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Feb
25
2024
Business

Photo by Cheryl Durgans

A Myriad of handmade art and clothing

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“Looking for something a little different?”

According to the question posed and answered on Myriad’s website, which features a range of one-of-a-kind, handmade art and clothing, jewelry, baby bonnets and even “creepy dolls” — You’ve found it. Anyone looking for something a little different can also shop at the physical store, which opened in October. A second-floor walkup located at 108 Dayton St., the shop also sells paintings, ceramics and fabric.

Myriad owner and creative director Colette Palamar said she loves the handmade vibe of the store.

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“Even though there are a few things in here interspersed that are vintage items, or other things that spoke to me in my travels that I’d bring back and put into the shop, mostly everything is handmade because I love the fact that someone has touched, and changed, and made, and interacted with that product, and then someone takes it home,” she said.

Originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, Palamar is a former college professor. “That’s how I came to Yellow Springs, I was hired at Antioch College to teach environmental studies for them,” she said. Palamar holds a Ph.D. in applied philosophy with a specialty in environmental ethics. She also has an MFA in sculptural ceramics.

“I’ve always been a creative person in terms of art, and so when I went to college, I thought, ‘I’m going be an artist.’ And my parents kept saying, ‘No, you can’t be an artist. You can’t make a living being an artist. You gotta do something else.’ So, I picked something more practical, which was philosophy,” Palamar said with a smile.

Prior to opening Myriad, Palamar operated Urban Baby Bonnets, a store located above the Wind’s Café that closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, she sells the bonnets through Myriad, along with other handmade pieces she’s created. Palamar also sells art created by local ceramics artist Tara Anderson.

“But my hope is that about half of it [Myriad] is Urban Baby Bonnets,” she said.

Palamar’s journey to making baby bonnets began in part because of Antioch College’s closure in 2008. She was teaching environmental art and was six months pregnant with her daughter at the time.

“That was a big blow because I was supposed to get tenure that year. I should have had tenure. I would’ve been a teaching and research professor,” Palamar said.

Palamar, a self-described “anti-princess” mother said her interest in making baby bonnets began when her great-grandmother made her daughter a bonnet that she thought was “really cute,” even if it didn’t quite fit.

“I was trying to find black clothing for her,” she said with a laugh. “And at that time, there really wasn’t much. I mean, it was all either pink or purple. Maybe you could get a blue something, but you definitely didn’t find black,” she said.

Inspired, Palamar used the fabric she’d been collecting to make bonnets for her daughter and received many compliments.

“We would take her out of the house and it got to be a joke after a while. Anytime we went anywhere, people were like, ‘Oh my God, where did you get that bonnet?’ And it just kept happening, and happening, and happening, and finally I was like, ‘I should just make some of these to sell ‘em.’ And I did, and it took off from there,” she said.

The clothing is for the most part “upcycled,” with the bells and whistles of added paint, beads and sometimes vintage ribbons of various sizes for women, but there are also some unisex fashion offerings too.

“A lot of the clothing, particularly the bottoms, are designed so that they have ties in strategic places so that they can be tied and loosened depending on what size you happen to be at that point in time,” Palamar said.

Myriad’s offerings are also intentionally eclectic and nonexclusive, for the most part.

“What I like is the flexibility to be able to follow whatever thread it is that I’m interested in at the time. But the art that I make, I’ve always been interested in making art that isn’t exclusive, that is conceptually accessible, and also price-pointwise accessible. Some things are less so, like the paintings are part of an ongoing project, but some of those have sold in the past,” she said.

One of the Myriad store highlights for Palamar are her creepy dolls — small sculptural, clay pieces that include babies and critters. 

“I’ve always loved creepy dolls. I have a collection of them, and my family hates them. I used to try to put them around the house, but I’m not allowed to do that anymore. I’ve always been interested in clay. That’s one of the things, or one of the threads that I’ve stayed with longer than most things, but they’re just little tiny dolls,” she said.

Palamar wants people to enjoy the shopping and browsing experience in Myriad.

“What I would like [people] to do is come in, and spend time looking through things, and trying things on, and play, and just have fun,” she said. “My favorite thing is when people come in — whether they buy something or not — and they’re like, ‘Oh, this is so cool.’”

Myriad is open Monday and Tuesdays by appointment only; Wednesday–Friday, noon– 3 p.m.; and most Saturdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Myriad is closed on Sundays. Online purchases can be made by going to http://www.themyriadshop.com.

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