Moving to a new city, you get to discover new places to shop! I discovered Gather & Mill on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the store and most of all the two sweet owners. Gather & Mill is not only a place to shop all handmade products made by artisans, but also a studio, rental company, and a place to get your creative juices going with workshops and events. I got a chance to stop by the shop and well… shop and chat! If you are in the Grass Valley area, you definitely need to stop by Gather & Mill!
Photos by Katie White
Tell us about how Gather & Mill began…
Gather & Mill began very suddenly and organically. We were both a part of the building prior to taking over the lease, because we were members of the wedding collective that used to occupy the space (Erica has a rental company, Tin Roof Farmhouse, and I own a photography business, Katie White Photography). When the owner of our wedding collective decided to move locations, Erica realized she’d have to move her rental storage space or take over the lease; but the timing wasn’t ideal and she reached out to me in desperation. After reassuring her that everything would work out, we both realized this may be the perfect opportunity to fulfill some goals we both had only dreamed of: owning a retail space! Neither of us expected it to happen the way it did, but when a door opens, sometimes you just have to walk through and see what happens… when we started brainstorming ideas for our shop, we were surprised at how similar our visions aligned. We both wanted to showcase and support local artisans who used sustainable materials & valued quality and beauty. We also wanted to host gatherings and creative workshops to bring our community together. The more we talked about our business, the more we realized it was truly meant to be… and that simple realization pushed us to accomplish our dreams.
How did you two meet ?…
We met at a wedding we were both hired to work, and immediately hit it off! We exchanged phone numbers, and planned a styled photo shoot together. In that first collaborative effort, we realized how well we worked together, and a friendship quickly blossomed. Erica and I almost seem to read each other’s minds… it’s always seemed as if we’ve known each other forever. We feel very fortunate for this sweet connection.
Now, not only do you both own Gather and Mill, but you also own separate creative businesses, could you brag about those for a second! And how do find time to do it all?
Yes, we do! As I mentioned before, Erica owns Tin Roof Farmhouse Rentals and I own Katie White Photography.
Erica has collected special items and vintage pieces for as long as she can remember, and has an amazing knack for re-purposing old and undesirable things into masterpieces. She also has a natural ability to style any ordinary space into a dreamy set-up; so, after receiving her MBA in Sustainable Business, she decided to turn her fun hobby into a career, bringing all her creative talents together! She loves working with couples and making their dream wedding a reality.
As for me (Katie), I’ve always been immersed in the arts, but found my passion grow for photography once my children were born. After being asked repeatedly to photograph friend’s family portraits, I realized I might actually have a chance to turn my hobby into a career, so I went to school and also shadowed an amazing wedding photographer (Megan Clouse Photography) who took me under her wing and mentored me. From there, I built my portfolio and started my business. The rest is history!
We both feel that you make time for the things you’re most passionate about– sure, it’s hard to balance everything and sometimes we both feel like we’re going crazy trying to keep up with everything, but we LOVE what we do, so it just works!
Tell us how this beautiful space is just not a storefront, but also space for creative people to gather…
Well, we have a huge warehouse space that connects to our retail shop… part of it is used for Erica’s rental showroom, and we offer the rest of the space for events, creative workshops, pop-up shops/trunk shows, and anything else you can dream up! Plus, we style our events using Erica’s rentals! It’s a really inspiring space, with an industrial feel and big, beautiful windows along one side that looks into our private backyard space, which we also make available for events. It’s amazing how the spaces can transform depending on the look and feel of the occasion.
Tell us about some fun workshops you have coming up!…
I’d love to! We just announced our Fall workshops which include an indigo dyeing workshop, a weaving workshop, an up-cycling jeans/clothing workshop, an embroidery workshop, and a “Soul of Creativity” Workshop that incorporates yoga, creative writing and art. We also have some fun events on the schedule, including yoga classes every Tuesday morning (beginning 9/19), Pop-Up Shops, and an evening of poetry reading and wine tasting…. and we’ll be adding more to that list soon!!
Yes we do! Erica and I love styling and photographing mini-sessions together. In previous years, we’ve used different locations around Northern CA to host our mini-sessions, but this year we’re using our own space. We’ll be doing Fall Themed and Holiday Themed sessions. For more info on how to schedule a session with us, you can visit our blog at www.gatherandmill.com/blog
What’s next for Gather and Mill…
We have so many different ideas and plans for the space, and can’t wait to watch Gather & Mill evolve. Without spilling too many secrets, we’re working on expanding into another room to accommodate more products; specifically, more home goods. We also have some fun things in the works for the holiday season, as well as community events for next summer… but we can’t quite dish the details YET. You’ll just have to stay tuned!!
Can’t wait to see what you ladies have in store!