G St. Mercantile recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, and now the store is ready to ring the bells on the holiday season.
The cooperative, located in downtown Antioch, houses the work of 25 vendors who exhibit a variety of things new, old and everything in between: handmade soaps, repurposed furniture, clothing, home decor, dolls and, around this time, virtually anything holiday-themed, from ornaments to trees to nativity scenes.
“This time of year, our store transforms into a winter wonderland,” said co-owner Michael Gabrielson.
Gabrielson and co-owner Brandon Woods, his fiancé, opened the store in 2015 in an effort to fill what they felt was a void in town. Although they both work other full-time jobs — Gabrielson is a realtor and broker, and Woods works in financial services — they’re both creative-minded and wanted to offer a space for others who are, too.
“We love the downtown, and felt there was a place for us, too,” said Gabrielson. “(Owning a business) is very expensive. This co-op helps eliminate overhead; it fills up a lot of time for our vendors to create.”
Woods, who attended San Francisco’s Academy of Art College for photography, is the creative mind behind the business. He does G St. Mercantile’s window displays and teams up with one of the store’s vendors to teach furniture painting classes.
The pair of owners sell many of their own items they’ve created, and Woods — who refinishes furniture as a hobby — finds a lot of enjoyment in teaching customers how to paint their own items.
“People were asking, ‘How do you do this?’” he said. “In this space, we can do it all.”
Woods says the store hosts a variety of classes for furniture painting.
“We have the basic 101 class to basically get people to overcome that fear of, ‘I’m going to paint my dining room table; I’m so afraid I’m going to ruin it,’” he said. “After they go through the class, we show them the steps. I think once they do the basics, they see, ‘Oh wow, this is really simple.’ Once you start changing things, and you see how easy it is, and you know that you can achieve beautiful things, then you’re going to want to do that with everything ... Your world will be a little different, because you’ll see something, and you’ll see the potential in it, and know that you can do it.”
Gabrielson and Woods agree the variety of vendors bring an eclectic mix to the store.
“Everything is always a surprise,” Woods said. “It’s always changing. I like it better than when you go into Walmart or Target, and you see everything laid out on the shelf. We try not to have our store look like that. Even though we have vintage items and new items, we kind of mix the two, ‘cause that’s how your home would look. It wouldn’t be ... everything is old, or everything is new. It’d be this beautiful mix of, you know, your life, and that’s how we kind of decorate our store.”
“It’s very eclectic, but cohesive as well,” Gabrielson said.
G St. Mercantile will celebrate the holiday season with Antioch’s annual Winter Wine Stroll, Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon to 4 p.m. For $15, attendees will receive samplings of 18 different wines at stores throughout downtown, starting at Elite Dance Studio, 300 G St. There will also be live music, a craft fair, food and parades to follow. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/winterwinewalk.
G St. Mercantile is located at 205 G St. in downtown Antioch. For more information about the store or its classes, visit www.gstmercantile.com or call 925-732-3877.