‘Cass Art: a different kind of art store’ was published in The Student Advertiser (TSA) in May 2015
As a self-confessed stationery addict, I hovered outside the doors of an empty shop premises on Glasgow’s Queen Street last October, curious of what new store was going to take over. The Words ‘Cass Art’ and ‘Coming Soon’ were etched across white panels that covered the doors, preventing access. Through the windows, men could be seen hard at work renovating the space a dark, neglected fashion outlet used to occupy into something full of light. I stood here like this every couple of days whilst floating around before my train.
Little did I know at this time that Cass Art is the UK’s leading independent art supplies retailer. Offering a smile and artsy goods – complete with a healthy price tag – it is no wonder why it has become not only an intriguing place to hover outside of but also a cosy place to enter as well. But what is it that makes it different to other art shops?
“We want to encourage everybody to make art,” says Mark Cass, the Founder and CEO (can you guess where the name comes from now?). “And we want to support those who are already doing so. We believe that being an artist, in whatever capacity, should remain a lifelong pursuit.”
To allow creativity to be accessed at all levels, Cass Art offers the world’s best art materials with one key difference to their neighbouring stores: they are all available for purchase at the guaranteed lowest prices. This is also matched with their ongoing price promise; should a customer find a product for cheaper elsewhere, Cass Art will gladly refund the difference – a feature not for the faint hearted, humble art shop owner. Cass Art are committed to catering for all age groups and levels which is why they offer various own brand starter-kits in each section of the store, enabling people to try something new and not feel a hole in their wallet if they decide it’s not for them. State-of-the-art products from Watercolour Markers to Water-Mixable Oil Paints by the world’s leading brands are also stocked as part of Cass Art’s commitment to showing that being creative is both exciting and rewarding.
Upon entering the Glasgow store you will see that the shop is bright and packed with bursts of colour. As well as this, you will notice that is broken into sections: sketching, painting, stationery, sewing (it goes on) and a very large children’s area at the back of the shop. Catering for the novice right through to the pro, the store stocks various canvases, sketch books, specialised paper, journals, coloured paper and cardboard to tackle all of your creative dilemmas. Experienced staff are only too happy to offer advice and tips on using any products in store, given that the majority of employees in Cass Art shops study art or are passionate about it on some level.
Glasgow’s Cass Art is also one of two stores in the UK who encourage visits to in-store ‘Try Me’ Tables, enabling customers to get their hands on some of world’s top quality materials every month before they decide to buy. Also once a month, the store organises an area for children aged 4+ to try artsy activities with experienced staff during in store. Cass Art Glasgow aims to support the creative endeavour of all local artists and will offer regular exhibitions and workshops for artists aged 2 to 102. Not only this, they will also rent their premises to the public for use in private art events or workshops if you drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uniquely, Cass Art offers discounts to students across the UK and – for the first time – to Art and Design tutors, teachers and therapists across the country. This makes it even more affordable for those who are passionate about sustaining art as a force in society. Cass Art’s resources also extend beyond the materials in their shop front with various ‘How To…’ videos and blogs available at www.cassart.co.uk.