It’s been one year since Handcrafted opened its doors in Solana Beach’s Cedros Design District.
Having owned similar shops over a nearly 30-year career in the retail industry, Danny Burris said the business is off to a great start.
“We’re pleased,” said Burris, who co-owns the shop with his life and business partner, Michael Gamble. “Handcrafted is doing better than any of the other galleries in its first year.”
Originally from Louisiana, Burris has owned and operated several galleries.
In 1987, he opened his first gallery in his hometown of Baton Rouge. He later opened two locations in North Carolina, where he met Gamble, who worked as an accountant, and another in Hawaii. The couple have worked together ever since and will celebrate their 13-year anniversary in November.
After backpacking through Central America, the pair opened Pura Vida Gallery in 2004 in Jerome, Arizona, where they have a home. In Spanish, “pura vida” means “pure life,” but to Burris and Gamble the words convey the outlook of the people of Costa Rica when they say, “Pura vida. Life is good.”
“As long as you surround yourself by beautiful handcrafted items that really mean something, life is good,” Burris said.
Although business was booming in Arizona, Burris and Gamble missed the beach. So a decade after opening the Arizona store, they decided to open a second location in San Diego.
“We missed the ocean,” recalled Burris, who also lives with Gamble part-time in Del Mar. “When I found South Cedros, it piqued my curiosity. Serendipitously, we got a space here.”
A Pura Vida Gallery, Handcrafted opened in October 2014.
Handcrafted features products from more than 100 American artists. From fine art and fabrics, to jewelry and home décor, the Solana Beach storefront offers something for just about anyone.
“We carry functional, affordable art,” Burris said. “We feel everyone should be able to afford a piece of handcrafted art.”
Burris hand-selects everything that is carried at Handcrafted.
He travels to art shows across the country to find the perfect collection for the store. And because he’s been in the business for nearly three decades, Burris has known some of the artists he represents for years. He’s also always on the lookout for new artists or local talent, such as Alpine jewelry designer Denise Disharoon and Oceanside fashion designer Tami Zohar.
“I’ve met every artist in the gallery. I actually know who’s making these,” Burris said. “The things in your home mean something when they’re handcrafted.”
Handcrafted is at 415 South Cedros Ave., Suite 120, in Solana Beach. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
“I like sharing the beauty of the artwork with customers,” Burris said. “It’s really my favorite thing.”
For more about Handcrafted, call 858-847-2385 or visit www.handcraftedsolanabeach.com.