South Lake Tahoe artist opens brick and mortar for hand-printed goods
November 23, 2017
This summer artist Anastasia Keriotis set up shop in Swiss Chalet Village, filling her pint-sized store, Dharma Love, with hand-printed goods, paintings and carefully curated local wares.
Keriotis — who specializes in painting, photography and printmaking — started her career in South Lake Tahoe with art shows in galleries.
"You just can't make a living that way. I really wanted to stay true to the art and not work other jobs," said Keriotis. "I had a greeting card line at the time, and I had people start asking for things on clothing. So I researched it and figured out how to do it."
Now Keriotis hand prints her work onto purses, totes, scarves, beanies, sweatshirts, pillows, baby clothing and more.
"I started at the Tuesday farmers market in 2006, and each week I would listen to what the customers wanted, and my sales would go up and up," she explained.
From hearts and succulents to Buddha and the "Hamsa" hand symbol, Keriotis finds inspiration all around her.
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"There's no rhyme or reason to it. I'm inspired by nature. I'm inspired by still life. It's about creating beauty and sending a positive message out to the world," said Keriotis.
And part of that message is bringing awareness to the benefit of purchasing socially- and environmentally-conscious products.
"I knew I wanted it to be a green business as well as print on products that were paying it forward," she said. "I am not going to buy something that a kid is sewing because it costs me 50 cents, and I'm going to make a 500 percent profit off of it. I just can't do that."
Instead, Keriotis sources from transparent companies that donate to nonprofits and provide her with organic cotton, recycled polyester or hemp goods to print on.
The rest of her store is brimming with other locally-sourced goods: jewelry, soap, candles, and books published by Meyers-based Bona Fide Books. There's sage, meditation supplies, crystal prisms and Tibetan prayer flags.
"I really appreciated Tahoe," said Keriotis. "This is where I created Dharma Love and the community has been so supportive."