“Warning: deaf redhead inside,” states the sign on the door to Super Good Art Stuff, a charming boutique art supplies store that is a part of the Tennyson St. Art and Shopping District in Denver, Colorado. That redhead is owner Erin Chilvers-West, a member of Deafandhoh.com since April 2011. Erin is from Wheat Ridge, CO and holds a degree in Apparel Design and Production from Colorado State University. After school, she was hired by a company to do textile design, technical illustration and graphic design. Unfortunately with the collapse of the economy, she was laid off a couple of years ago. Erin, a lover of colors and patterns, had always enjoyed window displays and thought that her artsy North Denver neighborhood could use a local art supply store. With help from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, she received new, top-of-the-line hearing aids, business-plan coaching, and a large grant to open her business.
Erin has profound hearing loss that started at the age of six due to unknown reasons. She sought out a community to relate to; after some Google searching, she found Deafandhoh.com. According to Erin, “It’s nice to have a place to turn where everyone understands your struggles.”
Erin created a post on the Deafandhoh.com forum with the heading “Own your own business?” where she expressed the desire to open a small business and then inquired if other members had a similar interest. Less than a year after that post was made, Super Good Art Stuff opened on June 1st, 2012. “It hasn’t been easy,” Erin says. “I am trying to make ends meet. But the neighborhood loves us and business continues to grow.” No wonder– SGAS makes art supplies conveniently available to North West Denver, Wheat Ridge and South Westy; before, these supplies could only be obtained by taking a lengthy trip downtown.
The boutique provides products that are “adapted to meet the special requirements of the professional/serious artist with permanence, brilliance and technique in mind.” In addition to great products, Super Good Art Stuff provides artistic instruction with a variety of courses including Drop in Drawing, Modern Stenciling 101, Intro to Linoleum Carving, (Snowflake, Origami, and Circle) Garland, and Intro to Water Colors.
In addition to running the shop with Timothy, her husband of five and a half years, Erin also enjoys road trips, traveling, scooters, roller derby, books, movies, and being outside. “A day trip to the mountains is always fun,” Erin says.