From this neck of the woods

Local art shop, Tangled Up in Hue, sponsors local artists

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McKenna Dirks

More stories from McKenna Dirks

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From this neck of the woods

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

Photo by Carolyn Mennecke

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Located in downtown Eau Claire, Tangled Up in Hue is a gift shop that carries and sells locally-made products anywhere from hand-crafted knick knacks to canvas paintings.

Jamie Kyser and Erin Klaus opened Tangled Up in Hue in February 2009, and, this year, they’re celebrating the store’s 10-year anniversary.

Kyser said the word “tangled” in the store name seemed appropriate because, at the time, they had been making a lot of handmade jewelry and things would get tangled up quite often.

“We were doing karaoke and we were really into puns,” Kyser said. “Looking through the songs in the book, Bob Dylan’s ‘Tangled up in hue’ was there, and after that, we decided on it.”

The two owners recently relocated Tangled Up in Hue to next door to The Acoustic Cafe, as more space was needed to help their business thrive, Kyser said.

Kyser and Klaus said they had been wondering what to do with the open space where their shop used to be, so they decided to open a sister business, called Blue Boxer Arts, where they sell primarily handmade jewelry and fabrics.

Aside from the two businesses, Tangled Up in Hue also runs and vends The Artist Market of Eau Claire, located in Phoenix Park. The purpose of The Artist Market is to celebrate and promote the local community by offering local artists an opportunity to showcase and display their own handmade arts and crafts, according to their website.

Kyser said the reason they chose to go into the art business was that she and Klaus were both crafty people and they like to make things.

She also said she knew there was a plethora of local artists in the area and wanted space where artists and crafters could showcase their work.

They wanted to merge the ideas of crafts and art, she said.

Tangled Up in Hue sponsors over 100 artists, receiving anywhere from one to three a week wanting to showcase their work, according to their website.  Most sponsors reside in the Chippewa Valley area, their website said, but also come from Wisconsin statewide.

“I enjoy getting to pay all of our artists,” Kyser said. “It’s really satisfying seeing all of that money being paid out to our local community and giving that opportunity out to the people to foster their dreams.”

Sarah Hammes-Murray, general manager of Tangled Up in Hue, said their products range from original paintings to body care products, kitchen products, and basic home decor.

“We also make a lot of our own products,” Murray said, “like jewelry, greeting cards, tote bags, and sassy plaques.”

Kyser said she hopes the business continues to grow and are able to hire more staff to continue supporting local art.

“We’re big in screen printing, we sell to shops, but also other shops in the state,” Kyser said, “We would like to try and branch out into wholesale, maybe to make more shops around the country rather than just the state.”

Dirks can be reached at [email protected].

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