By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
Call it small-town serendipity, Carbondale style.
Rebecca Wilson moved from Lexington, Virginia to Carbondale last October to be closer to her children and grandchildren. After settling into Carbondale she decided it was “time to find some work.” Wilson mentioned this to her chiropractor, Dr. Lauren Whitaker at LUX Wellness.
“She got excited,” Wilson told The Sopris Sun. “You should go talk to this lady right across the road who is selling her business – studio and all.”
The owner was Lea Tyler, of tylerWARE. Tyler has built a reputation for her brightly-colored wooden salad bowls, which are sold at retail outlets and artisan fairs. Wilson, who grew up on the Front Range, returned to school 10 years ago and earned a degree in studio art with an emphasis on portrait sculpture.
“I had never heard of tylerWARE or seen the bowls … (but) love all creative outlets.”
Wilson’s serendipitous business opportunity moved quickly after her mid-December talk with Dr. Whitaker. She talked to Tyler shortly before Christmas, thought about their discussions over the holidays, and told her she would buy the business in mid-January.
“Within two months of our first conversation, and with the help of some great Realtors and bankers, we closed on the sale. These are some of the reasons I love small towns.”
Tyler, whose studio and gallery is located at 117 Village Ln., has been working with Wilson since the deal closed. Although the maple bowls and designs are the same as Tyler’s, the name is now Cobalt & Curry (cobaltandcurry.com).
“I wish everyone could buy their business from someone like Lea. She is so organized and helpful, and has gone the extra mile a hundred different ways to help get me going. I can’t thank her enough. My job now is to continue to produce the high quality, artistic work that she has been producing,” Wilson continued.
Long before moving to Carbondale, Wilson said she studied architecture but did not finish before she got married and had two children. “That (architecture) went on the back burner.” She then spent 30 years in the restaurant business but looking back said, “ … the wrong place for an introvert.” From restaurants she renovated houses and worked as a kitchen and bath designer before returning to school.
In 2004, Wilson decided to move from Virginia “wanting to be closer to my children and grandchildren but not on their back doorstep.” With children and grandchildren in Denver and Edwards, Colorado and Culver City, California, she decided to split the difference between Los Angeles and Denver by choosing the Western Slope.
“It offers so much in terms of a relatively lower altitude, a great farming and ranching community full of hard working people, and the ability to grow things. I just got certified in permaculture last summer.”
Continuing, Wilson said, “I have grown to love Carbondale and am so glad this is where I landed. I walk to most anything I need and feel right at home … people have been so helpful.”
As for Tyler, she isn’t going anywhere. “ … I am picking up bookkeeping clients and working in my ceramics studio!”
And, she’s keeping her tylerWARE brand for the future.
What: Open house/studio sale;
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 18;
Where: 117 Village Ln.