Welcome to The Guild inaugural blog post! Let me start off by telling you a little about The Guild and how we got here.
My name is Emily, and I, along with my husband are the founders of this little boutique event venue in Historic downtown Richmond. We have an artist in residence, Phaedra Taylor, who teaches workshops every month as well as curates our gallery wall. We also partner with Chef Chris Zettlemoyer to provide a monthly farm to table dinner.
Full disclosure: this started out as a ridiculously large scale area. I'm talking 80 acres, alpacas, hundreds of ducks, citrus orchards, tiny cabins.... like I said, crazy big. It was one of those dreams you talk to your better half about after 3 glasses of wine and he says, "Yes! Honey! Even though you have never operated a tractor in your life and have an irrational fear of birds, I think you could nail this!" ...but then over coffee says..."oh, you were serious?!" I had picked out the perfect plot of land (one I had never set foot on- but inherently knew it was perfect) and then Harvey happened. Now stick with me on this winding story...
We were beyond lucky during Harvey. We evacuated per orders and only had minimal damage to our home. We took our family to Austin to stay with my sister and regroup. Immediately we knew things had to be done. We were two Richmond natives, but mommas of small children. Mucking houses and staging boat rescues were out of the question. But playing supermarket sweeps at every available big box store in the Austin area to load a uHaul to bring back? Yes. We'd been training our whole lives for this. Daughters of the most practical and logistical man we knew everything to grab. Aimee of Blockhouse Coffee was able to help out and give us a place to bring all our haul and even managed to find space for Attack Poverty and All Hands. We were a triage of donations and distributions, working with every local nonprofit to get the appropriate supplies in the appropriate hands. My cohorts, Aimee and Zach, were and are amazing visionaries. I had a sounding board during this time for my crazy dream! While we handed out bleach and bottled water I told them about the citrus orchard. The canning studio. The fig trees! We pulled up the property on line....OPTION PENDING! Gut punch. Aimee heard my sad pitiful cries, ripping out imaginary blood orange trees and finding homes for my dream ducks. Y'all. It was pathetic.
And you know that thing about closing doors and opening windows? Aimee did just that.
A: Do you think you could make this dream in a smaller space?
E: How small?
A: 1000 square feet?
E: Where will I put the ducks?
A: No animals. Can you do it?
E: ......I could put it to bare bones I guess?
And so a new dream was born. A platform for artists to teach and share their skills, a place for people to create memories, and somewhere for me to share all the things I want to share.
So that is how The Guild began. It is an ever changing space fueled by so many wonderful visionaries. We hope you visit us for one of our farm to table dinners or an art workshop...or plan an event of your own soon!