Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Not just for basic human survival anymore, the same rule of thumb can be applied to DIY projects. Sure, it’s lovely to receive a little handmade gift. But it’s even better to learn how to make those treasures yourself (to give to others….or to keep). And learning to DIY for yourself is especially enjoyable if it’s in the company of other craft lovers, on a sunny afternoon, with plenty of music and refreshments to go along with. Enter Amy Zaborowski Cortell and her new shop The Urban Umbrella.
Opened just about a month ago, The Urban Umbrella is a bright, open space in Old Town Clovis with a “homespun” vibe that sells locally-made items for your home, and holds workshops to teach you to make things for yourself. Head fisherman and longtime do-it-yourselfer Cortell has been honing her hand-made skills for a long time. From a young age, her grandfather taught her to build the things she wanted, and Cortell continued that ritual with her husband when the couple moved to the Valley and needed to decorate their new home.
With the opening of The Urban Umbrella, Cortell is now sharing her passion with the community. Recently, the shop hosted its first workshop with another local business, The Propagation Station, teaching a sell-out group how to make pineapple succulents (see pictures below). Going forward, Cortell hopes to host about two classes a month in the shop, while constantly refreshing the stock of hand-made and custom goods for sale on the shelves and walls.
Here, Cortell talks about her “biggest inspiration,” her grandfather, why she decided to open the shop, and some of the amazing custom pieces you can have made for you by Cortell herself.
The Urban Umbrella; 519 4th Street, Clovis; 559-797-8539
Mon. – closed; Tue.-Thur. – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Fri. – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (depending on events); Sat. – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun – 12 – 4 p.m.