Tag Archives: Changing Hands Bookstore

Screen Shot of Such Designs, WEB

Local fabric designer pens book on unconventional creativity

As artist and author, Carrie Bloomston, flipped through the 127 colorful pages of her first book, “The Little Spark-30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity,” she couldn’t help but smile at the product of her journey.

Carrie Bloomston

Carrie Bloomston

“I could have written this very fluffy light book about creativity, but it wouldn’t have solved the problem. It wouldn’t have spoken to people in the way that I wanted [it] to, which is to be creative is much more than how to make pretty things. In fact, it’s nothing to do with that at all. It’s much more about how to dig far enough into yourself to have the courage to go find your creativity and then to listen to your heart and follow that,” Bloomston said, with the enthusiasm of an inspirational coach.

Bloomston is also a local fabric designer, artist behind her website and blog such-designs.com and mother of two children.

“I was sort of over supported as a child, which is such a rare treat and a luxury now that I’m grown up and have children.I kind of feel like…what this book is giving people is the supportive parent they might not have had,” Bloomston said.

“The Little Spark-30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity,” is an interactive roadmap not just for the artistically gifted, but everyone else struggling to find the creativity they had as a child.

“I’m trying to let them know they’re enough right now. That they can, they just have to start,” Bloomston said. “That fear and doubt and the inner critic and all these voices that we have inside of us that are kind of pulling us away from our dreams, those are normal and they’re something that we can work our way around and I give techniques for that.”

The Little SparkBloomston has been an artist her whole life. If anything this book, dedicated to her kindergarten art teacher, is a full circle of Bloomston’s experiences and wisdom she has picked up along the way.

“First of all I think that any joy and love and sparkle in my heart and that I reflect is really a reflection of all the beauty and love and creativity around me. I mean I see myself as a mirror,” Bloomston said. “If anything I’m doing in this book, I’m just reflecting the light of all the people that I know.”

Art is Bloomston’s passion and medium for interpreting the world around her At age 12, Bloomston sold splatter painting T-shirts on her back porch in her hometown of Birmingham. At 13, Bloomston ventured into large-scale abstract painting. Bloomston even had her first one-woman painting exhibit at 17.

“I was a girl from Alabama and I wanted to be a New York artist. That was my dream,” Bloomston said.

Even though she was resistant at first, Bloomston found herself in Arizona in 1994. Since then the dream of New York died and her creative spark grew. After having a mural business with her husband for 17 years, Bloomston shifted gears five years ago to sewing.

While Bloomston was pregnant with her daughter, she wanted to make her son reusable lunch bags. So she began creating things and then found herself taking sewing classes. Every class people would tell Bloomston that she should sell patterns of her creations. At the time Bloomston didn’t know what they meant, but she eventually listened. After her brand grew from doing trade shows, publishers began approaching Bloomston to write a sewing book, but Bloomston realized she couldn’t do that.

“So I went through this process, and I realized I can’t teach people to sew, even though that’s what everyone wants me to do. But what I can teach people is about art and creativity and color and the things I’m passionate about,” Bloomston said

For five months, Bloomston found herself in places like her tree fort writing a book about something everybody loses at some point in time, and helping them gain it back.

For Changing Hands Bookstore, it made perfect sense to sell Bloomston’s book, being that she is a local author appealing to a wide audience and giving back to her community.

“I’m familiar with her blog and all of her writing and I even think it’s just going to be a really good book on the topic,” co-owner of Changing Hands bookstore Cindy Dach said.

Changing Hands Bookstore’s Phoenix location is even having a meet and greet with Bloomston on Dec. 2at 7p.m., where Bloomston will present, read and sign her book.

“I mean who are you? What do you want? When you stop asking that question, that’s when the trouble begins. That’s when you’ve stopped kind of being a kid when you’ve forgotten to ask that basic question: what do I want?” Bloomston said.

