National Women’s Small Business Month Series Q&A Featuring Jamie Foreman of Menagerie on Main
October is Women’s Small Business Month in America! To celebrate, we’re featuring Cherokee-based women-owned businesses all month long. These inspiring stories will shed a well-deserved light on their incredible leadership, business acumen, and resilience.
This week, we’ll hear from Jamie Foreman of Menagerie on Main – an artisan boutique and creative space in the heart of Downtown Canton. Menagerie on Main offers a space for artists to display their creative talents while residents can develop theirs through classes and workshops.
What inspired you to open Menagerie on Main?
Art has always been a cornerstone of my life. My mom is an artist, and I have been creative since birth. Art has always been a part of me. Even when I tried to pursue other avenues and careers, my creative side always dominated.
A few years ago, I was working an office job. I loved the people, but I was recognizing that this was not something I could do for the rest of my life. I started to brainstorm what was missing in the Downtown Canton area. They really didn’t have any kind of art boutique, art gallery, or a place for local artists to sell their stuff. So, it really all unfolded at the same time. There was a need, I had a desire, and it was birthed from that.
What type of classes and workshops are offered in your art gallery?
I like the idea of giving people the opportunity to try something that they’ve never done. We’ve had different painting classes, stained glass workshops are happening on the regular, leather workshops, and clay. Usually, teachers and artists will come to me and say, ‘I’d like to try and offer this workshop,’ or people in the community will reach out and say, ‘We would like to take this class,’ and we try to make it happen. There is really nothing off-limits.
What type of art can be purchased in your gallery?
We have a variety of art. I call it an art gallery and an artisan boutique because it is a lot more than just painting. We have someone that does light fixtures and repurposes furniture. We also have jewelry and feature local authors, textiles, and clay artists. It is pretty much anything that an artist or artisan makes.
I generally paint or make jewelry. I have some paintings in the gallery for sale and some jewelry pieces. My time is pretty much focused on the business, so I do the artwork when I can.
How did Menagerie on Main get its name?
I didn’t want to limit this space with a name. I wanted to keep something that could be interpreted or grow with us. I also sought feedback from the community and friends. I love the alliteration Menagerie on Main, but Menagerie just means a collection of things. I think this speaks to what we have in the gallery, but also to all our offerings – like the classes and the events that we do. It’s all encompassing.
When you say the word art gallery, people have an image of what that is. I think that we are broader than that. I wanted to make sure that we were putting out the message that we have a lot of stuff here for the community. My friend Brooke Schmidt actually helped piece the words together, and it worked out very well.
What do you love most about being in Cherokee county?
The location is incredible. It is truly where metro meets the mountains. It is the gem that people have discovered. I love the progress that is being made – very thoughtful development. Each city has its own personality and offerings without losing its identity, and it is all supported up by the county. I love the opportunity and possibility that is existing here.
What else is unique about Menagerie on Main?
Menagerie on Main has a heavy emphasis on community and trying to bring people together through the arts, which I think is a major vision and mission of the gallery.
One way we do that is through events. We feature local singers/songwriters on a regular basis. We have artist openings, and we even have artists creating during events sometimes.
To learn more about Menagerie on Main, visit https://www.menagerieonmain.com/.