Block Party store photo by  Amber Estes Thieneman

Block Party Handmade Boutique epitomizes the “uniquely Louisville” stores that the city has hoped would move into what the city’s marketing machine is calling “SoFo,” the corridor on South Fourth Street between the Brown Hotel and the Seelbach Hotel.

Mary Levinsky

Block Party Handmade Boutique, created by artist and entrepreneur Mary Levinsky, 27, will feature 50-70 local artists’ jewelry, edibles, fragrances, fine art, music and more.

Participating artists include:  Black Dog Candles, Dawn Middleton, Clair Raabe, Stellar Sweets, Sue Schofield, J.H. Rider Walthen and Mickie Winters.

Levinsky is eschewing the consignment model popular at many collective arts boutiques and is instead implementing a micro-retail-rental model. The business owner put out a call for artists back in January and has been busy renting out space in the 2,500 square foot store.

Artists can choose to be a co-op partner and receive a rental discount in exchange for working a few shifts at the boutique each month or pay full price and not put in work hours. Prices for rental start at $45 for a 15-inch square cube and run up to $255 for a “Large Boutique Space.”

The soft opening of the store was April 5. The official grand opening of the South Fourth Street retail district will be on April 15, with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Greg Fischer.

From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. there will be an actual block party, complete with live music, involving all of the new retailers on South Fourth Street.

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