Raven Ann Potschka/Sandlanee Gid stands still a moment in Space 626, the new home of Ladybird’s Boutique and a venue for live music, dance classes, and other community events. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Space 626 opens in Masset with room to grow

Not only does she sell stylin’ clothes, Raven Ann Potschka/Sandlanee Gid knows the snappiest way to hang them — gliding around on roller skates.

Three years after she opened Ladybird’s Boutique in the former Green Gaia café, Potschka recently moved her vintage clothing and housewares shop to a larger location at 2072 Collison Avenue.

Called Space 626, the new spot has room for much more than Ladybird’s.

Since opening with a Christmas holiday market and a dance party in mid-December, Space 626 has also hosted an internet café, live music, plus salsa and Afro-Brazilian hiphop dance classes taught by Dafne Romero and Okaloni. It is also home base for the 626 Burlesque troupe, and the future site of a quarter-pipe for local skateboarders and roller skaters.

“I think this place will change like five million times,” says Potschka, laughing.

“It’s going to be constantly changing.”

While Ladybird’s Boutique is the mainstay at Space 626, it too is changing as Potschka introduces more vintage furniture into the mix, along with clothing and housewares.

“I love sanding and painting and up-cycling old furniture — just getting the best life out of the stuff that we already have.”

Besides the shop, Potschka imagines Space 626 as a venue for live music, dance classes, and other events that don’t need all the space of the Howard Phillips Community Hall.

Even before the official opening, Space 626 hosted a Halloween party featuring local acts Dub Jackson Band, Jason Camp and the Posers, and poet Alexis Koome. Working the bar were members of the Old Massett girls’ basketball team. On March 15, Space 626 and the Haida Gwaii Arts Council will host Haida Gwaii’s first burleseque festival, with a headline performance by the all-Indigenous troupe Virago Nation along with the islands’ own 626 Burlesque.

“The beauty of this space is that it’s here for other people to benefit from,” Potschka said.

Some of the future plans include getting a dedicated sound system, hosting a painting class, showcasing more locally made furniture, setting up private tables for people who need short-term office space, and even resurrecting some of the 17 arcade games that ones beeped and booped over at the CFS Masset barracks.

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur,” Potschka said.

“I believe in it so much that I don’t it’s that big of a risk — I feel like it’s the biggest opportunity, more than anything.”

Ladybird’s Boutique is starting the new year by opening four days a week. The shop opens from 11 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 1 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, and 11 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

For updates and Space 626 events, check the Facebook pages @ladybirdsboutique and @space6two6.

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