A growing gallery helps local artists thriveWatch video
Grand Junction, CO
A stroll through Roni Schwinn’s gallery reveals a trove of handcrafted treasures: stained glass, sculptures, photography, pottery, and more.
All of the art sold at Working Artists Gallery & Stained Glass Supplies is created by more than 90 Colorado-based artists. For Schwinn, a third-generation Grand Junction resident, keeping the shop’s wares locally produced is essential.
Her roots here run deep.
“My grandpa owned the first State Farm agency in town, and from there I learned business,” Schwinn says.
Schwinn was working at the gallery when the previous owner retired about three years ago. She bought the business, expanding to add stained glass supplies and to teaching the art of making stained glass.
“We’ve done such a good job marketing that people come from all over the state to buy their supplies,” Schwinn says.
She loves her job and especially the people she encounters; the only real challenge, she says, has been keeping up with the fast pace of growth. Part of that has been managing the books and day-to-day operations, including payments.
Schwinn and her team recently partnered with Vital® and Discover to take credit cards using Vital point of sale. Being able to easily accept payments throughout her store has made her operation run much smoother.
The versatility allows her team to be at the counter or take payments in the back of the gallery, where they sell and ring up stained glass.
“When this little Vital machine showed up, it became a very big thing in our lives, and it just made our world so much more streamlined and easier,” Schwinn says. “We’ve all been on cloud nine since we’ve had it.”
Leigh Ashman, who works at the gallery, says Vital has been easy and intuitive to learn. Customers also like that paying with Vital means never losing sight of their credit card.
“They like not having to pass over their card … it never leaves them, which I think provides them with an additional layer of security,” Ashman says.
With Vital and Discover, the Working Artists Gallery is poised for growth, feeding Schwinn’s passion and bolstering the local arts community.
“Our little gallery is just expanding so fast,” Schwinn says.