On May 15, 2024
Local News

A Rutland welcoming: New resident opens new business downtown

By Victoria Gaither — Raven Crispino has opened a new downtown art shop.

By Victoria Gaither

Art lovers rejoice—a new art supply store is opening in downtown Rutland. Kaleidoscope Art Supply’s grand opening is Thursday, May 16, on the second floor of 37 Center St.

Founder and curator Raven Crispino always wanted to open an art store. After leaving New Jersey and moving to Vermont, she decided to take a chance on Rutland and open her business with the Rutland community in mind.

“My thought process for what I was going to buy for the store was very much centered around the people I met in Rutland, what they like, what they are into, and other local businesses where I can collaborate,” said Crispino.

Crispino’s journey to becoming a part of Rutland’s fabric is a testament to the welcoming spirit of the community. She was visiting the area on vacation and stumbled upon a CEDRR mixer online. This monthly event, hosted by the Chamber of Economic Development of the Rutland Region, is a platform for local business owners, residents, and newcomers like Crispino to connect over food and cocktails.

“I went to that mixer, and I was welcomed with open arms as if I weren’t a stranger, and it was a good feeling. That is what I get here in Rutland: a good feeling, and I never forgot that it will always be a part of my lineage story,” she said in an interview at Kaleidoscope.

By Victoria Gaither

The shop is stocked with all kinds of cool items. You can find soap with a picture of American painter and art instructor Bob Ross on it, candles, and a bag with a picture of Mexican artist and feminist icon Frida Kahlo. Paint, brushes, writing materials, decomposition books—all the things that make up an art shop and more.

The front of the store is where you buy materials, but the back of the art store opens to a gallery, a room for art classes, and a studio for artists.

Crispino’s vision for Kaleidoscope is to create a space where everyone feels welcome, regardless of their artistic abilities. She envisions Kaleidoscope as a no-judgment zone, a place where people are encouraged to explore their creativity without fear. 

“In Kaleidoscope, it’s a no-judgment zone. I believe people should just go for it,” she passionately shared.

One to take her own advice, Raven Crispino “went for it” and landed in downtown Rutland, a place that already feels like home because she took a chance on that mixer and a community that welcomed her as their own.

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