Grace Lo owns Supplies for Creative Living on Main Street in Cold Spring.
Does everyone have a creative streak?
I think people who come in the shop and say, “This store isn’t for me!” are just super-blocked. They’re waiting for someone to tell them they’re creative. It comes out in different ways: through cooking or walking around in the woods or in the way you arrange your bulletin board. You just have to coax it out. More than anything, it’s about listening to yourself over all the other voices in the world.
Has the pandemic been bad for your business?
It’s actually been working nicely. The pandemic has people staying home. They’re thinking about their priorities and how they’re spending their time. There’s only so much TV you can watch without going bonkers. Tuning into yourself and doing something creative, whether you’re drawing or just scribbling, is a way to find equilibrium. For small businesses, creativity is about how we survive. Part of that is liberating. Part of it is terrifying.
Do you ever leave your work behind by being uncreative?
Yes! You need to unplug sometimes. I’ll get in my hammock with lots of reading, my coffee and my dog. It can be hard to force yourself to say, “I’m just going to sit here and do nothing.” It’s a good skill. And in the end, it’s creative. It’s like rebuilding.
Do children and adults approach creativity differently?
Some kids like being given direction. But with others it’s like, “We’re going to make something up. We’re going to paint something and then go a little crazy imagining what happens next.” A lot of times, children want to be given license to be spontaneous and imaginative. With older customers, there is a lot of relearning. For some, it’s about getting over a bad experience they had with art in high school or college. If they had bad experience with watercolors, they should try drawing with a pencil at breakfast.
Are people more creative working solo or in a team?
It has to be a little bit of both. You need time to experiment on your own, with no rules. But it’s also good to have someone say, “What if you were to do it a different way?”