Luhrs, WEB

The Luhrs endures: Adaptive reuse, retail breathe life into iconic downtown building

Nestled among the steel and glass high rises in downtown Phoenix, the Luhrs Building stands as a symbol of the iconic brick-and-mortar structures that once graced the inner city.

As the City of Phoenix embraces the concept of adaptive reuse, the Luhrs Building, constructed in 1924 at a cost of $553,000, is part of this trend to repurpose existing buildings with retail or office additions.

According to the City of Phoenix website, the number of adaptive reuse projects – renovating buildings and turning them into new spaces – has increased since it started its adaptive reuse program in 2008. There were 17 projects in the first year. That number jumped to 48 in 2013.

“Historic, unique buildings are excellent prospects for adaptive reuse,” says Summer Jackson, associate director with the retail services division at Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, the brokerage firm handling the retail leasing assignment for the Luhrs Building.

“Many restaurateurs are taking advantage of these spaces to create new concepts that cater to the demand in the area. It’s an opportunity to do something innovative – something different,” Jackson adds.

Bitter & Twisted

Bitter & Twisted

One such establishment that has taken advantage of the opportunity is the Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 W. Jefferson. Owner Ross Simon says he was looking for a space with a great history and some genuine “wow factor.” A space, he says, that had a real city feel for a concept that would be at home in any major city around the world.

“Also something that could lend itself well to the cocktail-centric concept,” Simon adds.

Adaptive reuse is evident elsewhere around Phoenix. Some of the more notable examples include:
>> Culinary Dropout at the Yard, a former motorcycle dealership built in the 1950s on 7th Street;

>> Taco Guild at Old School O7, the former Bethel Methodist church on Osborn Road;

>> Southern Rail and Changing Hands bookstore at the Newtown Phx, the former Beef Eaters restaurant built in 1961 on Camelback Road;

>> Windsor and Churn, which share a restored 1940s building on Central Ave.

“Consumers are looking for an experience,” says Courtney Auther Van Loo, Associate Director with the Retail Services Division at Cushman & Wakefield. “While maintaining historical architecture styles and a building’s unique iconography, developers and tenants have created one-of-a-kind experiences and breathed new life into these landmarks. This style of reuse combines a contemporary feel with a touch of the classic.”

When he was selecting a site, Simon says he wasn’t necessarily looking for a space in an adaptive reuse project. “But after I revisited the space and thought about the layout a bit more to know it would work, I was sold on it,” he says.

Bitter & Twisted, as well as Subway sandwich shop have become retail tenants at the Luhrs Building.

“I had a real idea of what I wanted the overall place to look and feel like from an operational standpoint and from a guest experience point of view,” says Simon, who adds that Bar Napkins Production worked on the initial layout and all the architectural plans. Southwest Architectural Builders was the general contractor.

As the light rail whizzes by the Luhrs Building on Jefferson, it’s evident a sense of “newness” is also being felt downtown. An $80 million, 19-story hotel – the 320-room Luhrs City Center Marriott – breaks ground later this year at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Central Avenue.

The project is being developed by the Hansji Corporation of Anaheim, Calif. It’s the same family-owned company that purchased the “Luhrs Block” in 2007.  For the past 38 years, Hansji Corp. has developed more than 2MSF of office, retail and hotel space.

“It (the Luhrs Block, which also includes the Luhrs Tower) was really our first historical building,” says company President Rajan Hansji. “We knew it was something special. You can’t recreate this. It’s history. It gave me a new appreciation (for historical properties).”

Hansji says he is pleased with the outcome of Bitter & Twisted and its historical feel, including exposed original walls and beams.

“That corner is going to define the block,” Hansji says. “It (Bitter & Twisted) will be the catalyst for the rest of the block. It’s an amazing and unique space. The hotel’s exterior will utilize different brick colors and utilize the Luhrs’ history.”


Arizona Business Community Supports HB2111

The undersigned organizations and businesses want to express their strong support for the passage of HB2111 with the floor amendment that will be offered by Senator Steve Yarbrough. This final amendment represents major concessions to address concerns that have been expressed by the city representatives.

