History of the Saint Louis Artists Boutique

In the mid-1960s, three talented women from Florissant, MO, founded an organization which is still known today as the Artists Boutique. Norma Malerich, Gerri Franklin, and Lou Arnold would meet in each other’s homes, providing a small marketplace for buyers and sellers of original crafts. Until then, there were no local craft shows. Members had an opportunity to discuss and vote on pertinent issues, with the goal of guaranteeing the organization would always continue to grow in a positive direction.

The membership grew by word of mouth, and soon became too large to meet in the founders’ basements. In 1969, the group began renting space at a church in Creve Coeur, and later at Ivy Chapel. Eventually, the shows started attracting so many exhibitors that the boutique had to move to a much larger venue: the Kirkwood Community Center, where the Spring and Fall shows are still held today.

Through the years, the Boutique has evolved to the point where it had a waiting list of 60 people. This is due in large part to the fun and relaxed environment in which the shows are conducted.

Today, the variety of items one can expect to see at a typical show includes pottery, jewelry, wood, textiles, photography, fiber, glass, mixed media, and paintings in several mediums.