Artisan boutique Inspire Me open downtown
A new boutique opened up recently in downtown Hammonton. Inspire Me Boutique joins a growing list of boutiques that have opened up in the downtown area. Like the other boutiques, Inspire Me has its own niche in terms of their inventory.
Inspire Me’s owner Arlynn Murnane is an artist and has been an artist ever since she picked up a crayon when she was a kid. The idea about the store is working with artisans and while Murnane sells products that are from gift vendors, she is slowly transitioning to an artisan concept so that people that make things can come in and sell their items. Most of the products are made by Murnane, such as candles, charcuterie boards and greeting cards while welcoming artisans.
Murnane recently retired from a career in infection control in December 2022, in which she worked 35 years in the field. Four days into retirement, Murnane realized she needed to do something and discussed with her husband about what she should do. The discussions grew and they both felt Murnane should open a boutique store. The support of the other boutique owners helped ease her nerves on the idea.
“I’m actually friends with Ana [Yanoschak] from Perhaps and she was telling me ‘you should do it.’ Then, some of the other boutique owners, Christina and April [Carnesale] from Exit 28, were phenomenal in giving me information, telling me what I needed to do because I was really nervous making this decision and then, it kind of kept growing from there,” Murnane said.
The boutique’s name came from the phrase of ‘being inspired or inspire me’ and Murnane has used art as an outlet and an extra energy for her. Her grandmother and father inspired her to draw and color anything. The theme of the store came from the many artistic inspirations of Murnane as well as artwork that she later incorporated into the products.
Murnane had also done art pieces for the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2003-2004, doing furniture art and huge pieces of art that were donated to the AHA’s Go Red for Women events. Her husband bought her an iPad with the Procreate app, which allowed her to advance her art skills and those skills translated into the designs that are featured in her products.
“That threw in a whole new level of drawing for me because with that, you can see some of the things that I draw [as she pointed to the gift cards that featured her drawings of blueberries]. On that app, you can draw anything and I draw anything I see. Anything that I see, I can kind of almost recreate,” Murnane said.
That included a watercolor card she created, that she considers her favorite, of a woman and her son. The woman is someone Murnane crossed paths with and the inspiration came after both women were dealing with the loss of Murnane’s grandson and the woman’s son. A friendship grew and after coming across the woman’s Instagram, Murnane was able to grieve the loss of her grandson better and created the card, as well as a scarf and bracelet, as a gift to her.
“I’m still grieving through the process and this woman and I, we were so aligned with everything. In the four weeks that I’ve met her, I’ve gone through this huge process of being able to grieve better. This watercolor card for her says ‘God’s promise’ and all of the proceeds will go to her foundation. I was really touched by her story and how much she’s helped me,” Murnane said.