Photo by Isaac Harrell
Across the street from a car garage on a nearly vacant stretch of Sheppard Street sits Slack Design, a treasure trove of upcycled furniture, fashion, art and more.
"It was a midlife crisis," co-owner Elisabeth Christoffersson says, laughing, about the shop she opened with her husband at 905 N. Sheppard St. in late March.
The 47-year-old personal trainer, Pilates instructor and massage therapist moved to Richmond from Fairfax about a year ago in pursuit of the lower cost of living and to be closer to her daughter, who attends Virginia Commonwealth University. Originally from Gotland, an island about 60 miles off Sweden's southeastern coast, Christoffersson and her husband, Mats Christoffersson, hope to bring some of the beauty of the Baltic Sea to the Museum District.
Elisabeth's mixed-media artwork hangs on the walls of the 500-square-foot shop, where the couple sells altered clothing, lamps, ottomans, purses, blankets, books, a telescope and more. They find items for the shop at thrift stores, through friends and even in Richmond alleyways.
Tokens from the couple's Swedish background are scattered around the store. Hand-carved and painted wooden horse statuettes called Dalahästs, a symbol of Sweden, sit beside game pieces for Kubb, a Nordic lawn game in which the object is to knock over wooden blocks by throwing wooden sticks at them.
The building, which the Christofferssons sublease above a basement-recording studio, previously served as a tattoo parlor and before that, a shoe repair shop.
"This is definitely a big change," Elisabeth says. "But I've always been doing things on the side, so it feels like all of a sudden, I have a place to do it."
For more information, call (703) 309-4737 or visit shopslackdesign.com .