When Ro Lambert, Owner of , quit commercial real estate to become a full-time mother, she never dreamed it would lead to a career as an artist, opening her own gallery in downtown Northville. But that’s what happened.
“My son got some Fimo, that clay that you can bake, and we were molding and making things, like giraffes and little animals and I thought, this is kind of fun. I wonder if I can make some beads out of this,” Lambert said. “So pretty soon, while they were making clowns and giraffes, I was making earrings and thought, this is fun. Maybe I’ll sell this. From there, I went to sterling silver and gemstones and it just really took off.”
Her love for artistic and creative art eventually led her to open her own gallery, where she sells items made only from Michigan artists. Hence, the play on words in her gallery’s name, “State of MInd” where she currently features 38 artists from our state.
“I really work hard at making sure the balance is right,” Lambert said. “It’s a customer that is hip and funky, but not over the top. So it’s important to look for the right kind of artist. Not too many in one category.”
Originally opening temporarily in Twelve Oaks Mall, for several months, she looked for a permanent place to call home.
“It was going to be either here or Plymouth, but I really liked Northville better. So I’m excited to be here,” Lambert said. “I think it’s a great mix of tenants and the perfect amount of restaurants versus retail. Just quaint and cute, so I’m really happy this is our spot.”
Her customers also love the local theme at State of MInd. Sally Johnson, a resident of Northville Township, has purchased many items from the gallery, for herself and as gifts.
“What I like about the gallery is they’re supporting Michigan artists, so they have a nice mix of unique items that you don’t see in other stores,” Johnson said. “I especially like the jewelry. She also has a textile artist who does really fabulous hand-dyed silk scarves that I really like.”
Johnson is also a fan of one of the photographers at the gallery, whose work, she says, captures the essence of Detroit through the lens.
“I picked up a great picture of the train station in Detroit I put in my office that I just absolutely love,” Johnson said. “I like older architecture, especially when you have pictures of things that you can see what they use to be like.”
Feeling at home in Northville, Lambert has already helped with organizing community events and fundraising. Along with supporting Make-A-Wish, she raised funds for Northville’s Relay for Life event.
“I made a suggestion we could do something the whole town can be a part of and they were very receptive and decided to tie it to Relay for Life,” Lambert said. “We got commitments from 13 of the downtown merchants that they would donate 10 percent of their sales. Next year, my vision is to have it be even bigger.”
That kind of give and take between businesses and the community is not unusual in Northville, and certainly not unusual for Lambert and her customers.
“It’s a great store. Ro is a wonderful person and her staff is really helpful too,” Johnson said. “It’s just a really nice store that I’m glad they have downtown now.”