Artisans carries a wide selection of the best of American made items, including the work of many local artists. Artisans features jewelry (including wedding bands), artwork, glass, ceramics, metal work, woodworking, housewares, cards, candles and bath products. We also carry fun kid items such as toys, games, and accessories. The products found in Artisans are to be used and appreciated – from preparing food on a beautiful wooden cutting board to enjoying coffee in the perfect ceramic mug, or wearing a pair of earrings made by one of the amazing jewelers featured. Artisans is the place to find the perfect gift!
Artisans has been in downtown Santa Cruz since 1976 – its first incarnation was as an artists’ cooperative. On October 17, 1989, Santa Cruz was hit by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, which destroyed much of downtown. The artists of the cooperative felt they had to disband. Fortunately, John and Juleen Lisher, local members of the downtown community, were determined to revive the store that had become a fixture of Santa Cruz. As Santa Cruz slowly recovered from the earthquake, the Lishers slowly expanded the size and scope of the gallery to carry artists from all over North America. In 1993, the Lishers hired 16-year old Linnaea Holgers (James). In February of 2009, Linnaea celebrated her 16-year anniversary with the store by purchasing Artisans Gallery.
In September of 2015, Linnaea and her husband Peter opened Agency down the street from Artisans. Also located in downtown Santa Cruz, Agency features “great stuff for great spaces.” Agency carries contemporary home goods and lifestyle accessories, such as tabletop items, small scale furniture, clocks, linens, lighting, and much more. Agency’s space (across from Bookshop Santa Cruz) was previously that of Santa Cruz Travel. Paying tribute to the storefront’s previous, longtime incarnation, Agency reflects the work and travel that goes into creating a fabulously stocked store.