Local artists build a “nest” for their work

“80 percent of success is showing up,” Frahmand Kalayeh said in reference to Nestology, the store he and his business partner, Caroline Jones, have opened.

Nestology is a store located in the King of Prussia Mall which allows any artist to showcase his or her work, whether it is through fashion, photography or paintings.

Kalayeh, an Eastern alum, got the idea for this store when he realized that local artists are not as prominent here in the U.S. as they are in Europe.

“I always wanted to do something different… small craftsmen and local artists have no outlet for their work,” Kalayeh said.

With the hopes of helping emerging artists become more known in this area, he wants to show people how different a store like this can be.  “With a store so unique, no one can compete with current mass goods,” Kalayeh said.

Nestology’s one-year anniversary this October proves this optimism true. 

Not only does each artist have a 50/50 split on whatever artwork of theirs sells, but each artist gets his or her own “nest,” or section in the store. In each nest artists’ works – paintings, photography, jewelry and different types of clothing – as well as a short biography are displayed.

“There is always a reason for why we carry these,” Kalayeh said, gesturing to the walls of the store. “They reflect community and an ‘urban funk’.”

There are Vans Sneakers that have been covered with hand drawn images by an artist whose brand name is “DeadMeat,” 100 percent silk wedding gowns designed by a local woman and dresses and skirts designed by Philadelphia designer Zarah Saeed.

Another artist has his paintings displayed on the wall. “This one is a closet artist,” Kalayeh said. “He is a security officer during the day, but then he sells his art.”

Kalayeh and Jones believe everyone deserves an outlet for his or her work and a chance to sell it.  In order to continue with that mind-set, local musicians and clothing designers are welcome to either perform or present in front of the store about once every six weeks.

When asked how they found their artists, Kalayeh said, “We didn’t, they came to us.”  That has been proven true based on the abundance of artwork all over the store.

The prices in the store range from five dollars to about $3,000. Not only do Kalayeh and Jones have this store in the mall, but they also have another “Nestology” in the opposite building.

“This one here is for emerging artists, whereas the other one is for more established artists,” Kalayeh said.

It comes as no surprise that this store is such a success considering the atmosphere.

 Next time you go to the mall stop by and see if setting up your own nest could be the ticket to sharing your story with our community.

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