For some people, art is just another part of family. Such is the case with mother Liz Walberg and her daughter Cari Luchau, co-owners of Broadway’s c.lizzy’s. “We started out by dipping our toes into a few local arts and crafts shows in 2002 to test the waters,” Cari explained. “It was somewhat familiar territory to us as Liz and her mother participated in many tri-state shows during the late 80s and early 90s with hand-woven willow baskets and cornhusk flowers and arrangements.”
Fast forward to 2002, when both Liz and Cari were at moments in their previous careers that were bringing big changes. The pair decided to “ditch the safety nets” and went full-time into arts and crafts shows. From there, the duo opened a very small studio store on 1st Avenue in Downtown Fargo.
“Two years later, we moved to Broadway to expand our retail store and entered the wholesale business in the American Handmade industry,” Cari explained. “We have now returned to our original roots of focusing on retail sales in our store, online, and at Midwest and Arizona arts and craft shows.”
Although the mother/daughter pair are co-owners, Cari likes to call Liz the Chief Design Officer or Chief Art Officer. “She is the artist behind all of our original artwork and jewelry pieces as well as the chief designer of our gift lines.”
In addition to Liz’s creations, c.lizzy’s offers a wide array of jewelry, art, pottery, and gifts that are designed for those “hard-to-buy-for” people that everyone knows so well. “All of our products are handmade by us here in our studio or by United States and Canadian studio artists who make a living by creating their work, and we love to share their stories with our customers,” Cari said. “We also like to share how art can be functional and added to your everyday life — from drinking your morning coffee from a great handmade mug to wearing a piece of hand-created jewelry that represents your style to letting your walls speak with original artwork.”
Although virtually every piece within c.lizzy’s is worth a visit, current customer favorites include Liz’s original jewelry pieces, pottery by MSUM student Spencer Johannes and NDSU student Chance Taylor, and inspirational signs by a Western Canadian artist/designer.
For Cari, Downtown Fargo has been the perfect spot to launch her family business. “We love the community of Fargo as a whole, and we enjoy being ambassadors to our exciting city when we travel,” she said. “Having a store often gets us front row seats to meeting locals and tourists alike, and we like being part of that cultural ecosystem and learning about others who live in our city.”
Cari would like to extend a special invitation to those who have never been to the store. “We have hand-created items that you will not find in other stores, and we really enjoy helping you find the gifts you are proud to give and jewelry you love wearing. It is worth the trip Downtown,” she explained. “And we like to break the myth that shopping artisan products is expensive as over half the items in our store are under $50 and are really nice pieces.”
She would also like to invite everyone to check out Downtown Fargo as a whole. “Shopping local is another good reason to shop with us and our locally-owned neighborhood stores, and together we all make up the woven fabric of our community.”
c.lizzy’s is located at 410 N. Broadway. For more information or to get a head start on your Christmas shopping list, visit www.clizzys.com.
By Jamee Larson