Insects and the City

by Amanda Giddon -- November 2nd, 2012

The starving artist is timelessly, and sustainably chic. Sketching on the salvaged cardboard of a cereal box, recycling musky vintage apparel, strolling coolly through galleries, carrying nothing but a canvas bag and his or her own delicate frame. But alas, with Durham’s thriving businesses and bountiful array of eateries (see Your Lunch Plans Tomorrow,) the starving artist is well fed and seeking a more costly canvas. The artist may have gained the freshman 15 and graduated from dinner-napkin drawing, but the sustainability trend has endured. If you are at all green-minded or like to exercise the creative right brain (most exercise I’ve gotten all week!) you owe yourself a visit to Bull City Craft.

Bull City Craft is a gift shop, fine art supply store, and craft studio. Below are some up and coming trends and some timeless fashions that I took note of during my visit:


Trend alert: sustainability. Climates are a girl’s best friend.

Bull City Craft has been green since birth. Owners Jessica and Franklin used paint and flooring from a local green building supplier Common Ground in the construction of their space, and use 100% recycled shopping bags.

In purchasing their gifts and art supplies, Jessica and Franklin seek out natural products, and choose wood over plastic. At times, I myself am guilty of piling up plastic, opting for plastic cups and silverware over glass. But let us take their example, throw on our abnormally cute dishwashing gloves, and wash our hands of synthetics. Maybe I’ll do my dishes while I’m at it.

Bull City Craft also sells fabric woven by local mothers, local stationary and wooden toys, and felt made from recycled bottles. Hard to imagine, I know. Ecological gods.

Trend alert: paint and pour. Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder.

Can’t spell party without “art.” Cheesy enough for you yet? But really, it’s time to stop sipping wine to reruns of SNL, and channel your drinking into more productive undertakings.  Every Friday and Saturday night BCC hosts paint and pour, where adults can bring their own wine, and take on a painting or craft projects lead by a local artist. $30 is a small price to pay for a night out and an eco-chic finished product.

Trend alert: children. There’s one on everyone’s arm.

Bull City Craft is in good company on University Drive. Local Yogurt and the Little Gym are in close proximity to the space, drawing a crowd of trendy toddlers. Preschool crafting time is offered four times a week. Paint and pour: juice box edition is on the horizon. From wine to Welch’s, there is something for everyone.

Trend Alert: humanitarianism. Cool to be kind.

Bull City Craft has quite the eye – and heart – for quality brands. BCC buys from Ecojot, a company that creates eco-friendly stationery, paper goods and custom design products. Ecojot’s “GIVE” program gives a workbook to a child in need with the purchase of a jumbo journal. Founder Mark Gavin was inspired to start the project upon discovering a child erasing every page of his school notebook so that he could reuse the pages. Over 200,000 notebooks have been provided to children in need since then. By supporting Mark’s products, along with other brands with humanitarian initiatives, BCC is crafting a more sustainable earth.


Pay them a visit, and come visit me again soon.



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