Owner, Event Producer
OLD Gold, Makers Mart, WPM Gallery, R Street Block Party
@bowscollective #shopoldgold #sacmakersmart #firstfridaysacramento #rstreetblockparty #walrooftopshow
What do you do on R Street and how did you get here?
I live at Warehouse Artist Lofts (WAL) and own a boutique clothing shop below my loft called Old Gold. My shop features locally made jewelry, ceramics, candles, leather goods, cards and housewares in addition to well curated vintage selection for men, women and little ones. We stock styles from the 1950’s – 1990’s and put new items out every single day.
I am also an artist and producer of events like the R Street Block Party, Makers Mart, live music on the WAL rooftop and curator of the WAL Public Market Gallery.
In January 2014, Jake Favor introduced me to Ali Youssefi, the Developer of the WAL. My old business, Bows & Arrows, was wrapping up, and it was the perfect time for me to find a new home for it, and my family. I was 8 months pregnant at the time I first toured WAL. I am literally living in the first empty room I saw when I walked out of the construction elevator and into the building.
It has always been a dream of mine to live above my store. So standing in line that cold winter morning on October 29, 2014 from 4am-noon to get on the list for a place at WAL was well worth it. My fiancé Jon woke up, got dressed and got us the 36th spot in line. I stayed an extra warm hour at home with Elide, our daughter, who was 7 or 8 months old or so at the time, before walking down the street to join him in line.
What attracted your firm/business/brand to the district?
Affordability and uniqueness! As a small business owner of a brick and mortar retail shop on the Sacramento Grid since 2007, location is everything. And as an arts-based business, affordability is something you cannot exist without. WAL/WAL Public Market (WPM) is the only affordable place in the entire city that offers a great location and beautiful building. Being close to the capital and having great lunch offerings next door is a huge deal.
I’ve been renting apartments and commercial spaces in the Grid for 9+ years and I’ve seen the insides of a lot of spaces. WAL/WPM had what nothing else did. With my fellow artist- tenants as neighbors to collaborate and live next to, it seemed like a win-win-win.
What is a day in the life of Trisha Rhomberg on R Street like?
I wake up earlier than I want to everyday because I’m thinking about the Innovation and Creative Economy Initiative. It’s typical for me to lose sleep trying to figure out how to create more jobs for all of my talented friends and shift money from food and beverage to arts and music. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the next R Street Block Party, Makers Mart, WAL rooftop shows and other pop up events. So in the early morning, I am emailing while the family sleeps. Around 8:00 AM I run downstairs in my PJS to get coffee and a croissant from METRO Kitchen and Juicery all the while hoping no one sees me pre-shower.
After getting ready for the day, I have a little OCD cleaning thing I need to do first thing in the AM. After apartment is clean, I soak in some family time then head to work downstairs at OLD Gold.
I ask everyone who comes into my shop how they heard about the place. I love hearing what people say as they shop. People might not always expect the “girl behind the counter” to be the owner, so it’s fun to hear how people talk about your shop or show off the WPM to visiting friends. I’m so proud of what I hear; I’m happy it resonates with people.
What’s your favorite moment/memory of the R Street Corridor so far?
We had a pretty special set of live music shows on the roof of the WAL that I booked and hosted in 2015. We did 5 or so shows. The vibes at the Poppet/Appetite and the Sea of Bees/Sunmonks/Jacob Golden shows were glowing. The setting sun as the backdrop to genuinely happy listeners, as they soak in the music were some special one-of-a-kind moments that under 120 people got to share together.
The WAL rooftop shows are such intimate shows with rad crowds. It is great to see people gathered together to share art and support each other. Those moments are why I do what I do. Watching 100 happy people come to a free show, then be so stoked for the opportunity to experience this magical evening. People end up donating more than we would have generated if we charged at the door. I was happy people were happy to enjoy art.
What are your thoughts on the future of R Street?
Well, it is easy for developers to go after more bars and restaurants, but I think R Street has the potential to be the new and permanent Sacramento ARTS DISTRICT. Within a mile of the WAL you can see or buy art at: WPM GALLERY, WAL, 1810 Gallery, Arthouse, Beatnik Studios, Verge Center for the Arts, Raphael Delgado and Crocker Art Museum.
I do hope to see more retail on R Street but the Grid struggles with retail. Consumers are not risky or adventurous, so it’s a gamble opening a local retail brick and mortar shop here. In a small 1000 square foot or less space, you have to sell enough of a product and make enough profit to compete with bars who can pay for more space and twice the rent. It is just not realistic. National brands might be thinking about moving here, but independent of the mall, it’s hard without clusters of shops.
I am excited the see the Ice Blocks open near 17th and R Streets. Also I hope to see some better use of old office space west of 8th Street along R. I’m excited about more grocery options!
What would you like to see for R Street in the future?
I want a mini hacker lab next door. I want to share equipment and create with others. Of course I would like to see a bigger annual R Street Block Party. For my next business, I’m looking at a second space on R ST for an Emerging Arts Venue with a capacity of 50-250 people. Ideally an arts venue could host live music, collaborative workshops and other creative projects.
I really hope Mayor Steinberg will help innovative entrepreneurs by creating new assistance with permitting/zoning to allow for new ideas to exist. I’d like to see more art and innovation jobs.
It would be great to see collaborations with tech companies and marketers to help share the word about WHAT is going on in Sacramento. I love the collaborations I’ve done with local fabricators. I think the power of R Street is collaboration, sharing each other’s events, and supporting each other’s shows.
Also Pizza! I miss Pizza Supreme Being outside of Bottle and Barlow, and it feels like years since Amarro has been “close” to opening.
It would be nice to have a cool kids place for rainy day / indoor physical activities. Crocker is cool but we go there a lot and Art Beast is in Midtown. We need more kid oriented places.
We need more affordable and mixed-income living spaces. Since WAL opened the wait list has been very long. Affordable rents are so hard to come by now.
What business/person/item/piece of artwork/etc. on R Street inspires you?
The new mural on the WAL Building by Add Fuel is cool. So many people came to watch him paint. I still really love the faded stained glass windows at Fox and Goose.
It’s 5 pm and you’re craving something delicious on R Street, where do you go and what do you get?
Almost every day around 5pm I go to Fish Face and I get a Blood (Orange) Transfusion by Track 7 and the Cali Roll.
If you could add one thing to R Street, what would it be?
Well curated public art.
What makes the R Street Corridor an important place in Sacramento?
It’s going to be our ARTS DISTRICT centered around the WAL. Naturally, its where 120 of us artists live within one building. We just need more places to share. So many people bring their friends here. It’s worth showing off because we have a good looking re-modeled 100 year old building that has been re-used. I for one love when you can keep what has already been built or made, but make improvements. New construction is often ugly and everyone likes old buildings. New buildings are so cold and have no character.
The WAL area of R Street is the place we will see the most action because there is a high level of energy around the building. We better just hope that the City and developers know that the artists are what bring the businesses and bars here. If you can see art, music, handmade goods, and locally owned small businesses clustered together, you get a sense of our culture. We don’t want to be known only for our food although I am very happy South is around the corner. Let’s add more places to create and to share art and ideas. Fox and Goose has been doing live music for years and Old Ironsides, just around the corner, same thing…live music for years. The area is filling in and I hope people keep supporting these local businesses.
Describe R Street in 10 words or less.
Emerging arts district.
What are the Credo/Quote/Words that you live by?
What should we know about Trisha Rhomberg outside of your work on R Street? (Hobbies, life, life aspirations etc. anything you want to share)
I just want to paint.