Olyphant Art Supply, since its opening in September 2010, has successfully gained business as the only artist supply store in Olympia.
The owners of the shop, brothers Jonathan and Nick Baldridge, are grateful for the art interest in the area and often get a lot of business from college students taking art classes. They even offer a discount to students. Olyphant carries higher quality paints, brushes, etc. than anywhere else in the area.
“The teachers also help out our business,” Jonathan said. “They put [specific] items in our store on a list, and the students know where to get all of it.”
Additionally, Olyphant carries artist’s spray paint, which is truly unique to the store.
“You’re not easily going to find that anywhere else,” Jonathan said.
They also carry large amounts of screen-printing inks, which are predicted to be in high demand over the summer.
Since this is the store’s first summer, the Baldridge brothers are hoping for the best, and are considering hiring additional help once the store really picks up.
Both brothers are interested in the arts. Nick Baldridge is an oil painter himself, so he is able to give recommendations for interested artists, his brother said. The duo moved to Olympia from Denver, Colorado to avoid looking for jobs, Jonathan said.
The old art supply store in West Olympia (which is now Framemakers) occasionally still gets walk-ins thinking the store still carries art supplies. The owners then refer them to Olyphant, according to Jonathan, so they’re getting all of the old store’s new clients. They are grateful for all of the business they are getting.
“The economy has been better for me here, but starting a business is hard… Any extra money goes towards buying new inventory,” he said.
The store takes personal recommendations for inventory and updates their stock according to the customers’ needs. Currently, individual quality calligraphy nibs are on their way for artists interested. For those interested in Shodo calligraphy (Japanese calligraphy), the store already carries brushes, ink, and everything else needed for good Shodo.
The shop is located in a small nook on Legion Way in downtown Olympia– right next to Rainy Day records. There hours during the week are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.