The Store on the Corner opened its doors in a section of San Diego known as the "Old Town" area in May, 2000. A beautiful section full of Spanish Style architecture, bougainvilleas, and artistic talents.
I opened the store in this location because I loved the area and my customers were familiar with seeing me there when I exhibited with the Bazaar del Mundo's Fabric Fantasies Festival. It was wonderfully familiar and personal, and my daughter worked here with me for many years.
The location was small, 11' x 17', and I packed it full of exquisite ribbons, vintage and new glass buttons, interesting trims, and a large array of embroidery supplies. I had as much fun ordering as I did displaying all of the treasures.
All of my displays were antique or shabby chic furniture that I found at local thrift stores. I did this not only because if fit within my budget but conservation came to mind as well. I recycled all kinds of things from the jars and cup cake tins that the buttons and trinkets were displayed in, to the cardboard tubes I created into ribbon holders.
I created the bulk of my classes and patterns at this time in many areas and techniques including: traditional and silk ribbon embroidery; machine piecing and quilting; bead embroidery; beaded jewelry stitches; ribbonworked flowers and leaves and tassels.
The web site was developed in 2002, designed for the customers who wanted to see the class samples up close, advertise the merchandise and to promote the store.
Soon the class room became too crowded with only room for three people who weren't claustrophobic and the merchandise soon outgrew the location. In December of 2004 I moved to The North Park location.
The North Park location had four times the footage of the old shop, with enough room for merchandise, an office, two class rooms, a luncheon area and plenty of room to walk, talk and shop.
I increased the inventory of many of the original items and expanded inventory to include a wonderful yarn and bead section. This gave me an opportunity to increase the class selections and therefore the choices for the students. I hired more teachers including many locally and nationally known women.
Although The Store on the Corner was no longer on the corner, I kept the name because I felt this was the identity of the store, not just it's location on the block. This concept was not as easily accepted, and customers had trouble finding it, consequently I was only able to keep this location open for one year. As you can imagine a great deal of heart and soul was poured into this venture, and it was heart wrenching to close this location.
On a brighter note the closing of the store has enabled me to spend more time with my family, my parents in particular whose ailing health often required my assistance in one way or another. I now have more time to work on creating items that were not samples for classes, and I can work on writing articles for publications and to post on the web site and developing my book.
I met Susan Wells and Anne Megs during 2005, and had fell in love with their store The Grove at Juniper and 30th in South Park, a section of San Diego. I opened a booth in November of 2005, and sold many of the same items that the store was known for through December of 2007.
The year after I closed the North Park location I took over the development of The Store on the Corner's web site www.christenbrown.com. I continue to learn and experiment with the programs and have found a new creative outlet.
In November of 2006, I opened an ebay store where I sell odds and ends and bits of this and that. I also have an Etsy store, which I opened in 2008, where I sell one of a kind jewelry and hand made corsages.
I also have a blog that I created to highlight pieces of my work that I want to share with others.
I want to thank those of you who have followed the store, in all of its incarnations, and I hope that you continue to do so. I promise to keep creating as long as you are interested!