Friday Business News: Rococo Opens at 2 Market Square

Rococo owner Courtney Coffey with duct tape mural

Well, not quite at this moment – but tomorrow. Owner Courtney Coffey will open her new boutique in the prime corner location on Saturday, June 2. After a number of months with a vacant store-front and rumors of a mattress store that excited no one, the right store seems have converged with the right place for a great new addition to the square.

Earrings at Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville
Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville, May 2012

Courtney says, “There’s a story behind everything in the store,” and she’s not exaggerating. As we walked around the store the stories spilled from her like the fountain of knowledge she is about the various pieces of art. She has carefully cultivated the relationships with the artisans that produced the works on display at every turn inside the store.

Rainboots, Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville
Ties on Cool Wall, Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Most of what you will find is unique to her store, a fact of which she is very proud. Re-purposed bullets have become earrings.  Men’s ties – which is an item hard to find downtown in any case – take on specialized designs and are displayed on a wall adorned with sliced tree branches. Handmade baby booties include the unexpected – an ice skating version, for example. Monogrammed rain boots for women command their own space.

Courtney shows custom etched leather designs, Rococo, Knoxville
Bullet Necklaces, Rococo, Knoxville
Unique Necklaces, some made of Tintypes, Rococo, Knoxville

While there may not be something for everyone, there is something for most of us. From baby gifts to women’s accessories and men’s ties. From household accents to pieces of furniture. From somewhere around $15 for a small gift to $2000 for a beautiful piece of furniture. One set of jewelry features tintypes made into necklaces, guaranteed to be one of a kind.  Skateboards hand-painted by artists offer beautiful wall hangings – or gorgeous skateboards if you are so inclined. Of course, there are plenty of items featuring a certain color of orange for those of you who are so inclined.

Skateboard Art and More, Rococo, Knoxville
Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

Courtney’s short life has been jam-packed with experiences which have prepared her for this moment. She’s from Knoxville, so she knows what we’re about. She studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design where she received her bachelor’s degree. She earned her MA in Fashion Design while studying in Florence at the Palimoda Institute. After her stay in Italy she became a professor for four years at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville. And now she’s ready to be home.

Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville
Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville

You won’t be able to enter the store without thinking of amazing – if whimsical – art. Often playful and witty, like it’s artistic namesake, it starts with the massive portrait on the wall. The work is personally designed and executed  – in duct tape. I could hardly believe it. Now she says, “I have several duct tape commissions. It’s a little crazy, a lot fun, very much art and an exciting addition to the city. Check it out starting this Saturday.

Courtney Coffey, Rococo, 2 Market Square, Knoxville