Art Store Fills County Gaps

Art Store Fills County Gaps

Madison LeBlanc and Justin Parkinson share a life, and a dream.

The pair have thought about owning a business for as long as they can remember. While Parkinson didn’t have specific visions for what that business might be, an art store is something LeBlanc has vividly dreamed of.

The family moved to Pictou County from Guelph, ON in May 2022. Moving to Nova Scotia created opportunities and allowed them to expand. They had a list of positive reasons for the move, but at the top was the appeal of settling somewhere they felt safe, where their children could grow up with that feeling.

“Why not open a store so people don’t have to go to Truro,” said Parkinson.

LeBlanc and Parkinson saw a need within their new community and got to work bridging the gap between local, accessible artwork and supplies. They described their shop as a mini-Michaels with a local focus.

Not only do they sell a diverse selection of art supplies for various mediums, Local Creations and Art Supplies carry a range of products from local creators.

The shop currently features products from 20 local creators. Based on the growing vendor waitlist, the pair don’t foresee that number going down any time soon.

“Pictou County is so creative,” said Parkinson. “The community has been so welcoming and friendly, everything you could ask for.”

Their entrepreneurial drive continues to propel them forward. LeBlanc maintains her role at Jungle Jims while helping with the store when she can, and Parkinson has taken it on full time, making a career change from his automotive operations management background.

“I’ll probably never leave (Jungle Jims),” said LeBlanc. “I love it there.”

“I love the store. It doesn’t feel like work,” said Parkinson.

For now, the store is open six days a week, Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. while the pair figure out what days and hours make most sense.

“We tried to see what people were looking for at the market, and on community Facebook pages,” said LeBlanc. “I’m hoping we can do some seasonal stuff too.”

LeBlanc and Parkinson are proof that no matter where you are in your life or how you’ve spent it so far, it’s never too late to pivot and do something different. It’s never too late to start the business you’ve dreamed of.