After eight years in business, Nanette Bonilla was ready to grow. Her work was taking over her home and she needed more space. Luckily, she was able to find a location where many of Bakersfield’s creatives go: downtown.

Opened earlier this month, The Shoppe is a creative multiuse space. It is primarily a workroom and studio for Nanette Art & Design, Bonilla's business she started in 2012 as Custom Creations. 

Along with chalk window art and murals on display throughout town, Bonilla specializes in large backdrops, stage installations, woodwork and other visual arts.

"I've been working out of my house for many years," Bonilla said. "My backdrops were stuffed in storage units. I wanted a place to display my work and a showroom.

"This had been a long time coming. I had a plan and vision. It just so happened that the opportunity came."

And when that chance came, with the warehouse and retail space at 24th and O streets just north of 178, Bonilla realized this was a good time to expand her idea to include other small-business owners.

"I asked myself, ‘How do I prepare for the new phase we’re in?’ We need to be flexible as creatives and as entrepreneurs. ... There are a lot of people who don't get to do pop-ups and the shows and the events."

With gatherings on hold where local businesses would usually sell their wares, Bonilla saw that a centralized space would help increase their visibility.

"It just allows them to be under one roof. If I'm having an appointment with a future client or private event or public art show, people will see them."

The Shoppe features wares from more than a dozen local businesses:

TQW Designs (floral business)

Neon Badass (leather and metal handmade jewelry)

Rylie Ann’s Online and Traveling Boutique (apparel)

Lottie B (leather earrings)

Gem Pop (interchangeable agate phone grips)

Valley Candle Co. (candles)

Jada Rose (jewelry)

Vibe Stitch (hats)

Kaos Concealment Holsters

Tiffany Lupul Originals (custom invitations and designs)

Love Conquers All (signs and custom woodwork)

The Orange Cactus (digitally designed giclée prints, stationery and other paper goods)

Sandra Martinez (visual arts)

Quartz Trading Co. (natural CBD products)

Art by Alex G (visual arts)

That Beard Stuff (beard care products)

Kinley M. Designs (locally themed apparel and home goods)

Penelope’s Bows (handmade bows and children’s accessories)

Blue Canyon Ceramics Co. (small-batch handmade ceramics)

Little Zane Co. (handmade macrame products)

Each business has a small display or collection with items for sale or examples of their work.

"I really just wanted to encourage them to bring in what represents their business the best, to sell or display," Bonilla said.

Since opening The Shoppe, Bonilla has fielded inquiries from other small businesses and has a waitlist for those who want to display.

All sales transactions are handled through mobile payment service Venmo. Each vendor has a laser-cut wooden sign designed by fellow local business BNB Creative Co. with a QR code for customers to ease payment.

"It's absolutely what I imagined it to be," Bonilla said. "All the people I got on board, at this time everybody is satisfied. Until we see what the next step is."

Next month, Bonilla plans to celebrate eight years in business as part of a grand opening event for The Shoppe. For now, The Shoppe is open by appointment or with limited hours that will vary week to week.

The Shoppe is located at 900 24th St., Suite 110. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday; other hours vary. For more information, visit its Instagram page

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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