Here are some of circa.’s press, ads, and articles.
circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING voted “Best Place to Find Unique Gifts” for the second year in a row in the 11th annual Jackson Free Press “Best of Jackson” awards.
circa. was also voted one of the best locally owned businesses in Jackson
We thank you for your support and extend our congratulations to all the winners!
- from FinditinFondren.com
Created to Be Individual: Artisan Made with Michele Escude
There seems to be a return to American made and especially, artisan made. Boutique owner and artist Michele Escude says she knows why. “People are taking time to notice details and buy quality,” she says. The level she refers to can be seen in the clothing, jewelry, serving pieces and glass work found in her store, circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING. “The younger generation has a need to be more authentic.”
Escude believes that shoppers are not only realizing the value of artisan made but the quality. “When you really look at the cost, it’s not that much different to buy a piece that will last. You’re getting something you will cherish.”
In a world that strives for individuality, artisan made is a chance to be different. Escude says there’s no matching set. To be individual, one should seek out pieces that are one-of-a-kind. “It’s celebrated these days to show your individual personality through clothing and the items in your home.”
There’s another reason to notice artisan made: the increase in those creating works as a way to make a living. Escude says people are leaving corporate careers and realizing a more authentic life is more important than making the big dollars. “They’ve checked that off their list,” she says “and are now making living out of doing something they love.” Escude sees it locally, but on a national level, too. “I’m in the position to talk to artists from all over. I have one, an incredible jeweler, who left the corporate banking world. That wasn’t the life she wanted.”
The question, she says, has to be, ‘what ultimately will bring happiness?’ “If you can make a living out of using your talents, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Her store, open since the fall of 2010, sees returning customers who want to share the artisan made lifestyle with their friends and families. “They want to give a piece of uniqueness to the people they love,” she says.
Artisan made is nothing new for Escude, a designer and painter in her own right. Living her life based on a simplistic, true and unique way, she and husband Craig, married 22 years, extended their passion to the opening of their store. “We live this way, surrounded by others who do the same.”
Escude says she appreciates when an artist can think outside the box. “When they take something so simple, yet make it amazing? I love it.”
What advice does she have for those who want to strike out on the artisan path? “Start at home with your own life,” she advises. “We all have hobbies, but if you find something you love as a hobby and it haunts you, think, how can I make a living from this?” Try your art for friends and family. “Are you tired of it yet?” She says if not, you may be on to something. In simplest terms, the advice she gives is to ‘just keep doing it.’ “The reward comes if you can leave the day to day grind behind and pursue something you love.”
January 2012 –
NICHE MAGAZINE (January, 2012) announces circa. as the 2011 Top Retailer in “Best Social Networking or Viral Marketing” category.
(photo by Creative Process Studios)
September 12, 2011
The Fondren Association of Businesses held its annual membership meeting and awards presentation tonight at Duling Hall. Congratulations to Ron Aldridge, Fondren Business Person of the Year (Jennifer Emerson accepted the award), Friend of Fondren, JPD Commander Wendall Watts and Rainbow CoOp for the Spirit of Fondren award (a tie win, accepted by Luke Lundemo). The Future of Fondren award went to Michele and Craig Escude of circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING, and the other Spirit of Fondren recipient was Brown’s Fine Art, accepted by Mary Grace Brown.The artisan created awards were made by Andrew McIntyre, a Murrah graduate currently studying fine arts at the University of Mississippi.
Photo by: Creative Process Studios
circa. Receives National Honor
Posted by finditinfondren on Jul 15th, 2011 in Shop
Like? Try love. That’s the sentiment from the Rosen Group, publishers of Niche Magazine to Fondren’s circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING. The national fine art gallery and retail magazine honored circa. as their top retailer in the social networking or viral marketing category in awards announced this week. circa.’s extensive use of Facebook and Twitter to promote their latest offerings and openings has now been recognized nationally and owners Craig & Michele Escude couldn’t be more thrilled. “We are deeply honored by this award,” Craig Escude said.” To win national recognition after being open for such a short time and for simply doing what we love is phenomenal. We could not do it without the support of our business community, circa.staff, artisans and, most of all, our circa.family of customers.” Opened in October 2010, circa. describes their store as American ingenuity with a splash of urban coolness….
…The NICHE Awards is the highest recognition for both production and limited-edition craft works made in the United States and Canada. Published by The Rosen Group, NICHE magazine was founded for the purpose of connecting art galleries and craft retailers with the finest wholesale crafts, handmade gifts and decorative art objects made in artist studios.
