Saying Goodbye After 17 Years

Stone Griffin Gallery's Dana Smith is closing shop on March 31.

The signs outside say 'Retirement Sale' but in fact, owner Dana Smith is doing anything but.

After 17 years in Campbell, Smith is closing his business tentatively at the end of the month.

"My plans for now are to look for office or commercial space to continue my online business," he says. "Looking for work being 51 and self-employed for so long ... I'm not quite happy about that but that's all I really know for now."

Smith's history in the Orchard City started with an idea for a business. His good friend, was heavily involved in the back then and he suggested to Smith and Kurt Kooser that they should all go in and get commercial space.

"Lloyd said it had to be in Campbell because he was big in the chamber," Smith says.

So the three rented a space at the Kirkwood Plaza shopping center in the building that was later razed and replaced with the Starbucks.

The three moved from Kirkwood to the downtown, and opened up their business at 36 Railway Ave.

"I was happy as a clam there," Smith says.

The new space housed Taylor's sign business and Smith's industrial tape recorder business.

Around that time, Smith's brother Barry Smith suggested they start a retail business. The first thing that popped in Dana Smith's head was gargoyles.

"It was around the time that the Denver airport built out and had brand new automated luggage service," he said.

The airport had installed statues of gargoyles sitting ontop of  luggage, which stuck with Smith.

"It was fitting because their luggage system was terrible," he said.

So in the summer of 1995, Smith began selling gargoyles and got a lot of traffic from it, he says. It was around that time that Taylor told Smith either to give him a percentage of the sales or move out.

"So I moved out into the downtown," Smith says. And in December 1995 he mved into 401 E. Campbell Ave. where currently is.

There, he sold his gargoyles out front and the industrial tape recording in the back. The former gradually faded with the growth in popularity of the CD and the internet, he says.

During this time, Smith's brother Barry had an art gallery and the two merged the businessed under a single roof and it continued on like that to present day.

Smith is solemn as he thinks back at what he will miss most of his time in Campbell.

"Being self-employed is fun," he says. "That's honest and true. I'm not a car culture guy and being in a downtown that's people-scale is nice too. I will miss the events, the people, the friends and all the artists."

The store is having a major sale through the end of the month with up to 90 percent off selected pieces.


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