Langley – Artisan Crafted Home
Artisan Crafted Home
Artisan Crafted Home was conceived as most families are… getting awakened at 2 a.m. by your husband. But, instead of intimacy, I was awakened with “I have an idea.”
My name is Suzanne Guttman Healy. I moved to Seattle in 1981 after college and for the next 17 years my career in graphic design and marketing led me to working at notable design firms, international marketing positions and owning my own branding and design firm downtown. When technology turned the design industry on its head, I sought solace and discovered glass blowing.
When I met my life and business partner Jack Healy he was a national sales manager for a fortune 500 plumbing manufacturer. After we married we started designing, building and selling luxury spec homes which was the perfect platform to design and create blown glass sinks and lighting. Combining Jack’s knowledge of the building industry and mine in design created a synergistic partnership.
In the midst of starting our third spec home, technology took a 180° turn, the unstable economy caused the company I was working for to close its doors. The opportunity to “follow my bliss” fell in my lap and Suzanne Guttman Blown Glass was born. Four months later, 9/11 happened.
In the wake of drastically changing times and an unsure economic future, we conceived Functional Art Gallery (we are baby-boomers after all!). The “2 a.m. wake-up” vision was born; an internet-based retail company offering human-crafted products by artists who create passionate, customizable, thoughtfully designed sinks, lighting, home décor and furnishings becoming the valued resource of designers, architects, builders and discerning homeowners.
The concept of an internet-only retail business without a showroom, selling handcrafted artisan-made functional art shook a lot of heads in the long-standing conventional “this is the way we do interior design” industry process known for using massive binders, samples and labor-intensive processes to present custom designs and furnishings to clients. How could we sell unique, customized hand-crafted art sight unseen through the worldwide web?
Jack knew his vision and the potential of unlimited reachability, flexibility to quickly upload photos, information and new, exciting ideas to millions of consumers worldwide would reinvent the traditionally laborious process. We took on the challenge to forge new territory.
And, it worked. He was right. It’s come to be that given the task, Jack and I dive in to our quests with gusto. In the first five years we grew exponentially.
We decided to move to Whidbey during the first year of our business. We were asked to speak about our new venture to the Woodworker’s Guild. During that meeting we met a man who gave us the notion to move here – he loved our concept and wanted to work for us – so six months later he became our first employee. Jack and I feel honored that we have been a part of the Langley community that has overwhelmingly embraced our brand and vision for the past 14 years.
In our growth, we realized the need for our brand to become tangible and visually recognizable. And, how better to embrace a brand based on creativity than to open a brick-and-mortar store in the most beautiful village by the sea, Langley? Opportunity presented itself when a 1930’s historic building became available on First Street.
We all have wishes and creative thoughts. My mission has always been to foster inspiration. Jack’s and my motto of “being flexible and receptive to change” helped while developing our flagship store. The challenges for me; never working in a retail store previous to opening my own or designing a store with ‘my’ vision. We knew that even without having the experience, when our heart says yes, people respond.
Walking in to Artisan Crafted Home, your senses are awakened by the scent of organically grown botanical diffuser oils, your eyes are bouncing from one hand-painted chandelier to a handstitched lampshade, to copper cookery from France, filling your soul with something that connects your personality to represent that uniqueness to transform your ‘house’ into your HOME.
Although we are visited by thousands of tourists a year, island residents have been our most loyal patrons in the 18 months we’ve been open.
Being an artist, one of the most rewarding accomplishments has been to enable other artists to support themselves with their passion. We all want the same thing; to come home every night to loving families and a welcoming home. We believe in infinite possibilities and we believe when there is beauty, creativity, and art, the world is a happier, kinder place.
Artisan Crafted Home
Suzanne Guttman Healy & Jack Healy
211 First Street, Langley