In anticipation of our new art prints, launching tomorrow on our website, I decided to pop into town and have a chat with Lisa Connolly, owner of Finders keepers. The shop is now officially open as we are in phase two of the reopening of the country, and while I am there Lisa gets quite a few visitors, some who are obviously devotees of the shop, some who are three feet tall and toddle by for a smile and a wave, and others who pass by the incredible front window, and double back to peek inside, curiosity in their eyes. Finders Keepers is not like any other shop. You enter and the smells, sounds and sights bring you back to your childhood, simple thoughtful items, and people who care.
And Lisa really does care. A big advocate and supporter of Waterford Walls, she fills her shop with items created by local artists and designers, and embodies the ethos of supporting local. “The current pandemic really pushed us to embrace online and everything that goes with it.” We are hovering outside the shop front in the fresh morning, as the city begins to stir and wake up from its three month shut down. “But now that town is starting to reopen, I see people are supporting Waterford and its shops. I am hopeful that this will continue.”
Lisa spent some time away from Waterford, living in Perth for a while, and when I ask her how she heard of Waterford Walls her face lights up. “We came home to the walls. We arrived and there they were. It was amazing to see all this artwork across the city, and how much it changed it and brightened the city.”
Last year, Ardkeen Quality Food Store sponsored the wall above Finders Keepers, and it was painted by artist Curtis Hylton. “I would come outside to watch him paint, and was literally jumping in amazement, and he was so casual” she remembers. Curtis is returning to the festival for the third year this summer, and Lisa is delighted as I tell her where he will be painting (hint, City Square Shopping Center came onboard our wall owner scheme this year).
“I just feel so lucky and grateful,” says Lisa, as the wall is not only an incredible feat of art, but also perfectly suits Finders Keepers’ quirky treasure trove. Lisa goes on to tell me that before they found this location, she had originally been drawn to the idea of a lighthouse as a logo for Finders Keepers, something that had completely slipped her mind until Curtis painted one over her shop. She loves the new print of the wall and the shop, “It’s Epic! It completely captures it.”
Before I leave we touch on the effect this wall has had on her business, and I ask if it has been positive. “Big time.” Lisa explains how people who would normally never venture up Little Patrick Street come by to see the mural specifically, and then often will pop into the shop and have a browse. “I can’t wait for this year’s festival,” says Lisa, “I am so excited to see what appears and watch the artists doing their thing.”