Las Vegas-based artist Abbie Paulhus is known for her whimsical illustrations. For about four years, she has sold her original designs—as prints, posters, pins, cards and more—online at abbiepaulhus.com and at regional art fairs.
This month, Paulhus opened a brick-and-mortar boutique in the Arts District. Her shop is bright, colorful and full of fun, in the form of paper goods, puzzles, novelties, snacks, souvenirs and clothing. Adding to the experience: the presence of Pepper, Paulhus’ Poochon (poodle-bichon mix).
“One of the beauties of going to a brick-and-mortar is the art of discovery,” Paulhus says. “When you’re shopping online, you’re usually looking for one thing in particular, but it’s harder to stumble across something. So the idea behind All Good Things is: Here’s a bunch of beautiful things I’ve curated that will hopefully surprise you and be exciting.”
After so much traveling, Paulhus says that she “wanted to find a way to be more involved with the community here in Vegas.” In addition to helping fill the boutique niche in the Arts District, she stocks as many local brands as possible: clay jeweler Linen and Lace; illustrator MaryOn Adventures; Battle Born and Mala enamel pins; Me Mother Earth eco products; 40nine watches; Sketch Wallet; and, of course, her own creations. She carries other products from makers she has befriended at craft fairs over the years.
As for balancing the roles of creator and shopkeeper, Paulhus says she’s “still figuring that out.” With the help of one employee, Paulhus can retire to her art studio above the shop during the afternoon.
Her art is honest, inclusive and uplifting; she’s open about her struggles with depression. One of her prints simply states “Be Brave Enough to Be Yourself.” Paulhus says that while growing up, her sensitivity, her openness, her love of weird things and bright colors were all subtly discouraged. Now that she has found her freedom, she puts it in her art. “I really like encouraging people to just be themselves and to express themselves,” Paulhus says.
Originally from Michigan, Paulhus came to Las Vegas “by accident.” She “totally fell in love with Vegas”—its heat, its diversity and especially its growing arts and culture scene. “What’s cool about the arts culture in Vegas is, there’s really room for everyone. There’s room to find your place here. It’s not oversaturated like a lot of big cities are. So yeah, this is definitely where I belong. I definitely found my place here.”
Paulhus says she loves to make art inspired by such desert southwest iconography as Joshua trees, and that “typical Las Vegas souvenirs” don’t do enough to celebrate the natural landscape. One of her goals for All Good Things is to stock “more interesting souvenirs than what you might typically find.”
Though opening in the midst of a global pandemic has been challenging—there are few tourists around to buy those souvenirs—Paulhus says the customer response has exceeded her expectations. She says shoppers have made her store one of their first stops since lockdown restrictions have eased. “It’s just really exciting and really rewarding to be an oasis for people,” she says.