Thank you, Jackson, for voting us one of the best!!
Portico Jackson -March 2011
WHO TO KNOW
Michele and Craig Escude
circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING
By Susan Marquez
Photo by Roy Adkins
A passion for artisan-made items has been brewing in the souls of Michele and Craig Escude for a long time. “We’ve wanted to do this since we got married 21 years ago,” Craig says. A chance lunch date in the Fondren area put the wheels of their unique establishment into motion. “We saw this building for sale, and it was perfect for what we wanted to do,” Michele says. “So we jumped ahead of schedule a bit, and here we are today!”
The couple opened circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING in October 2010. Their grand opening was held during the Fondren Unwrapped event, and “it was wild,” Craig says.
Walking through heavily-leaded glass doors into a wide-open space, one knows instantly that circa. is unlike any store in Jackson. It is filled with carefully selected artisan-made treasures that are beautifully displayed. “It’s good if your environment reflects who you are,” says Michele. “This is an extension of who we are. It’s just ramped up a bit. We believe that today’s customer understands and wants this.” Craig says that the things people choose to buy should “speak to you and for you.”
The store specializes in functional items, with several categories: circa.homestead encompasses things for your home and office, including furniture, accessories, lamps and art; circa.body is the store’s unique artisan scent bar. There are home and bath needs that can be scented with the customer’s choice from three fragrance collections. “We have 28 different scents, so we encourage people to come in and develop their own signature products,” Michele says. “It gives them an opportunity to be an artisan as well.”
There’s circa.wear that features clothing and accessories, and circa.vibe, which one can experience when they walk in the store. Other categories include circa.taste, artisan foods, and circa.garden, still in development. “We are working with Nellie Neal, the ‘Garden Mama.’ We’ll be expanding our selection of artistic items for the garden, as well as low maintenance plants.” The store also has bonsai trees on display.
Michele is proud of the fact that all the items in the store are made by artisans in the United States. “We’ve been collecting cards of artisans we really love over the years,” remarks Michele. “I get so much enjoyment from finding new artists.” Craig says Michele has a real talent for connecting people who make things with people who like hand-made things. “She’s a great guide between the artist and the consumer. And she is very good with helping the artists become more successful.” Craig is an artisan himself and a member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi.
circa. will feature a new artist every four to six weeks with a gallery opening. “We’re excited to have Bruce Niemi in March,” said Craig. The opening reception will be March 10 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. “Bruce is a nationally known metal sculptor from Wisconsin wwho has had some big public installations. His work is full of feeling and fluidity.”
The next aspect of the store will be the event venue they are developing. “We have already installed a catering kitchen, and we are ready to host luncheons, parties and receptions,” Craig says. “It’s perfect for anyone who wants an urban vibe.” Soon to be developed is the 5000-square-foot outdoor area in the back. “We are going to landscape it and create an ideal venue for outdoor concerts or other functions.”
circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING is located at 2771 Old Canton Road in Jackson. For more information about circa., call 601.362.8484 or visit www.circaliving.com.
GRAND OPENING circa.BRATION! November 18, 2010
Highlights from our ribbon cutting, November, 17 2010.
circa. was graciously featured in an article in the November 10th issue of the Jackson Free Press. Read more here.
circa. is a proud sponsor of the BOOM Jackson Fashon show to benefit “Dress for Success.” circa. has its artisan created clothing modeled on the runway and also provided decorative table statement pieces for the event. Take a look at the video below for a few highlights. (Nov. 12 2010)
Good for Business. Why we chose Fondren.
Find it in Fondren (October 2010) by Craig Escude
When looking for the right place to open circa. URBAN ARTISAN LIVING, the obvious choice was the historic Fondren District of Jackson. Being a newcomer to the Fondren scene, the camaraderie and support of the local art and business community was quickly evident. Art in Jackson has not reached its peak, and the historic Fondren District has set a foundation for and continues to be a driving force in its growth.
In Fondren , every business owner is an artisan, creating a truly unique, inviting and individual experience for their customers. You can find a nice meal and purchase items anywhere. Come to Fondren to be inspired. In this time where people are more confident in expressing their individuality, there is no better place to find that one-of-a-kind piece that both “speaks to” and “speaks of” your soul. Whether it is food, photography, furniture, film, fine art, clothing, jewelry, garden ware, antiques or music, an artful life awaits you in Fondren. And because gift-giving is personal, come to a place where you can give a piece of yourself to the ones you love. Whatever you desire, you are sure to find it in Fondren.