Lakewood’s Fairy Store has been bringing joy to the South Sound for over eight years. The store’s popular website eFairies.com is internationally known as a main resource for all things fairy magic. While the store is loved and recognized across the globe, the relationships they foster locally is where they believe the real magic lies.
To many, The Fairy Store is so much more than a regular retail business. Shirley Ritter, owner of the store and also known to patrons as The Fairy Godmother, has cultivated a local sanctuary where visitors go to take refuge from the monotony of everyday life and enjoy the enchantment of her store, even if just for a little while. That’s how Shirley got to know local Lakewood artist, Colleen Black.
“The Fairy Store opened up in a location not far from our house and destiny was born,” Colleen tells us. “There was something even more magical that lit up that store like a beacon of light, shining right there off of the I-5 exit. When I found out what it was, the desire to let people know about the magic drove my paintbrush into a frenzy.”
Colleen had visited The Fairy Store a couple years prior where she ended up leaving a copy of her new book titled “Behind the Black” with Shirley. Colleen dedicated a chapter of her book to her artistic inspiration that came from fairies. An immediate friendship ensued.
One day while Colleen was in The Fairy Store searching for a gift, Colleen and Shirley had a chance to reconnect with one another. Colleen was struck with creative inspiration. Inspired by Shirley’s kindness, she went home to create a very special piece of art.
“I saw the entire painting in an instant, and was off to my studio to paint her in the very light I saw her in. Like a Fairy Godmother at the gate of an enchanted forest, inviting you in to experience the joy of watching your emotions take flight in the form of tiny angels,” Colleen explains.
Colleen later returned to The Fairy Store, surprising Shirley with the painting and leaving her speechless. Colleen painted a portrait of Shirley in the form of a true Fairy Godmother – each brush stroke and fine detail perfectly depicting the warm character of the store owner, set in a stunning fantasy world of fairies, gnomes and precious woodland creatures. Small hidden images and scenes begin to appear the longer you look at the painting, allowing it to come to life. Colleen even used black light paint to give Shirley secret fairy wings that are invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen in the correct lighting.
“Colleen has such a big heart,” Shirley tells us. “Her art comes from an inspirational and passionate place which shows through her work. She has a talent that truly deserves to be shared.”
The painting is now proudly on display in The Fairy Store and has captured the attention of store visitors. To experience the true magic of this painting, you must see it in person!
While Colleen is an expertly skilled painter, she also sculpts. Her sculptures have been nationally recognized and honored. By creating her painting of Shirley at The Fairy Store, she has captured the hearts of locals who are eager to purchase a piece of her artwork for themselves, right here in the South Sound.
“It was such a joy for me to create this piece. Shirley and I discussed opening it up to anyone else who could see themselves, their kids, pets, or anything they could think of really in a personalized work of art,” Colleen says.
If you are interested in having a custom painting created, for a limited time, you can visit The Fairy Store and they will get you connected with Colleen Black. Understanding that many people feel they cannot afford original or custom art, Colleen not only works to make her artwork affordable for her customers, but hopes that her creations bring joy to the homes of other’s for generations to come.
The Fairy Godmother invites you to visit The Fairy Store or eFairies.com located at 2202 84th Street South in Lakewood where you can view not only the portrait that was created for her and also a couple of other pieces created by Colleen. The Fairy Store carries an assortment of art as well as unique gift items.