Three friends open new store in Volant

Friends Dani Johnson, Juanita Fair and Raquel Collins are opening Three Girls & a Shop in Volant.

When three friends came together, they found they had a shared vision of opening a shop that supported artists, communities, and each other, and decided to pursue it.

However, they had to be creative to find a way to open a business during a pandemic.

That’s how “Three Girls & a Shop” came to be. Co-owned by Dani Johnson of Sharon, Juanita Fair of Farrell and Raquel Collins of Hermitage. The shop will officially open at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The shop features a variety of art mediums including paintings, sculptures, wreaths, statues, wood-crafted signs, books, hand-woven gloves and scarves, handcrafted jewelry, repurposed furniture among other items from local and regional artists.

“Our goal is to display art and bring people together,” said Collins, a DeVry University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting.

Fair agreed.

“Art has always been my passion,” she said, adding that one of her paintings is still displayed on the walls of Mercer High School, where she graduated. She’s also a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in forensic science.

Johnson, also a Penn State alum who graduated with a degree in administration of justice, added her passion for “repurposing lost pieces looking for new homes as well as seeing beautiful pieces of artwork brought to life” just adds to the overall vision of the shop.

The trio knew that opening a store during a pandemic would be a challenge, which is why they created their concept to encompass the times by joining together to open it. With their joint experience — Fair as a youth instructor, substitute teacher and in business development, Johnson as a writer, case manager and dance instructor, and Collins with accounting and woodworking art — the friends believe that and sharing a storefront will be key to their success.

Their plans include expanding the business by adding new locations to support arts education, potentially each co-owner running their own brick & mortar storefronts.

“Our ultimate goal is to be successful in something that means a lot and makes us happy,” Fair concluded. “To be financially stable and love what we do.”

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