We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Alyse Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate Alyse, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve spent my adult years sorting out the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of a creative career, but as a chid, art choose me. Even if I strayed in a different direction (primarily for finical security), I’ve always pivoted and found myself in front of a canvas or teaching a watercolor class.
Working alongside fellow artists, sharing art with youth, watching paint cover a surface–those are the moments that make sense. Real moments cemented in connection and exploration. That’s why I pursue it every day.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Penny Print Studio in May of 2022. My friend purchased a building in our small tourist town on Lake Superior in Bayfield, WI, and asked if I had any interest in starting a business. Since high school I’ve been involved in a dozen of artistic spaces whether it be: galleries, studios, museums, etc and my mind was full of ideas.
Unfortunately, at the time, I was working for an art school as the Program Director and experiencing verbal abuse, gaslighting, and unhealthy work expectations. I found myself struggling with suicidal thoughts and depression. Needless to say, I didn’t hesitate to say, ‘yes’ to my friend’s question and found my way out thanks to the support of countless family and friends.
Penny Print is a Studio and Retail Space with an Art Classroom. We sell small batch, artisan goods, screen print local artwork on apparel (the artist receives a commission when their artwork is purchased), and offer art classes in the studio space. It’s only the beginning. I could fill a page full of ideas I have for the space, but for now, I am pouring my energy into a Storytelling with Paper Mache class for the kids in our area and it feels….exactly right.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Our tiny city of Bayfield, WI is a true gem and wild card. The city itself is quaint and charming but also the doorway to the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior where nature is your playground.
I would recommend anyone visiting to stop at Adventure Club Brewing. It’s a micro brewery with a relaxed outdoor setting, tasty hops, and an amazing taco truck-Superior Tacos. Their Burrito Bowl is a must! If you are looking to get out on the water, book a sail with True North Sailing Charters. Their captains are knowledgeable and excited to showcase the beauty of the Islands. In town, get lost in the stacks of Honest Dog Bookstore. The staff knows their stuff so be prepared to leave with your arms full of stories.
If you are visiting in the winter, book an experience with Howlsong Adventures in Mushing. Dogsledding is a bucket list item and an incredible way to get outside during the colder months.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Abraham. I was only 21 when we married; he was 23. We were unrealistic with how we wanted to live life and quite frankly, still are, but he sees our goals clearly. When I get overwhelmed or distracted he reminds me how far we’ve come and then tells me to take another step forward. He’s also inherently kind and patient which I’ve learned is a rare gift to have in a partner.