Northeast Minneapolis is home to more than 400 galleries, studios and artist-filled buildings, so it comes as no surprise that the owners of Art Materials chose to open the store’s third location within the Northeast neighborhood. The company sells a wide array of art supplies including everything from paints and pens to frames and easels.
Owner Larry Brown has been in the business for more than 20 years. Realizing his preference for the retail aspect of the business over wholesale, Brown opened Art Materials stores in Uptown Minneapolis at 2728 Lyndale Ave. S and in Fargo, ND at 300 Broadway.
After talking with customers, Brown quickly realized that a large portion of the company’s customer base either worked or resided in Northeast and had to travel across the city to get their art supplies. So Brown began looking for a location with better access to Northeast customers and ultimately landed his third shop at 1509 Marshall St. NE in February 2013.
One of Art Materials’ key differentiators is its online store, which currently offers more than 69,000 products. With the upward trend in online shopping, people are enjoying the freedom to browse at their own convenience and be more selective about pricing and availability options. According to Brown, 40 percent of Fargo customer packages are going overseas, and the company has shipped products to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Russia and Australia.
While the company’s e-commerce site has expanded Art Materials’ reach and opened doors to a much greater audience, there is still much to be said about the local Northeast shopper.
“We do much more than sell art products,” says Brown. “There’s a great community of budding artists here, and we are constantly rolling out new changes to meet their needs.”
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