In October 2015, a terrarium designer, a surface designer and a fiber artist came together in an empty space in Park View. What began as a space for three friends blossomed into an artistic hub for “side hustlers” and those who wanted to learn creative crafts.
Holley Simmons, Kathryn Zaremba and Linny Giffin founded The Lemon Collective as an art studio to purposefully practice their independent crafts.
The Lemon Collective, formerly known as The Lemon Bowl DC, is a shared workspace for its founders and five members during the day. On evenings and weekends, the space transforms into a classroom founders and guest teachers from across the District teach classes including arm knitting, calligraphy, poetry writing, and nude drawing.
The creative space trend seems to be booming in Washington, as several have popped up in the last few years.
“Over time, we realized that more people wanted to be involved,” says Simmons. “People would look in the window and ask what we’re doing. It’s a cheery, fun place to be. People saw it and wanted in.
It’s not like the library where you have to be quiet and reserved. It’s not like being at a bar where it’s loud and you can’t concentrate. It’s somewhere in the middle.
Basically, anything you could ever want to learn you could probably find a class on it here.”
Small space, big ideas
Simmons says simply sitting next to someone at the Lemon Bowl DC can spark an idea for her next project.
“There’s immediately a sense of cooperation and inspiration,” says Simmons. “We help support each other.
I think a lot of people feel responsibility for this space. We don’t have a cleaning person that comes to pick up after your litter. So people feel a real responsibility to take care of it.”
The small yet beneficial space frustrates customers with how quickly the 12-seat classes sell out. Simmons says the collective would love to add more space and bring classes beyond the “little cube” and into outdoor settings.