Art Meets Nature - Opening of The Riverside Gallery and Natural Clothing Co. store in Snohomish, WA

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A new exciting place is opening in Snohomish. The Riverside Gallery and Natural Clothing Company are co - opening doors right over a beautiful Snohomish River with salmon jumping over the water and hot air balloons sailing by. “We believe we found the most beautiful spot in the state. An art gallery and natural clothing display – art meets nature”, says Elaine, an owner of the gallery. The owners of two different businesses met at the class on raising chickens and soon discovered a lot in common - a concern about the environment and the well being of the future generations. Natural Clothing Co. carries clothing made of hemp, certified organic cotton, linen and bamboo. The fibers are grown organically without use of pesticides. They are also plant, not oil derived resources, so you can compost them once worn out” Alina, an avid gardener, says with a smile. “People don’t need tons of new clothing. But if you buy something, buy quality; invest in timeless beauty of natural fibers and help the planet. Our clothing is Nature approved!” Elaine, the owner of The Riverside Gallery, walks people around the gallery at preview explaining the pieces on exhibit. “The works are by local and national artists. Our art is accomplished by old fashion methods without the use of projectors, Photoshop and other technological advances, except for the limited edition prints. There is a place for those tools in the art world but our goal is to promote art created with the feel of the old masters. Maybe with a nouveau twist. That’s how we envision our gallery.”

What do a first generation American and a Polish immigrant have in common? Spending their early years in Chicago is a one thread but more important is a belief in the American Dream. “If anywhere there is still a place that small people can build successful companies, its here, [in America],” says Alina, owner of Natural Clothing Co. “These might be the hardest times in the last 30 years I’ve lived in U.S. but if anybody can make things go right, it is right here.”

And there’s no more beautiful place in America than here in Washington State, especially in Snohomish, with its snow capped mountains, rivers and farms. “We believe we found the most beautiful spot in the state, right on the Snohomish River. It’s so appropriate, that we opened our store here. An art gallery and natural clothing display – art meets nature”, says Elaine, an owner of The Riverside Gallery.

Alina and Elaine met at the class on raising chickens that Elaine was teaching through Sky Valley Education extension in Monroe. Soon they found they had more in common than the joy of chickens. For Alina, an architect by trade and Elaine, a former CPA and teacher, a concern about the environment and the well being of the future generations is a passion. They began collaborating together on several projects, art shows and online. When the opportunity presented itself to create a beautiful showplace which allows promotion of art and raising awareness of dangers of the conventional textile industry, the two motivated women took it.

Alina, bursting with energy when preparing her displays speaks of her beginnings in the business. She started Natural Clothing Company after learning that the conventional cotton crop is one of the biggest consumers of cancer producing insecticides and pesticides, polluting soil, waters, and damaging cotton workers’ health. Today, many people with sensitive skin purchase from the Natural Clothing Co.’s online store, seeking those soft bamboo and cotton fabric. The majority though are the people who want fewer chemicals to be used in our lives - the planting fields and their skin safe, as well as they want to look beautiful.

“We carry hemp, certified organic cotton, linen and bamboo. The fibers are made from plants grown organically without use of pesticides. The Natural Clothing Co.’s fabrics are plant, not oil derived resources, such as polyesters and nylons, so you can compost them once worn out” Alina, an avid gardener, says with a smile. “People don’t need tons of new clothing. But if you do buy something, buy quality; invest in timeless beauty and safety of natural fibers and help the planet. Our organic clothing is Nature approved!”

Alina’s counterpart, Elaine, the owner of The Riverside Gallery, is comfortably friendly as she walks people around the gallery at preview explaining the pieces on exhibit. “We have our current art on display and more coming in for exhibits. The works are by local and national artists. Our art is accomplished by old fashion methods without the use of projectors, Photoshop and other technological advances, except for the limited edition prints.There is a place for those tools in the art world but our goal is to promote art created with the feel of the old masters. Maybe with a nouveau twist. That’s how we envision our gallery.”

Elaine has been a professional artist earning money in the field at age 15. She won ribbons and awards by 18 taking her out of the amateur status at an early age. She worked for an advertising paper in Chicago, has been published in Melbourne, Fl, and is on permanent exhibit in public and private collections throughout the country.
The Riverside Gallery is a place for many visitors with lively activities. There is a gift shop in a making for those searching for a more unusual gift. There are also classes offered as well from degreed instructors with over 10 years experience in teaching. “Art exercises our minds in observation, science, geography and culture. Anyone can benefit from a session of classes.” For a little fun and mild exercise after a good meal, The Riverside Gallery will have weekend Ghost Tours on Foot that will feature the history of this quaint antique logging town intertwined with artfully done ghost stories.

How do they feel about sharing this space? “Wonderful,” says Elaine. “I love the fashion right next door, especially the relaxing beauty of natural clothing. I own quite a few pieces in my wardrobe. And it just fits with the space. Look out the window and you see the river with the fish jumping and the Natural Clothing Co. and The Riverside art gallery, it’s just a good fit… like a natural glove.”

“Walking through the gallery to get to my organic clothing store is uplifting” is Alina’s reply. “The art is different, some colorful, some poignant. It’s not the cookie cutter art we see so often now. It gets the creative energy flowing. So it sets my mood for the day and that’s good for me and my customers.”

The Riverside Gallery and Natural Clothing Co. are right below Todo Mexico, a beautiful restaurant with a genuine feel of old Mexico. With a deck outside and picture windows inside overlooking the Snohomish River, it is a relaxing spot for lunch or dinner. You can also grab a cappuccino at Java Inn at the front of the building to bring with you for your viewing of the gallery at the lower level.

There is no doubt that one can enjoy their time in this building alone. It’s a great place to bring your out-of-town guests, spend a day with friends or just passing your afternoon enjoyably in Snohomish.

The Riverside Gallery and Natural Clothing Company are located at 1101 First St in Snohomish, WA 98290. A Grand Opening is scheduled for Oct 1st and 2nd (Sat and Sun) from 11am till 8pm. After that store hours are 12 pm till 7 pm Thursday till Sun or by appointment.

You can reach Elaine at 813-943-7838 or TheRiversideGallery(at)email(dot)com, and Alina at 877-800-8878, http://www.NaturalClothingCompany.com.

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Alina Bartell
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