Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Lattuca, Diana Lempel.
Nicole, Diana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Practice Space is a shoebox-size storefront in the last retail district in Cambridge without a national chain. We are an artist-run space that is part of a movement of people experimenting with the storefront-as-gallery, -school, -studio, -museum, and – a community center.
By doing our work in a storefront, we are committing to being transparent about the process and labor of creativity. As an independent artist-run space, all of our funding comes directly from our community. As a business, we are committed to sustainability – financial, emotional, physical, and environmental – and to making a space in the economy for our work and values.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
6 months after we opened our neighbor, Boutique Fabulous closed its doors. They were a huge help to us when we opened and their closing was shortly after the closing of the beloved children’s store, Stella Bella.
When these two anchors of the neighborhood gone, people started worrying about the future of retail in the neighborhood and the neighborhood in general. They were looking to us to see a future for the retail district and they were concerned about our model and our likelihood of success.
Fortunately, our new neighbor, Albertine Press brings in a similar vibe with their women-owned shop and studio model.
Practice Space Design Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At Practice Space you’ll find: Our design studio, A shop with useful objects made by artists and designers, Visiting artists and other cultural practitioners, and Our library of books and zines.
Were are finding that customers are really responding with our efforts to share research through thoughtful and intelligent products that have to do with Feminism and Activism, such as the Listen to Women pins by our team member, Alexandra Williams, and her San Francisco cooperative Open Windows.
We are able to go deeper than the trend because we don’t just sell products but we offer workshops and public programs like ‘Listening is Emotional Labor’ and walking tour ‘Radical History Walking Tour of Inman Square’ with local librarian Tim Devin
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Winning the Cambridge Small Business Challenge grant was a highlight for us. We proposed a new idea for the city to engage the streets and connect our neighboring businesses. In spring 2018, we were awarded funds to collaborate with a local photographer on a photo essay about the behind-the-scenes of Inman Square businesses. We will be hosting an exhibition and also be showing the work in local storefront windows in summer 2018.
- Membership is $75 per year. Memberships support our Visiting Artist Program and is a way for people interested in Practice Space from all over the globe to support the work we do.
- Address: 1307 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02143
- Website: www.practice-space.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @makespaceforpractice
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/PracticeSpaceDesignStudio