Take one Air Force kid with a Moroccan mother, mix travel, careers in nursing and graphic design, stir in a big romance and a love of antiques and you have the story of Kris Mack.
After graduating from Eastern Washington University, a stint in nursing, graphic design and marrying back into the military, Kris Mack landed back in Spokane. And she’s landed with style. She's working with partner Wendy Allen and their new shop, Artemis, is opening this weekend.
I was able to get her attention long enough to answer a few questions about the road to Spokane and what we can expect from Artemis.
What brought you to Spokane?
“(My husband) Brian received orders in 2009 to Fairchild AFB where he is a pilot in the KC-135. We moved here in January of 2010. My parents now live in the Tri-Cities, so it's nice that they are close.”
What made you decide to start a business here and open a store?
“With my own business, I could create an environment of positive energy and help other people. I learned these principles from my own grandparents in Israel. My grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Morocco and they owned shops there. My grandmother Simi had a restaurant. I don't know that grandma ever made a dime from her cooking. They fed Muslims, Christians and Jews and really lived this incredible life. They touched a lot of people's lives regardless of religion with their generosity and sense of community. This shop symbolizes so much for me.”
What can we expect from Artemis?
“You'll see a lot of new artists, funky antiques, vintage clothing, upcycled furniture and an expanding clothing and jewelry line. Artemis supports local artistry and craft. One hundred percent of our new clothing, jewelry, furniture and art is made in the USA. We are committed to spending our dollars locally, buying wholesale from and promoting new designers from the USA.”
How did you find just the right vendors for your store?
“The deal with local vendors was really serendipitous. Last year I bought a desk from Al and Lynda Rogers of Yesterday and Today Antiques and I just kept coming back. Once we had begun construction on the shop, I heard that they were closing up and it just gutted me. I sent Al a quick note and asked him to get in touch with me and from there we had a series of conversations that lead to them putting their antiques in our shop! I started searching for other vendors. I found Ronni Ryno of Glamarita and Kadra Evans of Assassin Apparel. I just sent them a note and they responded.
I found Jessica Fouche and Rachel O'Brien on Etsy. Artemis will have their jewelry and soaps and lotions.
I also met a lovely woman, Judy Rosier of Frosting, that will be providing Artemis with our free cupcakes on Saturday. We are also looking into carrying some items from Gladys Hanning of Junebug.”
With Artemis launched, what’s next?
“Our new website artemishop.com coming in 6 months We also have a daughter business called 'Pickn' Chicks.' We will sell your estate (buy your estate in some cases) or help you clean out your garage, barn, house. We're developing that side of the business currently.”
Artemis Grand Opening Details
Where:3109 N. Monroe
When: Saturday, April 16
Hours: Mon - Fri: 10 am - 5:30 pm; Sat: 9 am- 5:30 am; Sun: 11am-5:00 pm
For more information call: 509 995 8860
(Vendor inquiries welcome)
Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org