First of all, it’s PONSHOP spelled P O N S not p-a-w-n and no we don’t buy gold or guns or x-box games, we’re an art gallery and studio. Pons is our last name and my wife and I are artists and gallery owners.
In New York, Scarlett and I would spend our lunch breaks from the office meeting up and strolling through the streets of downtown Manhattan, inspired by all the local art galleries and shops. It was so exciting, we felt like we were in the center of something always in motion, constantly changing and evolving. During the day we worked in architectural firms, but as our peers were preparing for their licensing exams, we were drifting in the opposite direction, entertaining the idea of owning our own small business doing what we love most.
Living in New York City really broadened our thinking when it came to our careers. My wife and I were both inspired when we visited shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan that specialized in skateboarding, clothing, and fine art. In 2004, we took a workshop in small business (WIBO) and started to form a plan. The 16-week course forced us to write our ideas about our business on paper and soon enough we had developed a name. Our initial format was that of a small retail store, but inevitably, we injected our true interests, and our business plan was part skate shop/art gallery/art studio/after school program.
In 2005, we realized that if we wanted to raise a family and continue to take this trajectory towards opening our own business, we would have to live closer to our family. Scarlett’s parents moved back to Fredericksburg in 1995 and over the years, we’ve been familiar with the area and were excited about its viable downtown.
Moving from New York to Fredericksburg wasn’t an easy transition (most notably getting back behind the wheel of a car after a six year hiatus was difficult) but we were fortunate to get involved with the arts community at Liberty Town. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a genuine and strong skateboarding community in Fredericksburg.
It was this time that we were able to apply what we had planned and transition our careers from being architectural designers to artists. These years proved to be the richest so far – our son, Diego, was born shortly after we arrived and in 2008 our second son, Cairo, was born. We participated in the arts community, offering classes through our studio and entering local exhibits.
In 2010 we acquired a storefront downtown and hosted our grand opening in May. We created a new model for our space with the front as a gallery, featuring our own respective art mediums, but also thirty other artists making everything from fine art to jewelry, clothing and eco-minded items. Our studio in back doubles as a classroom, where we teach classes for children and adults in ceramics, mixed media, painting, skateboard graphics, street art and architecture.
Basically we want to be that place where people come to be inspired of the arts – to learn about it, create it, and even participate as exhibiting artists. We believe that creativity fosters a stronger community and we can affect a positive change in our city. Our goal is to be a resource for the youth community while widening the scope of creativity in Fredericksburg for all ages.