Art, coffee and clothing collide this week as Erica Weiss opens Juma Gallery in Shaker Heights.
The three-unit gallery at Chagrin and Lomand boulevards is now open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Juma sells women's designer clothes, small gifts and artwork by Weiss and other area artists, but the owner believes it can soon become a popular gathering space.
"This area used be vibrant with a lot of shops, but it just hasn't been for so many years," Weiss said. "I wanted to be bring back this area.
"I live in Shaker and I really want to be bring back more vibrancy options in retail."
Juma's art, cafe, gift shop and clothing store will always dominate the space, but Weiss envisions making room for other artists and like-minded businesses in the future. The business already provides space for Carina Reimers, who operates The House Warmings, a small shop that carries antiques, furniture and more.
Weiss also wants to open the cafe space up to various groups for book clubs, knitting clubs, painting workshops and other interests. She said Juma will hold its grand opening and first show, Locally Grown, on Oct. 27. The show will feature the work of nine artists from the area.
"It can be a creative outlet," Weiss said. "I want this to be Shaker's hangout place."
The unit right at the Chagrin-Lomand intersection houses the cafe area, with a gift shop behind it. There, customers can find candles, picture frames and pottery. Purses, jewelry and clothes by designers like Chicago-based Neesh and Planet of Sarasota, Fla. The art gallery is housed in the third unit.
Shaker Heights City Council has approved for Juma Gallery since 2011 to help the business revamp the space, including the unit that used house the Malcolm Brown art gallery. The Weiss family owns the three units and invested about $200,000 in the Juma project.
Weiss has operated another Juma Gallery in the Little Italy district of Cleveland for more than 10 years. That business began in just 350 square feet. The new location is about 3,000 square feet.
"I want people to come and support a local business," Weiss said. "Hopefully they'll think it's a cool place to come and hang out.
"That's all I want."