WHAT IS S+B?
SMART + BECKER
is a brick and mortar gallery and makerspace, located at 1154 McCalla Ave., Knoxville, Tennessee 37915.
Smart and Becker is the name that founder, Ryan-Ashley Anderson, had been operating under as an individual maker since 2012, and it was named for her grandmother, Arlene Smart, and great-grandmother, Hedwig Becker, who were integral in her development as a maker.
In 2017, she decided to expand into a physical space to create a permanent home for her larger vision -- a vision of monthly rotating fine craft and art shows, a never-ending docket of DIY workshops and maker discussions, a retail space for carefully crafted goods, and a meeting place for people in the community to pour their creative hearts out.
The original inspiration for the space came over 10 years ago when Ryan-Ashley found herself traveling from her small town of Southern Pines on the weekends to visit a friend in Carrboro who invited her to a salon. She didn't think she needed her hair cut, but agreed to go anyway.
Of course, they weren't going to a hair salon. They were going to the run-down living room of a writer in town who had monthly gatherings of creative folks in the community who came to share poems, short stories, songs, comedy bits, and visual art they'd been working on.
It was around this time that Ryan-Ashley was teaching knitting and working at a year shop in Southern Pines and a desire for creating a life that combined her love of hand-making and passion for participation in a creative community, began to grow so big she couldn't swallow it down anymore.
Not long after, she moved to Asheville, then after a few years, Carrboro, then Winston-Salem, THEN Knoxville, TN where all the experiences and opportunities and challenges of the previous 10 years came together into an incredible opportunity that took her all around the country on Jewel's Handmade Holiday Tour.
During the tour, she taught people from coast to coast and knew, once and for all, that it was time to make Smart and Becker about more than just her jewelry, and to create a space to hold all that S+B would become in the town that had come to feel like home -- Knoxville.
Want to get in touch? Email Ryan-Ashley here.