Sperry Station is a relatively new business collective located in a historic building in downtown San Jose. Since last October, it has quickly established itself as an ambitious purveyor of the arts and a spot for creative types to exhibit and sell their work.
The historic building (once the home of WORKS/San Jose and, long ago, the Sperry Flour mill) includes a music shop, an arts and crafts boutique, Seeing Things art gallery, a concert space and, possibly soon, a barbershop. This past weekend the collective held the first Sperry Station Bazaar—half a collection of art and crafts and half an indoor flea market—offering every strange and interesting type of item that you didn’t know you needed until it caught your eye. Oddities include vintage skateboarding magazines, clothes, jewelry, leatherwork and plant aquariums were for sale by vendors.
The Bazaar was organized by Stacy Sutherland, a friend of the building’s owners, who told Metro she wanted to “create a space for like-minded people to exhibit their crafts, arts and collectibles—and to attract customers who are willing to pay above garage-sale prices for unique items.”
Despite it being the inaugural edition of the event, Sutherland says she was surprised at the level of attendance. She hopes to put on at least one Sunday bazaar per month.
But you don’t need the bazaar as an excuse to visit Sperry Station. The place is filled the rest of the week with a number of unusual shops. The most interesting is EcoMonster, a small boutique that offers an eclectic mix of handmade crafts from local artists and weekend workshops specializing in recycled and green-related crafts.
EcoMonster is owned by Thoey Ngo, who has expanded her business from an online-only shop to an elegant space displaying everything from baby booties made out of ramen noodle packages to planters in the shapes of giant-letter type. While her boutique is a bit hidden and doesn’t get much foot traffic, Ngo’s offerings have already made the big time with a feature in Better Homes and Gardens. Ngo hopes with the addition of weekend workshops for craftmaking and DIY art (including upcoming classes on revamping old sweaters and wine cork art), and her addition to San Jose’s first Friday program, that EcoMonster will become a somewhat less hidden gem.
All of this creative and eclectic activity under one roof is thanks to owner Dave Nevin, who purchased the space in October as the new home to his popular Rock Shop music store. After setting up his business, a musical equipment and repair store, Nevin found he had extra space. He initially planned to use it for music rehearsals, until his friend Jai Tanju convinced Nevin to let him make it the Seeing Things Gallery. From there a burgeoning collective of musicians, artists and craftsmen have established a venue that offers exposure and opportunity for the local art and music scene.
30 N. Third St., San Jose
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