Louisville Magazine

APR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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14 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.19 THIS IS AN AD When Mary Levinsky arrived here from Philadelphia she thought: Wow, what a neat city! "When I first came to Louisville in 2007, I felt the downtown had potential," says Levinsky, owner of Block Party Handmade Boutique. "I'm a city person and downtown is my passion." Levinsky envisioned a boutique of handmade goods where artisans, artists and feminists could display their wares and mingle with residents and visitors to the city. "Customers often say, 'This is like a real- life Etsy,'" says Levinsky of the 2,000-square- foot shop at 560 South 4th St. The boutique carries an eclectic array of art and gifts including locally-crafted jewelry, mixed media, glass art, Derby and Oaks prints, fairytale-inspired necklaces, ethically- sourced clothing, fine metals, classic Kentucky-themed gifts and a bath bomb bar. It also displays feminist-inspired work like prints of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. "We carry quirky things with an edge," Levinsky says. "Our vendors are diverse. We don't shoot for just one demographic. It's a wide range of people." Levinsky, an artist herself, moved to Louisville because her now-husband is from the area and resides here. Fresh off the plane from Philadelphia, Levinsky fell in love with Louisville's downtown. "I loved the speed of the city," she says. "It's big enough to have fun things to do but doesn't have the stress and traffic of bigger cities. Our idea is to bring back historic shopping on South Fourth Street. Several shop owners, myself included, opened places all at once. It's a nice little shopping district that continues to grow." Until recently, Levinsky also owned a second Block Party boutique on Frankfort Avenue. But she gave birth to twins in November 2017, now 15 months old. At first she thought she could take care of twins and run both boutiques, but she quickly realized that something had to give. So she closed the Frankfort Avenue shop and focused on the downtown boutique. "Raising twins and running a boutique is a lot to juggle," Levinsky says. Block Party is also a type of gallery where artists open showings and special events happen. The boutique hosted a "Galentine's Day" gathering in February, and it is gearing up for its "Getting Puggy in Kentuggy" event that benefits pug rescue efforts. While the majority of artists on display are women, men are also welcome. There's something for everyone. "We are eclectic, quirky and fun!" Levinsky says. blockpartyhandmade.com A Conversation with Mary Levinsky, Owner of Block Party Handmade Boutique By Rachel Reynolds

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