We have been threatening to do a blog along with our website for some time now and this is as good of time as any to get it started. Recently we spoke with a marketing consultant who identified a Blog associated with our website as being a priority. They even offered to ghost write it for us. I know that’s the way the world is going. We just received an invitation from Google for their new AI blog writer. Much of the content of regional magazines is nothing more than paid promotional pieces authored by the advertisers themselves. But this all goes a little against our grain to present an image that lacks the foibles and imperfections that make us authentic.
Let’s start by telling everyone how we got started here at Two Loons and a bit about what our motivations were getting into the Art, Gift, Apparel, and Décor market here in Lincoln Park. As we progress in the coming weeks we can add some fun content and delve deeper into our product lines while venturing afield to explore specific topics that relate to the North Shore area. From time to time we will turn the pen over to some of our artists to tell their stories and talk about their work.
Seven years ago, when we began this voyage we had choices to make. We planned to open a retail shop upon our retirement and had been looking for a location near the Gordon, Wisconsin “home” that we purchased. When the opportunity arose to purchase a building in Lincoln Park, we jumped at it. Growing up in the Twin City metro, Duluth had always been our go to destination, and we spent a huge amount of time exploring the city and the North Shore. We felt at home here.
Lincoln Park was still on the cusp of economic development. We needed to format plans that would address the need to renovate a 100 year old building that had been vacant for over 5 years and embrace the ever changing demographics base with an eye on where we wanted to go with the business. Our ultimate goal was to produce a shop that was comfortable and fun for both our customers and ourselves. We wanted to express our values and tastes while embracing the natural beauty and history of aspects that drew us to the area. At the same time, it was important for us to seize on contemporary preferences and tastes.
One of the takeaways from our familiarity with the area was the immense talents of local artists. Lincoln Park had begun to embrace the “Craft District” moniker and as we looked around the community this seemed more to describe the more industrial aspects of the district. We could see the need for a retail outlet for local artists within Lincoln Park that could build upon the “Craft District” marketing effort and offer quality display space for both new and established artists. But art alone could not produce the environment we were looking for or sustain the cash flow needed to maintain a successful business environment. We wanted to create a space where visitors were exposed to new and unique offering with each visit. Something casual yet fun that would appeal to a wide range of interests. A place where visitors could be exposed to fine art as well as decorative accessories, gifts, and apparel.
Lincoln Park has gone through many changes in the last 7 years, and we have seen a massive shift in our customer base. Gone are the comments referring to the “rough and tumble” nature of Lincoln Park. To the credit of other like minded entrepreneurs, huge changes have taken place in the district and Two Loons has willingly adjusted its business model and product selection accordingly. The challenge has been working through the constant construction around us. In 2022 Two Loons was voted the 2nd best Art Gallery in Duluth News Tribune’s 2022 Best of the Best Contest.
Two Loons wears many hats. Both new and established artists display their work in our showroom. Shoppers can browse unique gift items for special occasions or add a unique design element to their home or cabin that expresses their personality and interests. We stock a wide range of ever changing casual apparel that is affordable and timely. Growth has been slow but steady and we continue to refine our offerings while looking at the changes and potential ahead.
We invite you to participate and become actively involved in discussions. Let us know what you think and provide ideas and information about the topics.