YORK — It’s a little bit art gallery with some sign antiques and artisanal goods. That’s how Zack Ward bills the quaint, cozy Roosevelt Street shop that he calls The Artful Home.
“I wanted things that you couldn’t find anywhere else,” said Ward, the leader of a creative team that operates the store. “The mentality in York County is that you can just go to Charlotte for anything. And I didn’t want anything in here that you can go to Charlotte to get.”
The Artful Home, in the former Vintage Art and Design space at 1 N. Roosevelt St., carries original art by local artists and painted furniture by a York County duo called Crazy Leg Creations.
It also carries a lot of other unique items – olive baskets from Italy, giant wood dough bowls from Eastern Europe, messenger bags that he said are repurposed from World War II tents and decorative furniture paint.
“I also have stuff salvaged from old factories in the area, like sock and shoe molds made of metal,” said Ward, a 2004 graduate of Fort Mill High School who earned a fine arts degree in haute couture fashion at the Academy of the Arts University in San Francisco.
“I like things that are really unusual,” he said.
Ward said he returned to York County last fall to care for his ailing mother. He launched the shop on East Liberty Street this spring before recently moving to the current location.
His business partners include Pia Crook and Karen Harris, part of the design team, and Crazy Legs Creations owners Terry Shick and Adrienne Majcina, who paint the furniture he sells.
Ward said the venture also has an online business at www.crazylegscreations.com, where the furniture is sold.
The shop also sells two decorative paint lines, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Paint Couture, used to paint furniture.
He said the shop is getting ready to expand soon, because the current location isn’t large enough to display its inventory. Within a few weeks, Ward said, it plans to open a second, larger location around the corner at 13A E. Liberty St.
“We’re really trying to create an artistic haven,” he said.
Ward, who lives in Rock Hill, said he decided to open his shop in York, instead of elsewhere in York County, because of the atmosphere – which he calls “cute and quaint.”
“What I like about York is it’s not homogenous, mass-produced,” he said. “The historical area here really looks historical, and it’s got a lot of individuality. There’s authenticity here.”
Ward also designs fashion and is working on his first collection for both men and women under the name Ford King. He plans to show the collection in New York during fashion week next year but also in the Charlotte area, where he said more friends and family will be able to see it.
Ward said he might display some of his pieces in the store, but he won’t sell them locally. Instead, he said, he can sell the collection online or with his fashion contacts in San Francisco or elsewhere.
“I can focus on what I want to create here, and there’s not a million distractions,” Ward said.
The Artful Home is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and on Sundays by appointment only. A ribbon-cutting opening is planned in a few weeks, he said.