ANDERSON — Hanging from the ceiling of What Workz is an old bike tire attached to a single lightbulb, illuminating the counter below it.
“The first thing I want you to think of when you walk in is, ‘That’s different. That’s one of a kind,’” co-owner Jason Crist said.
It’s just one of the many creations at 5430 Columbus Ave. From outside, the store may look like an average flea market, but those thoughts quickly go to the wayside once inside What Workz.
The store is filled with furniture, décor and art that Crist and co-owner Heather Chandler-Robleto have created. Items vary from a normal kitchen table to an old wooden door converted into an entryway bench.
Even the space itself fights convention. The building used to be a liquor store and the owners are using it to their advantage.
Along the back wall they converted freezers that once stored cold beer into a giant tool box. Customers can peer through the glass doors at the materials and watch the two in their workshop.
“We want people to see us at work,” Crist said. “I don’t mind people coming up to ask me questions.”
What Workz has been open for three months but Crist and Chandler-Robleto want to celebrate with an open house noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. They’ll have face painting, a magician and free pizza from their next door neighbor, Columbus Pizza.
“We’re trying to get people in here to see we have other things,” Chandler-Robleto said. “It’s not just our art.”
The two said they don’t want people to mistake their place for a normal flea market. They describe many of the items for sale as things that have been repurposed or “upcycled.”
That inventory could include a simple dresser that’s been repainted to a coffee table with a picture of Marilyn Monroe and her quote, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring,” painted on it.