Jewelry designer and Bennington native, Meike Williams, brings retail and design expertise to new venture.
JJewelry designer and Bennington native Meike Williams is set to open a new arts and fine craft gallery downtown this fall. The gallery, at 103 South Street, is a 700 square-foot space located on the first floor of the historic Putnam Hotel building.
Williams, creator of the Cake jewelry collection, intends for the gallery to boost downtown Bennington’s economic and cultural growth, while also promoting the local artistic community in a refined but welcoming atmosphere. The gallery will include Williams’ handmade precious and semi-precious jewelry, as well as ceramics, paintings, photography, and upcycled artwork.
“The gallery isn’t just a retail space,” said Williams. “I want it to be a kind of community center where we can support the incredible diversity of talent in the region. I’m also developing plans to work with students and young artists.”
Williams brings extensive retail and design experience to the new venture. A former professional photographer, Williams changed careers and became an in-demand jewelry designer of Cake, a distinctive jewelry collection made of multiple layers that mingle well together. Her pieces appeared in dozens of films and television shows such as “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Entourage,” “Scrubs,” “ER”, Scandal, and “Gilmore Girls.”
Buoyed by the success of her work, in 2004 she launched her first retail gallery in West Hollywood, Calif., and in 2007, a second in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. The two locations represented more than 40 jewelry artisans. Last year, she re-launched the Cake website and continues to sell the collection through wholesale accounts.
In 2011, Williams returned to Vermont to be closer to family and has since launched a successful “pop-up” version of the boutique during the Stark Hose Firehouse benefit in December 2013. The well-received temporary space was filled with artwork from local community members, which proved to Williams that the town had an unmet need for a centralized space to showcase the wide range of talent. Renovations on the gallery space are set to begin in early September. www.cakegallery.us