. Do you know how a hand built pottery bowl is sculpted? Have you ever wondered what technique creates a fine art solar print? What is the process used by the wood fired kiln potter? And more.....all within the pages of 52RHODA.
You will also find the necessary details about each piece of art on the product pages. On some product pages read interesting stories and find links to Colorado history or local little known trivia.
There are images of artists and wall art and clay art that are inspiring and enjoyable.
Don’t forget to meet our professional creative’s who contributed their own art in the form of photography, design consultation and written word on the drop down menu item “Our Contributors”.
Of course, you will find our full mission statement, contact information, more about 52Rhoda and our Founder (that’s me).
And lastly but by no means least, peruse the 82 beautiful art items and handmade one of kind treasures that you can exclusively own!
Azucar - An Innocence, A Sweetness - Mixed Media by Ian Ratowsky
Why is 52RHODA really a horse of a different color?
All art items for sale at 52RHODA are in stock and ready to ship. We provide a “peace of mind shipping” policy for wall art and have partnered with a nationally known art gallery shipping company. For clay art items we ship securely with FedEx. Many other art ecommerce websites do not have items in stock but rather are artist stock and defer the shipping to the artist.
Our artists are invited to be a part of 52RHODA and not all make the cut. We look for artisans that offer the highest quality products. We seek those with imagination, a flare for originality, and design sensibility.
Each item for sale at 52RHODA was selected in person, in collaboration with the artist. We guarantee the authenticity and exclusivity of each piece. Each item is truly the one and only: only ours, only yours.
52RHODA is a transparent, owner operated website and a real person can be reached by phone or email.
We have specifically designed the site to be user friendly – it’s easy to navigate!
And finally, rest assured when you make a purchase at 52RHODA, our payment system is secured and encrypted through Shopify.com. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and Diners Club PLUS Apple Pay, Amazon Pay and Chase QuickPay.
We welcome you to join us!
52RHODA Executive Director and Founder