Showroom’s five-year run ends this weekend at 615 W. Lake St. with a closing event Saturday, May 26.
Kim Jurek-Valanzasca said the neighborhood has changed since the store’s early days, and she plans to open a smaller, more intimate storefront June 1 called The Fitting Room at 38th & Grand, located next to Kinoko Kids. She plans to curate pieces from some of the same designers that have appeared at Showroom, including FOAT, Joeleen Torvick and Scott J Lehmann. She will also showcase a new brand of her own called Alma Mia.
“There is a lot of color. It feels really fresh to me,” she said.
Showroom’s cooperative business model will end, she said, replaced by a model focused on commissions.
Co-founder Jen Chilstrom left the cooperative last winter. She’s currently the co-exhibitions director at Altered Esthetics and the arts and gallery coordinator for the East Side Arts Council.
The intersection of arts and community generated profound experiences at Showroom, she said. One woman who had lost her husband was deeply moved by a pencil drawing by Jacob Baker, “as if struck by lightning,” she said, and student interns watched Andrea Jenkins prepare to serve as Grand Marshal of Twin Cities Pride.
“That high schoolers, in their first job position ever, could experience a special moment in history and hear about the transgender community in powerful and positive light, was something I won’t forget,” Chilstrom said in an email. “…Showroom was a space where artists and makers could explore their vision and connect their work to an audience, building relationships that will continue to contribute to the growth of their businesses.”
The closing celebration is 11 a.m.-7 p.m. featuring bubbly, live music and markdowns on select pieces.