Linda McCord’s canvases have long been admired throughout the local area, and now her artwork, along with the handiwork of other craft artists, can be seen on the shoulders, backs and necks of her customers.
McCord, a fixture in the Longview art scene, opened McThread’s Art Works on Nov. 14, her third store featuring boutique clothing and jewelry, fine art, and a mix of the two, which she calls “wearable art.”
“One of my customers was coming out of the Safeway parking lot, and a woman chased her down to find out where she bought the scarf she was wearing,” she said. “It’s nice when your art can walk around.”
McCord owned Lord & McCord Art Works from 2010 to 2013 and McThread’s Wearable Art Boutique for the three years ending in 2016. McCord, 75, joked that her family calls her newest incarnation of McThread’s her “last hurrah.”
Her new location, on Commerce Avenue near the recently-opened Tibbets Marketplace, is bigger and has more foot traffic than her last location, which was on Broadway just off Commerce Avenue.
“It’s amazing how many people walk by here,” she said. “When we were in here remodeling, I had people wanting to come in even at that point.”
McCord said it cost $15,000 to open and renovate the space with brand-new walls, lights, ceilings and floors.
At McThread’s, shoppers can browse through various pieces of art, both wearable and traditional, all designed by 11 artists, including McCord. McCord said eight of the artists are from the Longview area, while two are based in Vancouver and one makes her jewelry on Whidbey Island.
The clothing is intended to be viewed as pieces of art, McCord said.
“With my own work, it’s like doing a painting,” she said. “It’s all about design and color and making it work as a piece of artwork.”
Another distinct service that McThread’s offers is Jeannette Fedorka’s animal felt “paintings.” McCord said every Tuesday is “Bark Art Tuesday,” when customers can shop with their dog, get a portrait with their pet, and receive a doggy bag — pun completely intended.
McCord, who said she’s created wearable art for five or six years and has painted for 40 years, said her entrance into the retail business helped her connect with the community.
“Of course, being a fine artist, you spend a lot of time alone, because that’s what you do,” she said. “Then, when my son died, I opened Lord & McCord Art Works to help work through the grieving process, and I found out how much I love being around people.”
However, McCord said she still spends plenty of time in her studio. When she’s not at McThread’s, the artist said she works eight to 10 hours per day at her workspace.
The hard work seems to be paying off, so far: McCord said they’ve had plenty of customers since the very first night.
“Our opening night, which was not advertised, we were packed,” she said. “Black Friday was very busy, which is unusual, because most people are out buying socks at Fred Meyer or whatever.”
Regardless of one’s taste in clothing or art, McCord said they have something for everyone, and whatever a customer picks will be completely unique.
“It’s one of a kind. No one else is going to have it,” she said.