Sales of art supplies have doubled in two years at the Jayhawk Bookstore, prompting its owners to open a new art shop early next year.
Finger-painting kindergartners, model-making architecture students and high-end professional artists will have a new place in Lawrence to shop for supplies in the new millennium.
Bill Muggy, owner of the Jayhawk Bookstore, plans to open an art supply shop early next year in the Hillcrest Shopping Center, Ninth and Iowa streets.
His target audience: Anyone within 75 miles who paints, sculpts, sketches, prints, cuts, photographs, forges, solders or programs any form of art.
"We want to be more than just an 'art' store," Muggy said. "This is way past sketching and watercolor " to take care of the third-grader with art talent to the professionals who are making the six-figure salaries, or hope to. "
"Our gut feeling is there's a heck of a lot more (business) out there than this community is able to supply, or even this region is able to supply."
In the past two years, Muggy said, sales of art supplies have doubled at his on-campus store, whose main focus is textbooks.
The new store will occupy 3,500 square feet formerly occupied by Terraplane bike shop. By comparison, Muggy's Jayhawk Bookstore has 9,000 square feet of space at 1420 Crescent, just west of the Chi Omega fountain at the western edge of Kansas University's main campus.
Muggy said he'll have a strong market for art supplies, because sales of homemade papers, paints, model materials and other related items account for 15 percent of Jayhawk Bookstore's total sales. Though art supplies are available at other stores, Muggy's would be the first devoted solely to fine arts materials.
Boosting inventory and having another 3,500 feet of basement warehouse space all should add up to even faster growth, he said, especially with art demonstrations, seminars and workshops being conducted alongside gallery space available for area artists.
"I'm not going to become a Hobby Lobby," Muggy said. "I don't have the space. I don't have the interest. I want to focus on fine art, and I also want to attract the individuals who enjoy art work, whether it's for resale or their own recreational pleasure or creativity."
He expects to hire five or six employees to run the store, which has yet to be named.
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