Sup Venice?

The Venice Art Crawl is a community sponsored event celebrating the work  of local artists.  July’s Art Crawl will take place on the famed Abbot Kinney Blvd this Thursday, 7/21/16.  Numerous stores and establishments along Abbott Kinney will be taking part in the event.

One of the participating stores is Tumbleweed and Dandelion.  Join us between 6pm – 10pm to help support local art.  The idea behind this event is to invite the community for a walking tour to support local artists and vendors.

I recently sat down with Lizzie McGraw; the owner of Tumbleweed and Dandelion to discuss her involvement in the event and evolution of her store.

Why did you decide to open a store in Venice?

In 1997 I moved here on a whim. .Julia Roberts bought a bunch of things from me which helped get me started.  I’m sure she has no idea of the boost!

How long have you had your store location? 

Since July 5, 1997.

What was the inspiration behind it?  

Literally, a whim, that turned into a career.

What does the name Tumbleweed & Dandelion mean? 

Long story short, I had a partner when I first started and we met one day and she said I named the store! I was like “wha??” Then she said she named it Dandelion…which wasn’t great because there already was a Dandelion Cafe on the corner. It was a sign the partnership was doomed. I renamed it Tumbleweed & Dandelion using a young photo of my grandmother and her friend Henry. The tumbleweed is the weed that spreads the dandelion.

You must have seen a lot of changes on Abbot Kinney. How do you feel about it?

I was here for 10 years of: ” Great store…but too bad you are on this street”.
Then 5 years of: “OMG, this street is amazing!”
…and now the feeling is “When did corporate America take over?”.
We are the last bastion of small enterprise that is successful.  I feel like a pioneer on the street.  If they kick me out I would go quietly.

 What do you predict for the future of Venice? 

I hope it will thrive and stay safe. Unfortunately due to rising rents, a lot of the art and culture has had to leave but it’s still a carnivals town by the shore.

Tell me more about the Venice Art Crawl and the impact on the artists in the community? 

I think it’s important to support the arts. Art brings us joy and togetherness. We have to protect and give to the creative soul. Like all art forms it’s almost impossible to make a living at it so the more we all realize the importance the more opportunity we give artists in all genres.

Tell us about your personal participation with the art crawl and the community?

This is the first time I have genuinely reached out to be a part of the crawl. I feel Shawn’s work is relevant and beautiful. I wanted to be a part of his success.

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