Light streams through the big windows at the new Hastings Street location of Country Camera Studio and Image Gallery. Business owner Lesley McCormack is busy chatting with a family that wants portraits done and smiles are already on every face. The portrait studio is waiting for the next model to strike a pose and this family seems ready and willing.
McCormack has been in business four years but she’s only been a couple of weeks in her new location next to Scotia Bank and she says the move was a good one for her. She’s got way more natural light and higher ceilings to help showcase the wide selection of art that hangs on display.
McCormack is showcasing local photography, beautiful paintings in oil and acrylic and she’s also got water colours and prints. It’s an eclectic, ever changing display. Ever changing because McCormack has found success in selling local art.
An artist wanders in and slowly pivots in the centre of the shop, taking in all the art. It’s more of a gallery experience than a quick-sell location but every person that walks through the door seems drawn to one piece or another. As McCormack gets drawn into a conversation about art, dealings and commissions, Linda Bast jumps in to answer questions. Bast runs Lakeside Gems and the two have shared space for the past year. It’s a great partnership between the two independent businesses.
While McCormack sells art, Bast features gems, minerals, geological equipment, healing tools; like crystals and pendulums and she’ll do a tarot reading if things ever get too quiet.
Between the two women the Bancroft brand of art and rocks is beautifully showcased. Pricing is affordable and beautifully crafted pieces are within budget for many that walk through the doors.
Moving a business is never easy but the space was available and this stretch of Hastings Street seemed more active. Now unpacked and enjoying a steady stream of foot traffic, the effort was worth it for these two entrepreneurs. Even on an overcast Thursday afternoon there is a steady stream of foot traffic in and out of the shop. Between customers, both are finalizing details for their grand re-opening.
McCormack and Bast invite everyone to drop by the shop on Friday the 13th of May to enjoy music, food, art, rocks and some great company.
Asked about and fears of hosting a celebration on Friday the 13th McCormack laughs.
“I opened this business on April’s Fools day and we’ve been just fine.”
Country Camera Studio and Image Gallery and Lakeside Gems share space at 44 Hastings Street North in Bancroft.