This final amendment reflects the cities’ request for a separate online portal for the collection of sales taxes in the 18 non-program cities. In addition, the amendment reflects the cities’ demand to maintain the authority to audit single-location businesses in their city. Lastly, the amendment removes all of the changes to prime contracting tax except for the trade and service contractors.

While the Yarbrough amendment reflects major concessions to the cities that undermine some of the important reforms recommended by the Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Simplification Task Force, we believe this final proposal still reflects historic progress that deserves final passage.

The Senator Yarbrough floor amendment will provide for the following:

* Single Point of Administration – the Department of Revenue (DOR) will become the single point of administration and collection of TPT. However, at the request of the cities, there will be a separate online portal for the 18 non-program cities. Despite this concession, the cities remain opposed because they want to continue to require businesses making paper sales tax remissions to pay the state and city separately. Their proposal provides most small businesses no administrative relief from making multiple payments to multiple jurisdictions each month.

* Single and Uniform Audit – DOR will administer a standardized state audit program where all state and city auditors are trained and certified by DOR. Despite major concessions from the business community to allow cities to continue to audit local businesses, the cities continue to push for further changes that will undermine much needed reforms to standardize state and local audits.

* Trade/Service Contracting Reform – Service contractors working directly for an owner to maintain, repair, and replace existing property would pay tax on materials at retail and not be subject to the Prime Contracting Tax. During Task Force deliberations, the cities repeatedly conceded that this area of the prime contracting tax was problematic and should be changed. However, after almost a year of study and discussion, they have offered a change to the taxation of service contractors that provides no administrative relief and couples that change with a request that the state give the cities $80 million from use tax collections.

Arizona’s chaotic and dysfunctional sales tax system has been the subject of considerable controversy at the Capitol for over 30 years. The creation of the Task Force, as well as the appearance for the first time that the cities recognized the need for reform, gave Arizona businesses great hope that this system would finally be reformed. We strongly encourage state policymakers to pass a sales tax reform bill that is grounded in sound tax policy and focuses on reducing the extraordinary compliance costs on Arizona businesses.

Kevin McCarthy, President, Arizona Tax Research Association
Michelle Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Association of REALTORS
Bas Aja, Executive Vice President, Arizona Cattlemen’s Association
Glenn Hamer, President & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce
Steve Macias, Chairman, Arizona Manufacturer’s Council
Francis McAllister, Chairman, Arizona Mining Association
Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Multihousing Association
Michelle Allen Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association
Steve Chucri, President/CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
Rick Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Small Business Association
Steve Zylstra, President & CEO, Arizona Technology Council
Greg Turner, Vice President, Senior Tax Council, Council On State Taxation (COST)
Lisa Rigler, President, Small Business Alliance AZ
Todd Sanders, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Tom Franz, President, Greater Phoenix Leadership
Connie Wilhelm, President, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona
Tim Lawless, Chapter President, NAIOP
Farrell Quinlan, Arizona State Director, NFIB
Ronald E. Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Scot Mussi, President, The Arizona Free Enterprise Club
Matt Beckler, Vice President, Treasurer & Chief Tax Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Steve Barela, State & Local Tax Manager, Arizona Public Service
Steve Trussell, Executive Director, Arizona Rock Products Association
Michael DiMaria, Director of Legislative Affairs, CenturyLink, Inc.
Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore
Michelle Bolton, Director of Public Affairs, Cox Communications
Nikki Daly, Owner, Flair! Salons
David Karsten, President, Karsten’s Ace Hardware
Reuben Minkus, Minkus Advertising Specialties
PetSmart, Inc.
Tina Danloe, General Manager, Pima Ace Hardware
Molly Greene, Senior Government Relations Representative, Salt River Project
Les Orchekowsky, President & Co-Owner, Sierra Ace Hardware, Inc.
Ann Seiden, Administrator/Corporate Public Affairs, Southwest Gas Corporation
Joseph Hughes, Director of Government Affairs, U.S. Airways
Walgreens Co.

Glenn Hamer is president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.