Looking for a little something extra to brighten up a room? Well, Red Shoes in Ann Arbor is exactly the place to find it. This charming store located in an adorable house in downtown Ann Arbor is a haven for those who love creative, funky and most of all unique handmade art. Red Shoes is a fun and cheerful display of various types of one-of-a-kind creations displayed in a homey environment. And the name certainly fits the feel of the store. When asked how Red Shoes got its name, owner Catherine Thursby gives two reasons. “I just like red shoes”, says Thursby, “I think they are like the cherry on top for an outfit and what we offer [in the store] is like the cherry on top, that little something extra”.
The store has been open for business for seven years since its start in November of 2004; however Cathy has been busy creating her very special brand of art since she was a child and continued her passion by attending school to major in Fine Arts. Cathy then went on to start a family and began doing home shows to display her art. Beginning with home shows “was a natural progression to the current Red Shoes location [the house] in downtown Ann Arbor”, as she puts it.
Cathy’s creations are all handmade and many of them are the product of a new take on an old item. All of her handiwork is super colorful and fun and she tries to create using primarily recycled materials, whether it’s using vintage books or castoff metals. Most of the items incorporated in her work are found in thrift stores, antique malls, barn sales and even on the side of the road. Being a very visual person, Cathy says she draws her inspiration from her “children and the natural world around me and likes to blend in her sense of humor”. From hand-made craft pillows and mixed media paintings to hand painted furniture, there is definitely “something extra” for everyone to find. Cathy offers an impressive collection of cute, funky and eclectic artwork that offers something for everyone.
Red Shoes recently finished a store-wide renovation. The renovation is the result of a redirection in the store dynamic with the new shop operating as three working studios. The studios will be a collective effort between Thursby and two new artists she has brought on board; a couture seamstress and a custom lamp and lampshade maker who takes vintage items and turns them into lamps. Workshops will also now be offered to teach people how to cultivate their own artistic skill, no matter their level or experience. Materials, along with food and drinks, are provided.
While the shop in Ann Arbor is definitely a must-see, for those who cannot make it out to Ann Arbor be sure to check out the website at www.redshoeshomegoods.com and help Cathy achieve her goal of making the world a more colorful place.