Local First Arizona member, Deco, lights up Broadway Boulevard in more ways than one. This unique shop is a locally owned and operated gift gallery that features original one-of-a-kind artwork by local artists surrounded by a variety of international treasures. “We represent art for many artists in Tucson,” says owner Monica Cook. “My sister, Marlies, used to be the retail manager for The Bead Museum in Glendale. She runs the bead section in the store and creates awesome jewelry that we sell.” Recently, Deco was presented with a Heritage award by the Tucson Pima Historical Commission for their new neon signage. “Deco closed for six weeks beginning in August of 2013 to remodel the inside and outside of the store," says Monica. "The awning, like the one we had on our storefront before the remodel, didn't fit with our historic Mid-Century building. We wanted the front of the building to look like it would have looked in the 1950's, which is individual letters.”
In addition to offering one of a kind jewelry, Deco also hosts jewelry making classes and other great community events such as the annual fall show, "Ignite: Neon and Light Show", displaying one-of-a kind neon signs, sculptures, and lights created by Jude, Monica's husband, who owns Cook & Company Sign Makers. “My husband, Jude, loves to design and create lights, including neons. Neon was popular back then and is making a resurgence now.” The neon look fits well with the historic business district, commonly known as the Sunshine Mile, where both Deco and Cook & Company are located.
Monica founded the Sunshine Mile Business Association to highlight the unique area on Broadway Blvd between Country Club and Euclid. Home to several Modernist buildings, the two mile stretch was one of Tucson’s premier shopping destinations in the 1950’s. Currently it is home to over 450 businesses, the majority locally owned. The Sunshine Mile area hosted many of last year’s highly successful Modernism Week events. “The association is about promoting this area as a unique historic destination, sharing resources, talents and encouraging relationships between business owners. It's great because we are getting to know one another. We've had several mixers where we meet other business owners in the area.”
Monica believes deeply in supporting the local movement through her work with the Sunshine Mile Business Association, Deco and how she interacts with the Tucson community. “I prefer shopping locally,” Monica says. “It puts more money in Tucson's local economy and creates jobs. We eat exclusively in local restaurants and we eat out several times a week. I like shopping in small local stores like my own looking for unusual items, not what one would find in big box stores. I would rather try on clothing than order online. When I see an item, I have a better idea of how it will fit in my home.” Be sure to visit Deco at their location at 2612 E. Broadway to see for yourself all the amazing items they carry. Deco is one of the many great merchants offering a Golden Coupon discount for Independents Week. Be sure to download yours here and stop by.