512/514 Crockett post-rehab. So much better!

‘Queen Bee’ Tracey Prator in front of Shrevetowne Studio.

Roughly a year ago, a small building at 512-514 Crockett got a new lease on life. The former Communications Workers of America Local 3411, it had sat for years only partially occupied. Local businessman Ronnie Remedies and his mom Patty had been looking for a new location for Patty’s Shreve Towne Barber Shop and this looked like the right place. In the year since, the barber shop at 514 Crockett has really come into its own and now, 512 is, too. Tracey Prator has moved into the space, which has been christened the Shreve Towne Studio. It is open Tues.- Fri. noon until 5 pm. Tracey has been looking for her perfect space downtown for a couple of years now, and is thrilled to have finally found it. She has big plans for the space and we wanted you to hear about her vision, her art and her love of downtown. Here is our conversation with the ‘Queen Bee’ herself.

Why downtown?

Tracey Prator– I feel like you can’t beat this location. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing to look at, between the historic and modern architecture, but the eclectic vibe is so well-suited for what I do.  My business is a combination of retail, and art. I have tried to blend the two at a couple of other locations in town and it’s tough.. The concept is well received, but the customer base is just not there.

Give me a little background about yourself- what brought you to this point?

TP-I am both an Artist and a Maker. I paint and I make all natural skin care, fragrances, candles and various herbal remedies. I recently received my certification as a Master Herbalist, which I am very proud of, because I don’t consider myself a very good student.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn, just at my own pace. I have had a little experience running an art studio/gallery. I also have experience running a retail space, in which I shared with other artists and makers to give them the opportunity to sell their work without having to take on the expense and commitment of having their own shop.While it seems fun and exciting, not everyone has the time, experience or resources. It also takes a level of commitment, both physically and financially that not everyone is in a position to  give, especially when one almost never sees immediate compensation for their hard work.  I have people all the time tell me that they would love to have their own space but they don’t have the money, or they work full-time elsewhere and can’t afford to quit their job in order to do so. So I guess I’m that “crazy” person, that’s willing to take the chance for myself and offer the opportunity for others. This space is large enough for me to take all of my passions, Art, Retail and Helping others follow their dreams and combine them in one business plan. I can create here, sell my work here, and provide a space for my peers to do the same. That makes it worth every second and every dime! I give much of the credit to Patty Remedies for this opportunity. Not only is this her building that I’m renting, but she is a dear friend and has been a huge supporter of mine from the get go. She in fact offered me space to rent for the past few months at her place next-door, Shreve Towne Barbershop, while  she had an empty booth.  During that time I got a feel of what it would actually be like to be downtown and I was immediately hooked! I’m looking forward to being her neighbor and hosting fun events together here at what we have lovingly nicknamed the Shreve Towne Village. After all…It takes one to bee successful!

What all do you envision happening at 512 Crockett?

TP– As I mentioned above, I plan to provide a space for creative individuals to make and sell their work. The gift shop in the front hosts my own work, and the work of about seven others at this time. It is currently pretty full, but I’m considering reconfiguring the space a little to accommodate the vast amount of interest I have received. The gallery space in the back I plan to use to host art shows, makers’ markets, and some fun things like yoga and meditation. Maybe even some dance classes! The possibilities are really endless, because the space is so grand.

Who are your current vendors?

  • TP- Myself- Paintings, Candles, Soaps, craft fragrances, herbal remedies and spice blends
    Bee Hippie – my line of skin care infuse with local beeswax and honey from Hummer and Son  honey.
  • Hummer and Son Honey- Locally Produced Honey
  • Queen Bee Hippie- my line of Chemical Free beauty products (co owned with my friend  Christy Johnston)
  • Delena Ciastko Designs- Unique and engraved silver fine jewelry…  Delena has rented studio space and makes her pieces here on site.
  • The English Cottage- Fun T-shirt’s Printed with just about anything you can think of, canvas totes, and tea towels
  • Restoring in Faith- Hand painted wooden signs With inspirational quotes
  • SubtleTees Junk Jewels- Groovy clothing re-purposed from vintage fabric
  • Pleasantly Ever After- On trend and stylish handmade earrings and necklaces
  • Starrymite Creations- Zap Cat creator, now featuring the character on an array of cocktail glasses and mugs.
  • Lion’s Arrow- Homeopathic Tinctures And teas for a natural approach to health and wellbeing

You mentioned that your studio spaces were currently filled and you don’t have loads of additional space for vendors, but can artists/craftspersons put their name on a list in case of space?

TP– Absolutely!! You never know who may outgrow this location and  move on  to having their own space, and nothing would make me happier!

Tell me about the Sept. 28th Grand Opening event, what will be happening then?

TP– Our official grand opening will host our regular vendors, as well as a makers’ market full of all kinds of goodies, in the gallery. We will have refreshments, music, prizes and lots of fun!! We will open the doors at 10 AM and close them at 4 PM. Our hope is that everyone will have time to stop in at some point during their day to support local artists and makers, take a look around this amazing historic building and still have time to rest before their evening plans. Also, I checked, and LSU is NOT playing that day!

Welcome to Tracey and Shreve Towne Studio, another great addition to downtown Shreveport!