Growing up, I was the only child of a single mom. Thrifting wasn’t exactly a hobby, but a necessity. If we needed something, we had to find it at a garage sale or go without.
As I got older, though, hunting for deals became a sport, and when my own children needed something, finding it at the thrift store became a point of pride.
Over the years, I developed a collection of my favorite consignment shops, thrift stores, and flea markets. When my teaching career brought me to a remote community in the mountains of Northern Colorado, I was dismayed to discover it was a day trip to the closest consignment shop.
What’s a girl to do?
At that time I was teaching high school English and strongly believed in creating lessons that were relevant in the real world. I happened across a few articles about Fast Fashion and immediately knew my students would be interested to know where their clothes are made, and, more importantly, who is making them. We held a Socratic Seminar to read tons of articles, watch documentaries, and discuss the issue. Their insight and thoughtfulness amazed me. Many of them hadn’t really thought about where their clothes came from any further than the stores they shop.
That spring I set about planning a mobile resale shop in our community. What better way to blend these passions and make a little money on the side?
I found my Airstream on Marketplace just 15 minutes after it was posted. It had been gutted by a young family who had hopes of restoring it into a camper again, but life had gotten busy, and they were ready to see it go.
I was thrilled. It was exactly what I needed.
With the help of my husband and good ol’ Uncle Elroy, I built it out into my little mobile store and set up shop in The Lot at Uptripping & Framewerx in Winter Park, Colorado.
For the next three summers I had the pleasure of being surrounded by the best tribe of Misfits, Makers, and Creatives. It was the perfect environment for me to learn my trade.
When the pandemic hit, I was fortunate to be able to keep my shop open under the big, blue Colorado sky. Knowing that many cities had chosen not to host any markets that summer, I started looking for an outdoor space where a few other artists and I could spread out and pop up throughout the summer for our own little makers’ market.
A friend of ours had a beautiful barn he’d built with his own hands just up the road from us in a secluded little holler of our neighborhood. It was an enchanted space and large enough for our little tribe of vendors to spread out and open up.
Our Summer Barn Sales were a hit. We all enjoyed the chance to collaborate, sit outside and share our talents with the community.
More and more I was realizing THIS is my passion.
That fall my husband and I were called to Durango, and when a storefront opened up, NöMAD was born.
I wanted to create the place I’d always been looking for: a destination for wanderers, gypsies, and restless souls. NöMad is the place where I find fabulous second hand clothes, a studio where I paint upcycled furniture and home decor, and a venue to meet up with other artists, collectors, and makers to learn from each other and make an impact in our hometown.
I hope you also find what you’ve always been searching for at NöMAD.
My name is Emmarose Heath and I’m an artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I enjoy creating both commercial products like prints and stickers, as well as large scale paintings and drawings. Most of my work is either created digitally using Adobe Photoshop, with acrylic paint and watercolor, or some combination of several mediums and techniques. I also love thrifting and finding secondhand goods, and recently have started focusing on upcycling found materials and using them to create something entirely new.
I create work that seeks to express and understand my experience of existence, and my complicated feelings about existing as a young woman growing up in the 21st century. I’m 21 years old and grew up with the internet at my fingertips. My generation was among the first to have full internet access in our homes, usually from a very young age, and I believe that this affected us more deeply than we may realize. We have been bombarded our entire lives with impossible beauty standards and social pressure constantly, and I think that this has left us with a collective trauma, particularly surrounding our conceptions of beauty and our self-esteem. To me, beauty does not exist without pain, and that is what I aim to depict in my art. It is a coping mechanism for my own trauma, and I try to examine and convey the duality of beauty and pain to create a world which I would like to exist within. I turn to art not only as a way to heal myself and take control, but also in an attempt to relate to others, especially other young women.
My art is usually bright and oversaturated, and my style is both graphic in some ways and painterly in others. Recurring imagery in my work includes the lotus flower, eyes, cut off limbs and distorted bodies. While all of these bring symbolic meaning and value, my art does not rely on meaning to be understood. In fact, I often do not like to describe the ‘meaning’ of my art, I would rather it be a vessel for people to apply their own meaning to. Some have described my work as an expression of healing and love, while others describe it as more dark. I welcome all interpretations. If others are able to find something in it that resonates with them, then I’ve done my job as an artist.
I’m currently studying studio art and psychology at the University of New Mexico, and will graduate in 2022 with a dual degree in both subjects. My career goal is to make a living selling my art and vending at events across the country, but I’m also considering continuing my education to become a therapist or social worker. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing video games, and hanging out with my dog. If you’d like to check out my work, you can find me on instagram @artbypapergirl or on my personal website, www.emmaroseheath.com.