Owners George and Maria Harris opened Mid-City Artisans on Government Street with one goal in mind: “We man the store while you create.”
The idea began when the Harrises started doing craft shows and rented a vendor space in The Market at the Oasis in March 2020. By fall, they decided they wanted to look for ways to open a market more often and support other local makers.
“We wanted to open a place that would provide a six-days-a-week market, store and gallery where people can find items of quality that are locally made,” George says.
After originally looking at a space on Jefferson Highway for the concept, a space in Square 46 on Government Street became available. It was exactly what they wanted, and Mid-City Artisans opened its doors April 27.
“We love Mid City,” George says. “We live in Mid City. This was such a desirable space, and Bistro Byronz moving in next door will be a real plus for us.” (Editor’s note: So will the new Tap 65. Find out more about that project here.)
There’s something for everyone at Mid-City Artisans. The beautifully sunlit indoor space is adorned with all kinds of items for sale from 66 local creators.
Large wooden furniture, beautiful pieces of artwork, handmade dolls and even “ear”-igami, or origami earrings, make the space colorful, eclectic and inviting. Other items for sale include body care products, candles, metal works, ceramics, pottery, handmade baby clothes, handbags, and artwork using mediums like resin, watercolor, acrylic, oil and charcoal.
Some of the large and unique wooden furniture was crafted by George himself.
The Harrises are proud to say that Mid-City Artisans is 75 percent woman-owned vendors. They also say they are dedicated to everything about the market being fair for the artisans and the buyers.
“We want our merchandise to be known as right-priced,” George says. “It has whatever value is appropriate for the individual items. We want the artisans to also get their fair price.”
And the market is not just for selling work. The Harrises and their team are currently trying to secure more space at Square 46 to add a training room for classes taught by local makers.
“We want to provide quality services with our training programs and our ‘Meet the Artisans’ events,” George says.
These events will tentatively start May 14. Mid-City Artisans will bring in two makers a week who will stay for 2-3 hours to work on their pieces or just be there to answer questions about the work.
The Harrises are also launching a digital component, called a “visualization station,” to help customers see if a piece is right for their home. Customers can email a photo of the inside of their house and staff will digitally add the piece of furniture they are considering to see what it might look like in the space. Eventually customers will be able to do it themselves on Mid-City Artisans’ website.
Customers can also scan the QR codes located on various pieces at the market to see the artist’s bio and view other works by the artist, Maria says.
Mid-City Artisans is now open, with a grand opening weekend planned for Friday-Sunday, April 30-May 2. It’s located at 516 Moore St. You can find more information on its website or on Facebook.