a.ware to Close at the End of March

A year and a half ago, local creatives Julie Hampton and Carol Panaro-Smith set up their a.ware studio and store on Central and Highland Avenues.

During the summer, the crew usually packs up and beats the heat elsewhere. (Hampton runs a workshop and two villas in Italy.) But on March 25, Hampton says she'll be closing the a.ware doors for good. 

"I have so much respect for business owners who can make it work," she says. "I originally set things up as a quick, six-month pop-up kind of store, but I kind of fell in love with the space."

Throughout its stay, a.ware has been home to locally made accessories, clothing, and stationery. The crew has also served up a host of craft parties and workshops.

But after a year and a half of hustling goods, merchandise sales and workshop fees still weren't adding up. 

"We're hoping going to sell as much as possible before we close," says Hampton. "But we're talking to Citizen Coffee (formerly Lola Coffee) about maybe having a card wall, and we're in talks with other venues to do workshops and pop-up events ... and if we can figure it out, maybe we'll have an online storefront." 

She also notes that official a.ware plans include an annual sale for a few months at the end of each year along Central Avenue. (She just has to find a pop-up-able spot she and the goods can occupy for a few months.) 

a.ware is at 4700 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For more info, stay tuned to the studio's website.

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