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Meet Kelly Tuit of Gather-d and Pour-d

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Tuit. 

Hi Kelly, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
It really began with an open door that I said yes to after many closing due to COVID. I was a vendor with another business I co-owned with my dad for the previous business that was located in the building that now is Gather-d. That business owner mentioned that she was closing her doors but reminded me that I had mentioned opening my own brick and mortar and wondered if I would like to step into her lease. To be honest, I wasn’t planning on opening a brick and mortar in the middle of a pandemic but felt called that it was what I was meant to do. So, on September 24, 2020, I opened the front red door and named my retail store, Gather-d. I’m a people gatherer and love to entertain. I named my retail business Gather-d because I sell products that help you gather with others as well as curated gathered goods. We sell home decor, clothing for women, men, and infants, tabletop, candles, and gifts for everyone. As Gather-d evolved and grew, I wanted to offer local artwork without the overhead of wholesale as well as art classes and workshops for kids and adults. I also had a small rental space in the back half of the building. The short version, I hired Tree Anderson, who is now my creative director at Pour-d and we began offering classes which became a hit and outgrew the space. At the same time, another building space became available downtown Rockford and so I walked through another open door and began my second business called Pour-d that opened in January 2022. Pour-d is an art gallery and tea bar. There is an art gallery on the main floor that we showcase curated artwork by artists that is for sale to the public. A tea bar featuring over 30 different teas locally sourced from Fraser Tea, which is selected by my tea specialist, Dee Albin. We also have art classes and workshops for adults and kids as well as rental spaces in the building. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The opening of Gather-d went really smoothly and has been supported by the community. Opening a new business during and post-pandemic has been challenging, however, I really do not know any difference and the challenges are just the norm for me. The major obstacle has been inventory and shipping but I’ve learned to be flexible and use my creative problem-solving skills. 

It was amazing that Pour-d was able to open on time and we were able to source our equipment and furniture! 

As you know, we’re big fans of Gather-d and Pour-d. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Gather-d was created to be an accessible and inviting space for people of all walks to do as its name suggests. Gather with individuals or groups. Shop for home decor or simply spend time chatting, enjoying the space, and being inspired. I believe that retail therapy should be an experience that involves all your senses. At Gather-d, we create a visual shopping experience that captures your attention for each season. Everything that we put on the shelves and how we display has a purpose. Each product is hand-selected to fit these themes. That is what sets Gather-d apart from others. 

Pour-d is made for expression. Our ever-changing concepts weave throughout the space, touching all corners of the building from art and furniture, classes to refreshments. Pour-d is an immersive experience, a place to gather and explore creativity together. 

The Studio 

The studio is a place to come together, explore creativity and learn new skills. The studio is an inclusive space that lets creativity shine. Take an art class, learn a new craft or host a creative birthday gathering. all ages and skill levels welcome. 

The Gallery 

The Gallery at pour-d exhibits artwork from a diverse group of established and emerging artists. It provides the community with opportunities for direct involvement and exchange with the visual arts. In addition, the gallery provides a host of supplementary programs in support of the exhibitions, including lectures, performances, readings, and workshops. 

The Tea Bar 

The Pour-d Tea bar brings a new experience to west Michigan. A tea-forward establishment offering a contemporary alternative to the traditional coffee shop. Nestled inside the pour-d gallery, the tea bar is an ideal place to sit and savor a classic or pick out something new with our in-house tea expert. 

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
People. These businesses wouldn’t exist without the people. We were created to be in community with each other. Life and society have gotten us so used to focusing on self and self-reliance. We need each other. We crave belonging. Gather-d was created to help you gather with your people and Pour-d is a place for you to come and sit and take time to gather and invest in each other. 

Experiences. 

I’m a huge believer in how a space makes you FEEL. When you enter my businesses, I hope that you feel welcomed, loved, and at home. 

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