About six years ago, we were minding our own business, walking along our respective paths in education and media when we simultaneously caught the creative entrepreneurship itch. We landed in the DBIA's Win This Space competition, and started eyeing each other's skill sets from across the business planning table. We didn't score a year of free rent, but we did score a solid partnership. One coffee date and brainstorming session later, and Watson & Lou was born! (Okay, and years of working ridiculous hours for nickels. LAUGHCRY.)
We are really proud of what we have built together: a beautiful, welcoming shop "for all things artsy and craftsy" (thanks for the genius tagline Kate Story) that helps talented, hardworking local makers offer their creations year-round in Downtown Peterborough.
Now it's time for a new chapter.
Having made a full recovery from the stupid, no good chronic migraine that took me away from music education in the first place, I'm so ready to teach again. While witnessing the devastating effects of cutbacks and a pandemic on music education programs, my choir nerd heart has led me straight to high school band and the Peterborough Children's Chorus. With Watson & Lou nearly landed on its feet after pandemic losses, I'm a little bit sad but also completely at peace to be leaving this special place in the unbelievably capable hands of Erin Watson and our superb staff.
Diving into W&L was a wonderful introduction to Peterborough. I have met hundreds of very good, very creative, very smart people. I have been welcomed and mentored and supported. I have learned so much about visual arts and how essential they are to our individual and collective wellbeing. I have learned about the demanding complexity and social exhaustion of working retail, and I have felt right at home in The Commerce Building on Water Street surrounded by the friendly familiar faces of artists who made it cool long before we bumbled in here.
Thanks to everyone who has made this experience so valuable: to the friendly customers prioritizing the little guys; to the many people trying their darndest to make this town liveable for all; to the lovely makers who make our shop possible; to the wonderful, intelligent, and talented staff who have graciously tolerated my intolerable perfectionist tendencies; and to Erin Ebenbauer, who rolls with the punches and rises to the occasion unlike anyone I've ever known.
So Anna's off to choir practice. WHAT NEXT!? Humans hate change! Tell me what's changing?
Not much. Watson & Lou will still be called Watson & Lou. The online shenanigans will continue to morph along with this amorphous beast of an internet. All your favourite staples will still be here, and the essence and mission of the shop will remain unchanged. BUT SOMETHING EXTRA GOOD IS COMING (back).
Our back room has been everything from a wedding location to vintage room to gallery, but the call for workshops is loud and clear, and we're planning to get back to our roots!!
The Gallery of Sorts continues through the fall with "Shaping the Invisible" by Carolyn Code & Michael Green in September, ceramicist Kirsti Smith of Gallery K in October, shape & colour wizard Gwyneth Fischer in November, and new work by Cyd Hosker in December. Then in the new year, we'll be working on making the space as artsy and craftsy as ever so you can get messy at Watson & Lou all over again!
So stay tuned for the relaunch of our workshop space, and please join me in saying a very fond farewell to Anna Eidt. We wish you well on your adventures with high school band and the Peterborough Children's Chorus. We will miss you, but not too much, because we know you'll be back to straighten the soaps when we're not looking.
Love from, for the last time as an official business duo but forever members of the Anna & Erin mutual admiration club,
Anna & Erin