Katie DeGroot is ready to help people show their funky side. DeGroot opened The Peace Place, a shop filled with her handmade tie-dye creations, at Quincy Avenue and Broadway in late August. The shop …
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The Peace Place
Address: 4300 South Broadway
Hours: 11-5 Monday through Sunday
The Peace Place will host a grand opening open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, featuring prizes and giveaways.
Katie DeGroot is ready to help people show their funky side.
DeGroot opened The Peace Place, a shop filled with her handmade tie-dye creations, at Quincy Avenue and Broadway in late August.
The shop has way more than rainbow T-shirts: DeGroot’s shelves and racks are lined with baby clothes, hoodies, hats and tapestries in a mind-melting menagerie of colors and designs. DeGroot also does custom pieces.
“No two pieces are alike,” DeGroot said. “That’s the beauty of tie-dye: Everyone can find the exact piece that speaks to them. Colors communicate a lot about how we feel and how we see ourselves, and I want to help people express that.”
DeGroot herself wasn’t always so expressive. With a mind for math and science, she spent years in the corporate world, in accounting and finance. But cubicle life was stultifying, and the Colorado native wanted to break free.
“I always thought you had to be precise with your creativity,” DeGroot said. “For some reason I had it in my head that if you were going to draw or paint or write, you had to do it with precision.”
Then, she discovered tie-dye, where she found the freedom to let her freak flag fly.
“I can put my love and heart into every piece,” she said. “Plus, it gets me out of my head.”
Still, she finds it a melding of the analytical and the creative: There’s the science of how different dyes will respond to different fabrics, or the geometry that allows for complex designs.
DeGroot began selling her creations at fairs and festivals a couple years ago, but 2020 was supposed to be the start of her grandest adventure. She planned to toss her equipment and her dog in her van and strike out across the country, selling her wares at craft fairs along the way.
Alas, the pandemic had other plans, and DeGroot found herself grounded. But soon she found what would become her shop, an old store built in the early 1920s at 4300 South Broadway.
“It’s a different kind of adventure, but it’s still an adventure,” she said. “It was meant to be.”
DeGroot made space in the shop for other local artisans, who sell everything from rings and jewelry to dried mushrooms. She hopes to build a studio where she can teach her craft to others.
“I want to do more than sell my art,” DeGroot said. “I want to spread goodness and kindness. Come in and say hi.”
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