Provo is a melting pot of different personalities and a new storefront on Center Street is serving as a tourist shop of sorts for visitors and locals.
HERE allows local artists to showcase and sell their art while providing a sense of community for Provo residents, according to Jed Platt, HERE co-owner and a BYU graduate of the design program.
Platt said his passion for art and his desire to unite the community were two of the driving forces behind creating HERE. Opening an art gallery has always been a bucket-list item for him.
“I love seeing people do their passions,” Platt said. “Provo is a very creative place, and we want to promote and celebrate the community that’s here.”
Platt described a terminology called “third place.” He said “first place” is home, where people spend most of their time. “Second place” is work or school.
“Then there’s your third place,” Platt said. “That’s what we want people to identify this store as — that neutral gathering place in our community.”
He said he looks for stores and souvenirs specific to an area when he travels. He noticed a store like this was missing in Provo.
Platt hopes HERE can serve as the place for local, upscale souvenirs and items unique to Provo.
“Provo really is an international city,” Platt said. “Those that come to visit, like anyone who travels, want that sense of place and that experience. We want to give them a sampling of Provo.”
Many of the artists who sell their art at the store have online Etsy shops but they can get lost online, Platt said. He said HERE gives artists a chance to share their art in a unique way other than online. Customers can interact with the item and purchase it right away rather than waiting for shipping.
“I’ve had several people refer to us as a ‘walk-in Etsy shop,'” Platt said. “A lot of this art has been in people’s studios, so it’s neat to put it out, let people purchase it and enjoy it.”
Taylor Zundel is a BYU graduate of the marriage and family studies program with a business minor. Zundel and his wife, Adrienne, sell skinny men’s ties for their business ZUZU at HERE.
Zundel said he enjoys selling ZUZU ties at HERE because of the growing community in downtown Provo.
“There are so many entrepreneurs and small business owners in Provo, so we’re excited to be a part of that,” Zundel said. “The store does a lot to help local people share their skills and passions.”
Zundel also said HERE has broadened his business’s exposure.
“HERE is the first place we’ve started to sell ties in the store,” Zundel said. “We sell quite a few ties out of there. We’ve had a few people email us and talk with us about getting wedding ties and collaborating and whatnot.”
BYU art graduate Abigale Palmer sells her art at HERE.
“The store changes out every three months, which makes things new and exciting,” Palmer said. “It’s fun to have a presence in Provo.”
Palmer also said the new Provo City Center temple draws many people to downtown Provo. She said the store appeals to a variety of different residents as a result.
“It’s a great mix of handmade crafts, original artwork and prints. It has a large price range, which allows for the community to have the opportunity to buy art,” Palmer said. “Before, there weren’t a lot of places you could get that in Provo.”
HERE isn’t just for artists or tourists, according to Platt. Platt said the store is a great destination for dates, missionary gifts, apartment decorations or unique gifts from a sampling of different artists.
Platt said the store also offers various classes, such as binding books and making stained glass. Platt mentioned plans to do more classes on a weekly basis.
“There’s a lot happening in downtown Provo, and we want people to be proud of that,” Platt said. “There’s a great community beyond campus.”