Caole Lowry closes Planet Earth in Grand Junction, opens online store
LAST DAY OF PLANET EARTH
The last day of Planet Earth is planned for Saturday, April 26. But no fear, she will continue her vintage shop online on Etsy — http://www.etsy.com/shop/Caole. Her new store — I Heart Vintage — will be located in Orchard Mesa — 2701 Hwy 50. She will only be open Fridays and Saturdays, but she encourages shoppers to look at her online store. If you see a piece you like online, visit her in her store, and she will give customers a 15-percent discount. Lowry expects her new store front to open May 15, but she is already selling items online.
She came here for love, but stayed for her passion. Although her first marriage did not last, the marriage between Planet Earth owner Caole Lowry’s love for art and culture still remains, and for 18 years they’ve shared a bond that’s hard to break.
“Philosophy fuels my business,” she said. “(It’s) not just business as usual here. It’s deeper than that. It’s about community and peace through culture and people coming together.”
Lowry moved from Arlington, Va., to the Washington D.C. area for work as a graphic designer many years ago. Soon that job was replaced with new technologies, leading to a new job at a flea market.
“It was fun,” Lowry said.
That’s where she learned a lot about vintage and antique items. She bought and sold the vintage pieces, and she was good at it.
People asked Lowry where her storefront was located, which hadn’t crossed her mind. That question planted the seed for her to start a store, Plant Earth, in downtown Grand Junction in 1995 — located at 524 Colorado Ave.
PLANET EARTH’S NEXT JOURNEY
For the past five years, Lowry noticed decreased foot traffic and an increase in online shopping. Due to that phenomenon, Planet Earth is closing April 26. It was one of the first commercially owned galleries in Grand Junction.
“Planet Earth has done it’s bit,” Lowry said. “It’s about natural cycles and that’s the natural cycle — coming together and going apart.”
She will continue her online business on Etsy for her vintage clothing, which has taken off in the last few years. She sells pieces all over the world, including Italy, Australia, and France.
According to Lowry, beginning in September, she plans to continue to share her love for art and host classes in her home barn studio. She hopes to have eight students for her six-week programs. Lowry explains her classes aren’t about learning to paint, but “using painting as the vehicle to open creative channels.”
HISTORY OF EARTH
Lowry was active in the art world for 16 years through Planet Earth as a grassroots gallery, including more than 400 exhibits. She hosted a variety of art shows including the “Dark Show” and “Gifts of the Goddess.” Planet Earth was also home to poetry readings, fundraisers, and many performances — like belly dancers, fire dancers, and musicians.
One of the shows she held was a form and function show as a way to empower entrepreneurs to build cottage industries, like Loki Outerwear and Pollux (two downtown retail businesses).
Lowry also considers herself to be not just a curator, but a collaborator with the artists as well. She said she helped artists and explained what would work best for their creative process.
Longtime customer Sandy Dorr will miss Planet Earth for Lowry’s passion and pleasure, helping people finding the perfect vintage piece for themed parties, weddings or prom.
“It was a lot better than going to the mall,” Dorr said. “It offered an array of gorgeous, zany and unpredictable kinds of art and clothing.”
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