By Brooke Parker
CARRBORO â€“ â€œOne of a kind, a work of art,â€ said Jean Marie Griffin of the unique pieces of artwork and clothing that you may find in her new store â€“ A Remix Art Gallery on East Main Street, right in the heart of downtown Carrboro.
Griffin, a Durham resident, has been a seamstress for 25 years. She is a reuse artist, specializing in functional-affordable clothing and other products.
â€œRemix because I reuse,â€ Griffin said. Not surprisingly, her store has been instantly welcomed into the community â€“ her grand opening on May 13 was a â€œgood old-fashioned welcome to the neighborhood,â€ she said.
Along with many other forms of art, repurposing has long been a passion for Griffin, and recently it became the inspiration for her new store. A Remix Art Gallery is all aboutÂ reusing with environmentally friendly materials. Griffin considers â€œgreenâ€ to be a major element of her artwork.
Her store features handmade products, such as wine bags, wall hangings and cell phone clutches, all made from repurposed materials, as well as works from four other artists alongside her own.
â€œIâ€™ve been sewing since I was 8,â€ Griffin said. Until a year ago, Griffin was a master tailor, working exclusively on wedding dresses. Her new store allows her to work with sewing while exploring her other passions as an accomplished artist, creating everything from portraits to sculptures made from a variety of repurposed pieces.
At A Remix Art Gallery, Griffin allows her customers to get â€œtheir hands in it too,â€ she said. Customers can pick out their own fabrics and Griffin will create repurposed items, like handbags made out of scarves.
Griffin said she also works on â€œwhatever I feel like doing this week.â€ Sheâ€™s managed to combine her natural artistic gifts with her developed talents as a seamstress.
â€œI have something for everybody,â€ she said.
Her store is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., but the hours might expand, Griffin said. â€œPeople have been knocking on the door even when Iâ€™m closed.â€
Visitors to the store should remember to ask Griffin about whatever they happen to pick up, since her collection comes from a wide variety of thrift stores and other locations.
â€œEverything has a story behind it,â€ she said.
By Brooke Parker