The Crow & Key hosted its grand opening at 443 Main Street on March 3, as part of Carbondale’s First Friday celebration. This family-owned home decor and gift store is operated by Amber Frisbie and her husband, Ted. They work closely with local and small business owners, as well as local and international artists, to stock the shelves with all kinds of home goods, clothing and artwork.
They strive for the business to be a welcoming and comfortable place where everything you can purchase online from major outlets can be found, made and purchased locally. “The inspiration for the shop, or the vibe, is very much like our family,” said Amber, “welcoming everyone in.”
She is originally from northern Michigan and came to Colorado as a teacher. She first moved to Telluride, where she taught skiing for a year, before taking a job at a middle school in Vail. She moved to Carbondale in 2005 to teach at Crystal River Elementary School and met Ted, a Carbondale Community School teacher and musician with the Hell Roaring String Band, which played at the grand opening.
Amber told The Sopris Sun that her inspiration for the shop came from two things; the first being the prevalence of diverse artistry in our community, and the second being her family’s collaborative input.
“The naming of the store started with our family sitting around the table and throwing out different ideas. At the time, I didn’t have a space in town yet, and it was something that I was looking to find. I thought that would happen in a year or two,” Amber explained. “My family and I were talking about how crows are all around Carbondale, and they are very curious and mischievous, which I feel represents our family. Then my son said, ‘Well, what about The Crow & Key? You could use keys to unlock wonderful things and curiosities. (https://manhwatop.com/) ’”
Soon after that conversation, the space opened up. “So it moved a little more quickly than I had thought to start the shop,” she said. Alyona Vitrinista, a Ukrainian artist, did the logo art for The Crow & Key through a commission from her online Etsy shop.
Amber also expressed that business owners on her stretch of street, including HANDMAKERY, Flowers on Main and Bonfire Coffee, acted as huge advocates for the new business and helped at every new turn.
“The business community here has just been nothing but supportive,” said Amber. “It is impressive to have such a welcoming community, a family of business owners down here.”
Although the business is new, Amber said she has ambitions for her store to become a place where people feel comfortable hanging out and conversing. Since the opening, school children have gathered to sit at the large table in the middle of the shop to chat, do their homework and relax after school.
“I have been asked if the store can be used for different events, which I honestly had not thought about until we opened,” admitted Amber. “I’m open to providing the space for other opportunities for community building. Whatever that may be, I am open to whatever comes my way.”
The Crow & Key is located at 443 Main St, between Flowers on Main and Bonfire Coffee. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5pm, and Saturdays from 11am to 5pm. If you are or know a local artist or small business that would like to collaborate, Amber encourages hopefuls to drop by during business hours or to call the store at 970-471-9475.
For more information, follow The Crow & Key on Instagram, @thecrowandkey, or visit crowandkey.com