As Filigrees Gallery & Boutique celebrates their anniversary this week, I sat down with Melissa Campbell, owner, to understand what her business is all about and her plans for the future. Melissa, who has degrees in both Psychology and Fine Arts and is also certified in yoga, opened her business on Elmwood to promote local art, health and fitness. She has always been community-oriented and wanted to do things for the greater good. Her love of hula hooping and art is evident through the classes she teaches and eclectic pieces that decorate Filigrees.
Q: How would you describe Filigrees?
A: “A collection of eclectic items that are mostly locally made. We also have some spiritual items and handmade hula-hoops.”
Q: What is the mission of your business?
A: “To enable artists and musicians. Also, to give people in Buffalo a place where they can buy locally made art.”
Q: Why did you choose to open your business in the Elmwood Village?
A: “Elmwood is a progressive area. It also provides a shopping ‘experience.’”
Q: What do you think makes Filigrees unique & how would you describe it to someone who has never been in the store?
A: “It is very bohemian, East Village, positive, high energy, comfortable and cozy. We carry local art and also purses and shirts made by Peoples Inc. “I can” clothing company. The goods are designed by 2 developmentally disabled women and printed locally.”
Q: One of your best sellers here are your hula-hoops. How did you get into hooping and why did you start making hoops to share with the Elmwood Village?
A: “After I learned how to hoop, I started making them because I loved how creative I can be with them. Hooping gives people a way to express themselves and gives them happiness. I love teaching classes and giving demos because I can share this happiness with them.”
Q: Where were you 5 years ago? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: “Five years ago I was traveling a lot after college. Traveling gave me perspectives on the similarities people have and that we all have similar needs. In five years I see myself expanding my hoop business—creating LED hoops and a more technological hoop. I am also planning on a mobile hoop truck/art gallery to travel around Buffalo and festivals. I am also getting into booking health and wellness workshops for businesses and organizations. My motto is: ‘out of the cubicle and into the hoop.’”