Like many independent illustrators and designers Matt Gondek spent much of his time working from home. Too much time in fact. To change his lifestyle, Gondek has opened a new urban boutique and design studio, The Frown Crown
, in Upper Lawrenceville.
“I wanted to get out of my house and talk to people throughout the day,” Gondek says. He hopes to use the shop as a meeting place for clients, as well as a place to build connections in the community. And while the shop functions as a regular clothing boutique, Gondek is in a back studio working on various illustrations, some of which will end up in his Jock n’ Roll clothing line in the new shop.
It wasn’t until Gondek participated in a pop up shop event that he realized the potential benefits of a brick-and-mortar space. The 2 Week Street Boutique, hosted by Fe Gallery this past May, drew a very positive reception.
Inspired by that success, he sought a new permanent space. Now, he hopes the boutique will help other local designers gain more recognition.
In addition to clothing, the shop features prints from local artists, national underground brands, as well as Gondek’s own artwork, illustrations, and vinyl figures.
Gondek, who was named Pittsburgh Magazine's Best Local Artist in 2011, says his work is geared toward younger people, and is bold, colorful, and cartoon-like. “I try to put something on a shirt that gets people’s attention quickly and is recognizable,” he says.
The Frown Crown is located at 5179 Butler Street, next to Remedy Restaurant and Lounge, and is open noon to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Matt Gondek