TROY — With a strong aesthetic of “pretty things and witty words,” Avenue Twenty-One, a new boutique and design studio, has opened in downtown Troy.
What started as an online business offering custom wedding invitations has now grown into a brick and mortar store offering fun and fashionable gifts, as well as business and design consulting.
Owner Tara Krach describes Avenue Twenty-One as a lifestyle boutique, specializing in stationery and home decor, that offers a carefully curated selection of items from brands like Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Co.
The store offers everything from paper goods, including cards and planners, home decor like drinkware and party supplies, to accessories, including bags and shirts.
When it comes to choosing items to carry in the store, Krach looks for “pretty things and witty words.”
“Pretty packaging is always a must,” she laughs. “And we’re witty with our sayings.”
Many of the items are designed by Krach, who specializes in hand-lettered items with fun and sassy sayings. Krach taught herself to master calligraphy as an extension of stationery design — when she couldn’t find a font she wanted online, she drew it up herself.
“I’ve always had a passion for it,” she said, adding that her father gave her her first calligraphy set when she was a child.
In addition to gifts and home decor, Avenue Twenty-One also offers in-house design services.
“The unique thing about Avenue Twenty-One is there’s a built-in design studio,” Krach said. “With that, we do wedding invitations, stationery, event design, and we also work with small businesses to do branding.”
For businesses, that typically means designing logos, websites, and marketing materials, she said. According to Krach, the design studio got its start online and has worked with brides and clients worldwide.
“I actually got started as a wedding invitation designer,” she said.
From there, Krach got into helping businesses with their design needs, before branching out into product design. “The next step was for us to do a retail space.”
The studio will also offer creative workshops like an upcoming Calligraphy 101 on Oct. 1, and workshops aimed at other small businesses.
“We’re very committed to supporting other creatives and people following their paths and learning new things, so we are offering creative workshops, as well as small business workshops to help businesses learn new things,” Krach said.
The studio will be offering another workshop on Sept. 20, for businesses interested in learning to style photographs for social media.
Avenue Twenty-One has also put out an open call for artisans who are interested in featuring their designs in the shop. They are accepting applications from artists and will select a handful to carry in the store.
For more information about the store and design studio, including a calendar of shop and local events, visit www.avenuetwentyone.com or sign up for their newsletter.