SMALL EQUALS; retail store Feed

Holiday Craft Fair: We'll be there!

queen city craft fair burlington vermont

Queen City Craft Bazaar, Holiday 2010

I hope some of you will be able to come to this one day event. Several of the artists from The S.P.A.C.E. Galery, (home of Small Equals) will be there too. I'll be selling my Keepsake Card Kits, and many of the fun and exquisite things that go in them.

See you there!! If not, remember to check my



Small equals Saada necklace pate de verre larget tuaret nickel wood photo by Liza Cowan
Necklace by Saada. Pate de Verre, wood and L'Argent Tuareg


How gorgeous is this necklace??? I'm totally smitten. It's made by a beautiful jeweler from Mali, a woman named Saada. A few years ago her son -in- law brought a few of her pieces to Pine Street Art Works to see if I was interested in selling them. Of course I was, and I did sell them. I didn't think I'd ever see him again but last week he called me on the phone and said he was back in Vermont with his wife and her mother, and they had more jewelry for me to see.  Yay.


SMALL EQUALS Saada with her daughters. Photo by Liza Cowan
Saada, jeweler from Mali, at Small Equals with her two daughters

Here she is at Small Equals with her two daughters. We spent a wonderful hour or more going through all of her beautiful colliers - necklaces, made of perles, beads. And yes, I got to ramble on in my fractured French, with lots of help translating into English from Saada's daughter and son-in-law.


Small equals Saada necklace roots beads from Ghana wooden and bamboo beads, glass beads. Photo by LIza Cowan
necklace by Saada. Made of roots, glass beads, and beads from Ghana


Small equals. necklace by Saada, blue beads white shells. Photo by Liza Cowan
Necklace by Saada. Beads from Ghana, shells from Mauretania.


Small equals Necklace by Saada.  ebony,  silver, seeds detail. Photo by Liza Cowan
Necklace by Saada. Ebony, silver, wood.


SMALL EQUALS = Saada, jeweler from Mali at the store, Small Equals, Burlington VT photo by Liza Cowan
Saada, jeweler from Mali, at Small Equals.

These are the things that make me love my job. I get to meet amazing people and experience the wonderful things they make. Pure joy.



article about small equals in BurlingtonFree press


Liza Cowan of Burlington has opened a new store called Small Equals at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery at 266 Pine. A portrait of her grandfather Modie Spiegel hangs on the wall next to her new keepsake card boxes at the grand opening on the first day of the Art Hop on Sept. 10.

Text and photo by Lynn Monty

"Pine Street Art Works closed and owner Liza Cowan has opened a new art space she named Small Equals.

"Small is fabulous," Cowan said. "Small equals big ideas. The footprint is small, the overhead is small."

For the past five years she's filled 2,000 square feet of a former factory building with the work of mid-career artists. The changing economy forced Cowan to narrow her focus. She's moved down the street to The S.P.A.C.E Gallery at 266 Pine St., behind Conant Metal & Light in the Soda Plant Building. This gallery is home to a dozen working artists studios and exhibition areas.

Cowan's new space is 90 square feet and features customized gift building in the form of her signature Keepsake Card Kits. She designs cards from her vintage ephemera collection (ephemera means old paper). Cowan uses advertising booklets for her stock dating back to the 1800s. "They come in a box of my design and the customer gets to mix and match what goes inside."

Almost everything sold at Small Equals was chosen to fit in the keepsake boxes. Items like magnets, wildflower seeds, tiny vintage storybooks, paper dolls, monopoly game pieces and even typewriter keys and watch faces are among the treasures to choose from, all hand-picked by Cowan. "My goal is to provide something really excellent that can be useful and that's semi-custom and that people can't find anywhere else," she said. "My customers came to rely on my taste and ability to pick great things and I'm happy to continue to do that for them."

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Coming up with something special for a gift can be hard. Whether you know someone intimately or you only know them a little, seriously, what can you give that's creative, unusual, beautiful, speaks to them and is in a reasonable price range?

Fret no more.

Keepsake Card Kit: perfect gift for any occasion.
Keepsake Card Kit, Happy Birthday Japanese Matchbox label. Also: Seed Bombs from VisuaLingual and lasercut paper/wood bird. Kit made and distributed by  Small Equals


You knew I had the answer, right? Keepsake Card Kits. For all occasions, all items packed inside a Vermont-Made wooden box with a lid. See a range of them at my new online store.


Thank you!! Let me know what you think!




Art Hop is the huge art fair in the South End: Burlington's Art District. More than 500 artists show their work and thousands of people pour through our streets enjoying it all. Wow. What a weekend. 

Small Equals at Art Hop. Smallest shop in Burlington Vermont

Small Equals, A little Shop in Burlington, Vermont.


This is pretty much what my counter looked like at Art Hop. Lots of really cute little stuff.

Customers at small equals. Buying tiny gift items

customers at Small Equals during art hop 2010

And lots of really nice customers. Everyone says, "ooh, I just love small things!"

And so do I.


Small Equals begins

Small equals phil priming
Phil The Wonder Assistant Priming at Small Equals, Burlington Vermont

Everything's falling into place. Aaron Stein, artist/builder, has been constructing a beautiful 90 sq ft store for Small Equals. Phil The Wonder Assistant and I have been busy packing up Pine Street Art Works. Downsizing from 2,000 sq. ft to 90 sq. ft is a daunting challenge. It's not so much designing the small space, as much as getting rid of everything in the large one.

Meanwhile, I've been shopping for fun products to put in the Keepsake Card Kits:

300 Keepsake Card Kit: Happy Bird Day with card by Liza Cowan, Seed Bombs by VisuaLingual.


I went to the NY International Gift Show, which was amazing. I had only one day, which wasn't enough, but I found some sweet products for the shop.

Ipop magnets Ipop magnetsIpop magnets

Magnets from iPop, pouch and robot from Wilde and Woolf.

I also ordered more cuteness from Shinzi Katoh, vintage image products from R. Shackman and beautiful classic plastic boxes from AMAC.

I'm kind of in a magnet mode these days, so it's no surprise that I was attracted to iPop Magnets.

Also in the magnet mode, I've been selling these fabulous pieces by Uno Industries. 40 inches of magnetized chain and a cute little magnet to hold it together as a bracelet, ring or whatever. So fun and endlessly playable.

Uno industries magnetic jewelry

Uno Industries Magnetic Jewelry

And the magnetic item that got me started on the magnet kick: Canetti Magnet Frames. I finally met Nancy Halper, Canetti's owner, at NYIGS, which was great. I've been doing land office business selling the 5x7 frames, which I will continue to sell at small equals, along with some smaller versions.

Canetti magnet frames
Canetti Magnet Frames. Photos by Liza Cowan.