Humans of the Coast | S1 E7 “Kube Studios – An Artist Incubator”
From floor to ceiling and wall to wall, every nook and cranny in The Kube Studios is filled with bright and eclectic artisan pieces. One part art gallery, one part artist incubator, and one part retail store, Kube is a bright, vibrant space filled to the brim with inspiration.
Located in Gibsons, the 2,600 square foot space started with humble beginnings as a three-person venture in the home of Christa Joe, a 20-year resident of the Sunshine Coast.
Christa soon unearthed the budding opportunity to provide a larger studio space and support network for local artists. Soon after she began to evolve her business model, she met Jill Pilon, who had recently relocated from East Vancouver. Jill had brought with her fresh ideas and a vision for how to nurture the artist community on the Sunshine Coast.
“We really needed to ramp up our studio space and make it more of an art incubator,” Christa says. “When [Jill] came on board, we decided to do the expansion and now we can accommodate 11 artists as opposed to 5. We have a classroom space and everything. I think we do finally consider ourselves an art incubator on The Coast.”
The Kube has 10 artists in residence, who have studio space, gain access to inspiring workshops and are supported by co-op marketing efforts through the business.
Kube’s art gallery and retail space features art and hand-crafted artisan pieces from the Sunshine Coast, as well as creative works from as far away as New York. They’ve attracted quite a following and host an art opening and wine night on the first Friday of the month featuring a different artist each time.
Christa has also forged strong partnerships with several women’s empowerment organizations, and sells gorgeous textiles, bags and other items that help support women in nations, such as Ghana, Rwanda and Turkey.
Jill has helped create a burgeoning workshop program for The Kube Studios – with offerings for both adults and children of all skill levels. There are a variety of sessions each year, covering creative skills like painting, textiles, weaving, wool dying, photography, skin care, wreath making, macrame and more. They even do private women’s wine and paint nights for special occasions.
“Primarily, the reason why I really wanted to ramp up the workshops is because when I left East Van, I kind of left my artist community there,” she explains. “So, [I wanted] to continually be inspired and not have to take a ferry. …. I wanted to bring a little bit of the artist community over here so it keeps things fresh and new and interesting. When you’re constantly inspired it just keeps you going.”
While art is a huge part of Christa and Jill’s lives – and many who frequent Kube Studios for inspiration, support and community – there is no greater joy or inspiration than spending time by the ocean. The ladies both reminisce about bonfires by the beach and summer night swims, as well as heavenly hikes in the backcountry.
I asked the ladies if they had any advice for folks looking to start up a business on The Coast. Here’s what Christa said:
“Do it. The coast is growing. There’s just an influx of new people. We’re hungry for change and I think that if people are looking to open up a business now is the time. If you don’t jump at the opportunity to do it, someone else is going to.”
Fill up on Kube Studios artisan goodies this winter by entering my Coastal Living Contest. I’m giving away two, 2-night stays here on the Sunshine Coast. Each package includes a $50 gift certificate from Kube Studios. Enter now!