Address: 1025 Studewood, Houston, TX 77008
Contact: Teresa O’Connor
Open Hours: Wed & Thurs 11-5, Fri & Sat 11-6, Sun noon-5
Except during the holidays we are open 7 days a week.
How is the project operated?
It’s artist-run, for-profit with some partnering with non-profits. It’s a shop with hand-made artist/artisan products. Many of the artists I work with have fine art backgrounds so their approach to multiples is slightly different than someone with a design background.
How long has it been in existence?
About 5 years.
What was your motivation?
Well, I just decided I could work really hard for someone else and be barely making it, or I could do the same working for myself.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Ultimately, it is only me that is responsible for the project that is Hello-Lucky. I hand select all the artists and work, organize the shows, organize the markets with one other selected Crafter. Many artists participate in and with the shop, some participate in ways that are less obvious say doing display for our windows and modeling for our website (Dean Liscum, Bronwyn Lauder). As far as the relationship, there definitely is a personal relationship between myself and each artist and there is also a business relationship I have with each artist. While I call Hello-Lucky a “project” it ultimately is a business, and how I make my living.
Who is responsible for the programming?
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year?
We have approximately 6-8 openings/receptions a year with exhibition durations from 4 to 6 weeks. The work is presented in the shop as part of the ongoing ever-changing installation that is Hello-Lucky.
What kind of events are usually organized?
Artist Receptions, Second Saturday Craftacular, Anniversary Party with sidewalk fashion show (true street fashion). Sometime in January each year we have our Anniversary Party at the shop celebrating with new art work as a group show with our artist stable (Woody Golden, Rene Cruz, Christine West, JoAnn Park, Jason Villegas, Lisa Chow, Frances Trotter and more) as well as a street fashion show with work by Hello-Lucky (that’s me) and Freddie Barrett (Bronwyn Lauder) and DJ Psychedelic Sex Panther spinning tunes in the shop window. The fashion show spills out the doors of the shop onto the sidewalk for our version of Street Fashion, taking it to the streets. In 2012, we held our 1st fashion show crawl with staggered time fashion shows from 3 boutiques in The Heights during the evening of White Linen.
How is your programming determined?
Depends on my mood. This process is organic, say for example I happen to be thinking about nature and getting the sense that our next exhibition should focus on nature, then one of the artists I work with already will show up with “Squid” drawings called “Ghosts” (by Jason Villegas), and I’m like, well of course we need “Squid” drawings and probably a ship (Lisa Chow), and maybe some seagulls (see found objects in store), so that becomes Land and Sea. When I first opened Hello-Lucky I was a lot more formal about the exhibitions, following the guidelines I had learned working as a “gallerina” and as an artist, but Hello-Lucky is more organic and flexible than that structure.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Hmmm, sometimes thru email we will look at work. We work mostly with local artists/artistsans. For our exhibitions we look for work that compliments what we already do, which is family friendly, nature oriented, ideally with and eco-upcycled component but primarily the work needs to resonate a sense of quality and for lack of a better word, ethos.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
For Hello-Lucky, family friendly, eco, locally made nature oriented–Hello-Lucky is a tiny space so each item that comes in has a relationship with everything that already exits here. Items, art, tees displays need to get along and create a dialogue. Otherwise it is just a cachophany of noise and things. So I look for goods/art that does that, not necessarily fitting in, but possibly assisting in seeing something that already exists in the space in a new and interesting way. When a gallery has an exhibition, they clear everything out and start over. We integrate and that integration has affect on everything, so sometimes that means the whole store needs to shift.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Working with artists isn’t as simple as working with companies but the sense of community that is created through working with artists is worth it. When dealing with companies or artisans that function as business I just call them up and order 2 of this, 3 of that, but with artists, sometimes they don’t feel like making a particular item anymore, and I get that, it just adds another layer to my constant search.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
Provide affordable handmade and/or eco items such as small artworks, tees, to the community while doing a little good at the same time. I love that most of our spending goes right back into the local community, and that almost all of our spending goes to companies/artists/artisans in the USA. The shop has become a source for people traveling to Houston. They seem to gravitate to Hello-Lucky because it is a local shop. I am privledged to be able to encourage travelers to check out our diverse city, and to be able to assist them with information about where to go and what to see and how they heck to get there, based on their interests. Along the same line I am honored to be able to share information about other art organizations with the guests/clients of Hello-Lucky. When a client expresses interest in a particular artist, or type of work, or concept, I am able to direct them to other establishments that may not know about or have visited, such as Lawndale, the CAMH, Menil, Box 13 Artspace…
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
Well, i’m most excited about expanding our brand into “Hello-Lucky Life” which includes wholesaling our lines, getting our web/facebook set up for nightly shopping of “These 10 Things” and more Fashion Shows, as well as the expansion of our (my) custom work redesigning/Hello-Luckyifying my clients wardrobes.
Images courtesy of Hello-Lucky.