One-of-a-kind describes both Stephanie O’Rourke and her downtown shop, Little Piece of My Heart. Stephanie has gathered together a family of artisans and has artfully arranged their creations in her shop on the corner of 4thand Jefferson in downtown Loveland’s “east end.” As an artist, wife and mom to two little ones, the shop is a dream realized, and she is proud to nurture the dreams of local artists as well. We sat down with her at Little Piece of My Heart on a busy Thursday morning.
How did you come to live in Loveland and invest in Loveland?
I mostly grew up in Denver, and I also went to art school there. I moved here because my mom and my sister are here, and to start my family. Through my painting, I always had a creative aspect of my life, but in the beginning, I was working jobs that I wasn’t passionate about. As I continued to paint, it came to me that Loveland needed an artisan store – a place that had a youthful, hip vibe. I went for it and it, and it was the craziest and the best thing I ever did.
When did you start planning the boutique?
I would always talk about it with my husband, but usually said we’d wait til the kids are older. But, I saw this place for rent, decided to just ‘call and see.’ The girl who answered was named Faith and from there, things started to line up. The universe was telling me – this is your time! I didn’t have much of a financial backing, but I figured out ways to make it work and now we’re almost a year old. It is easy to kind of think of reasons not to do something like this – all the impossibilities – but I just shut that part of my brain off and just did it.
What makes Loveland a special place to live and have a business?
What I really like about it is that it is such a big art community and downtown Loveland is filled with so many small businesses. There’s great support – I always have somebody to reach out to if I need something. Plus, it’s beautiful!
You live two blocks from to downtown – does having your business and your home so close by enhance your sense of community?
Definitely! Being immersed in this amazing community that downtown Loveland has is just so exciting. There’s so many new things happening – it’s cool to be part of it both at work and at home.
Each month, you feature a local artist, is that right?
Yes, and then we do the opening reception with the Night on the Town. Last month [Oct 2018] we did a group show that was also a silent auction for one of our artists who has breast cancer. We have so many generous and talented artists in this community.
The shop is filled with messages that you’ve written about how important it is to support artists – tell us more about that.
You are literally buying a piece of someone’s heart – you really are. That’s where the name comes from, of course, well, that and Janis Joplin! Hours and hours of somebody’s heart and soul go into their work. You are supporting the community, families, and dreams.
Live Loveland’s mission is to celebrate, engage and unify our community. Which of those actions do you think Loveland needs the most & how do you think we can manifest it?
I think maybe unifying a little bit more. I’m kind of on the quieter end of town – we don’t have restaurants or bars down here – yet! We are in a time where we are glued to our phones and social media, so the opportunity to build community and network at special events downtown is huge. And checking out a store or two that you haven’t been to yet. There are some really cool shops down here – like Annalise the Amaranth across the street is a wonderful floral shop, or Hata’s, which is a cool consignment shop and Dark Heart which has amazing coffee so I say, branch out and explore!
Follow @littlepieceofmyheart_loveland on Instagram. And check out Stephanie’s eclectic spread of inventory – from locally handmade jewelry, candles, t-shirts and body products to hilarious greeting cards, snarky pairs of socks, gemstones, books and even occasional vintage collectables. There’s truly something for everyone!
By Jessica Moskwa Hawkins
December 17, 2018