Northwest News

UA native trades law practice for gift shop

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Julie Jenkins stands inside her recently opened store, Fresh Crafts Gallery in Upper Arlington, Nov. 22. The gift shop that specializes in handmade crafts from across the country. Jenkins, an Upper Arlington native, now resides in Marble Cliff.

An Upper Arlington High School graduate has traded corporate work for crafts after some 25 years of practicing law.

Julie Jenkins, a 1975 UAHS graduate, went on to graduate from Ohio State University and Capital University Law School before heading east to work as an attorney in Vermont and Boston.

In New England, she developed a passion for American-made artisan goods, and after seeing her sons off -- one to produce films in Los Angeles and the other to Colgate University -- she came back home to open Fresh Crafts Gallery at 2068 Arlington Ave. in the Old Arlington Mallway.

The store opened Nov. 12, and operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Grand-opening events are slated for Dec. 5-7, including maintaining store hours Dec. 6 during the Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department's Winter Festival at Mallway Park.

"I decided this has been a dream of mine for a very long time," said Jenkins, who now lives in Marble Cliff. "I loved these types of stores in New England and I would drive far and wide to find them.

"In New England, there were lots of stores like this. I enjoyed going in them and wanted to bring some of that back to the Columbus area."

Fresh Crafts Gallery specializes in handmade crafts by American artists. The selection includes handcrafted furniture, jewelry, glass, ceramics, textiles, metal, cards and artwork, Jenkins said.

"They're all made by artists in America or Canada," she said. "They're unique and interesting, distinctive items. I'm also the only Columbus-area retailer with Sticks Furniture and object art."

Jenkins said pieces from roughly 95 artists are featured at her 1,800-square-foot showroom. She selected many of them after attending art fairs throughout Ohio and New England, as well as Chicago, San Francisco and Portland, Maine.

Additional store information is available at