GALLIPOLIS — Looking for a fun, unique way to while away a couple of hours and maybe even de-stress a little? You’ll be able to do that after Wednesday, March 15. That’s the date Boardroom 46 has its grand opening. Boardroom 46 is Patricia and Ted Rawlinson’s latest venture and will provide all that and more.
“I like to think of it as ‘art as entertainment,’” Rawlinson said in describing her new business. Located at 46 Court Street (hence the ‘46’) in Gallipolis, it may best be described as part studio, part classroom, part store and all parts fun.
“I just did a Google search to see what things people are doing that’s fun and creative,” she said. “I wanted to have a creative space and come up with something that’s not always available in small towns.
“I was also looking for something else for people to do that would be different and fun,” Rawlinson said.
What she discovered was a lot of people not only doing something creative and fun, but something that might also provide some relief from day-to-day pressures of life. Ask a lot of people how their day, week or maybe even life has been and they’re liable to tell you how stressed they are. Indeed, adult coloring books have become one of the latest trends to help some de-stress.
Boardroom 46 offers individuals the opportunity to create their own art using boards (and that’s where ‘Board’room comes in) as their canvas to create unique, one-of-a-kind signs or use something already templated. Events around holidays are also planned and readymade signs as gifts are offered for sale for customers who aren’t into making their own. And, even though Rawlinson hasn’t officially opened, there are signs ready to be purchased for area schools.
Don’t be confused, this isn’t a sign shop, although there will be signs for sale. Boardroom 46 is more about the experience of making one’s own sign.
For two hours customers can come in, choose their artwork, choose their paint, “do their thing, get a little messy and we do all the cleanup,” she added. And when they’re done they can take their sign with them.
As to what the sign may look like or be used, well, that’s pretty much up to the individual and limited only by a person’s creativity.
“Someone may do several signs,” she said, “and each one a totally different experience.”
Reservations can be made by going online to boardroom46.com, by calling 740-794-1046 or stopping in during regular business hours. A two-hour session that includes snacks, coffee, tea, a sign making experience and a ready-to-hang sign will run $39.99. And, hopefully a lot of fun. In comparison, similar experiences are priced in the $70 range in larger cities.
“We laugh a lot around here,” she said.
Boardroom 46 will initially be open Tuesday through Saturday with regular hours of noon until 6 p.m. Private parties may also be booked and Rawlinson suggested groups may want to go online to boardroom46.com. In fact, Rawlinson said she has eight such private events already scheduled. She added there are plans to use the studio as a fundraiser too, with details of that yet to be worked out. Jennifer Talarigo has been named manager of Boardroom 46.
Rawlinson owns the space where her studio is located and had another business there before it outgrew 46 Court Street. She credits the Downtown Revitalization Project with adding some finishing touches to the project being, “really encouraging and super inspiring,” Rawlinson added.
Coming to Gallipolis
Rawlinson’s story of how she and Ted ended up in Gallipolis in the first place is almost as unique as her studio’s signs will be.
The couple had been in Portland, Oregon for 12 years. Her business, a supplier of products to artisans in the craft industry, had grown to the point she needed to expand. Ted was getting ready to retire from the U.S. Air Force and so they decided to look around.
According to Rawlinson, there was nothing within a 50-mile radius of their current home that met their needs and “once you’ve gone beyond 50 miles you might as well go anywhere,” she said.
And so, much like she began her Boardroom46 venture, Rawlinson started doing research.
She looked at weather patterns.
“I didn’t want some place too hot or too cold. I wanted someplace with all four seasons. We were also looking for a place with a hospital, more than one restaurant and motels,” she noted.
Rawlinson had been in Columbus, Ohio for a trade show and so part of her research took her to Ohio. She flew to Columbus, rented a car and started driving. By her own admission, she drove from Marietta to Ironton, stopping along the way, talking to realtors and looking at houses. At that point, “Gallipolis was not even on the radar,” she said.
Then she stopped at a local restaurant.
Rawlinson said, “There was a couple sitting nearby. We started talking and they had such hometown pride. The way they talked about their town I decided to stop. I called a real estate agent and scheduled an appointment.”
One of the houses she saw sat on a hill and it struck a chord.
“I was on my way to put a contract on another house and I drove up to the house in Gallipolis I had looked at and just sat in the car. I found a house I couldn’t say goodbye too.
“I called Ted and said, I’m going to make an offer on the house in Gallipolis. He said, ‘You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.’”
“We couldn’t be happier,” she said.
And if a growing business is evidence of happiness Rawlinson made the right decision. The now-relocated online craft supply business has nine employees filling orders and shipping product across the country.
“We’re growing the business, giving people jobs and bringing money from outside this region into our town,” Rawlinson noted.