A gallery and boutique will open Friday in the former Loveless Florist location at 120 E. Kiowa St. in downtown Colorado Springs.
Colorado Expressions will feature metal work, fine artisan jewelry, paintings and pottery from Colorado artists, owner Christine Pech said.
Pech, who ran the gift shop at the Antlers Hilton hotel for two years, discovered something was missing from downtown.
“The tourists would come in and ask where the shops were,” Pech said. “They wanted to bring something home. So, I’d send them to Tejon and they’d come back and say there were no shops.”
The business people working in the towers next to the hotel had the same complaint, Pech said. They would buy Colorado gift items from that shop.
Loveless Florist closed years ago, but the giant, vertical “FLORIST” sign has remained over the vacant location.
Pech wanted to create a gallery space filled with fine Colorado items that tourists and locals alike could appreciate.
She started going to art fairs and would find talented artists selling their pieces next to things like crocheted potholders and decided it was time for someone to create a space where artisans could sell their work in a beautiful venue.
She looked for commercial space downtown for six months before she found the old florist shop near the corner of Kiowa Street and Nevada Avenue.
“It had been vacant for years,” Pech said. “But it’s a gorgeous building.”
She and her daughter, Heather Dalbec, have repaired the marble tile floor, polished the curved staircase, swept up the layers of dust and painted the walls. Dalbec partnered with her mother on the new gallery venture.
Pech said Joe Loveless, the previous building owner, passed away. His children were particular about who filled the space. They had been approached by people who wanted to turn it into a bar or a hair salon and had rejected those options.
“They loved what I wanted to do with the space,” Pech said.
Donna K., a well-known jewelry artist featured on Good Morning America and at the PGA golf tournaments, will base her business at the new gallery, Pech said. She’ll be at the gallery opening on Friday and will use a back sitting room to work with clients on custom jewelry orders.