IN STOCK is a feature where we highlight one of our #pfstockists, learning all about the shop, its inspiration & how P.F. Candle Co. fits on the shelves.

For this In Stock, we get to know Amy of San Diego’s Pigment. The eclectic North Park neighborhood is home to this must-stop shop, known for its gorgeously curated displays, in-house workshops, and plant lab (where you can make your own terrarium)! The lifelong art lover and co-owner of Pigment let us in on how the now buzzing store was (kind of) an accident. 

Photography by P.F. Candle Co. and Pigment

Born and raised in San Diego, Amy has spent her life immersed in color and artwork. With her passion set in art history, she was granted permission during grad school at USD to emphasize in the field - even though the school didn’t originally offer it. She wrote her thesis on Mexican muralism, taking constant inspiration from the vibrant culture just across the border. Attending Spanish immersion school as a child, where she spoke Spanish instead of English, is where this passion for color and history began.

After graduating, she started renting a studio to work on commissioned paintings for various clientele. Using oil on canvas and acrylic on wood, she still today meets commission deadlines while balancing daily jobs at Pigment. It’s safe to say that the artist isn’t afraid to create a nook for herself in what she loves - the shop was first intended to be an art gallery! When asked about her favorite hobbies, Amy says she’s a worker bee to the fullest. Her husband and co-owner of the shop, along with her two girls, come first, followed by painting and teaching color theory at the local community college. She does make time, however, to watch a couple episodes of Shameless on Netflix, get outside to play soccer, and vintage shop for rare beauties. We asked her: do you ever sleep?

She does, when she can. But since Pigment’s opening in 2007, she makes sure to tackle each day’s work before catching rest. Some think of 2007 as a small business nightmare, while Amy says it was actually one of the shop’s biggest gifts in terms of eventual success. Economical challenges at the time inspired the dedication that brought it to where it is now - another way of saying it hasn't been an easy journey. Originally opened as a gallery-studio hybrid, Pigment was located just two doors down from the spot they’re at currently. While the front of the space displayed local artwork, Amy was upstairs in the loft creating her own. Gallery hours got busier and busier, eventually moving Amy out to open up some square footage. Business was growing while space was not. Wanting to display more artwork and support different makers, a move was necessary - and so was a business shift. Pigment operated in their flagship space as a gallery for the first 5 years, and has been in their current corner as so much more for another 5. Now ten years in, everything the shop encompasses still comes down to one thing: art.

North Park plays a huge role in the livelihood of the shop. The neighborhood buzzes with a mix of age, race, sexual identity and economic diversity, making shop curation completely influenced by community response. While the community has a say in what stays in the shop, Pigment’s team of just over 20 takes the reigns in how it’s curated and displayed. In-house merchandising comes from a place of composition, guided by the fundamentals of design. (Oh, 
that’s why everything is so amazing to look at!) Displays always tell North Park’s story, and each product or piece of artwork within serves aesthetic and functional purposes.

When it comes to P.F. Candle Co. fitting into Pigment, Amy says she caught wind of us through a fellow maker friend. The gender neutral tones of the packaging, our L.A. roots, and atypical scents are a few reasons she continues to restock. Her scent of choice? Amber & Moss.

The most rewarding thing about being a shop owner, Amy says, is working with other artisans to be part of their success story. She and her team love searching for new talent, and can quickly recognize passion and skill. Amy’s advice to others looking to open shop: do what you love. Don’t go to school just to get a job, go so you can do what you love. Go with the flow, have strong work ethic and be okay with a little bit of ignorance (you know, so you don’t doubt yourself out of your dreams). Sometimes all it takes a little lack of control for your biggest love to turn into your own budding business.

Thank you so much to Amy and the Pigment team for letting us in on what the North Park crew is all about! We love everything about them - now it’s your turn to. Find out more on their site and keep up with all the news on Instagram.

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