LeBonNton Featured in: "Where Women Create" Issue #9
Curated by Michele Muska
"We believe that. when someone makes something, they leave a part of themselves inside of it. Our mission is to spread the creativity and love of these artists, bringing their energy directly to your home."
LeBonNton was opened in May of 2017 and is nestled on the lower level at 5 Old South Street in Northampton, Massachusetts. The owner and mother of two, Cigdem Turkomer, lives just a short walk away. Cigdem studied film production in San Francisco as a young woman and returned to Turkey to work and begin her family after she graduated. She spent the next 25 years creating set designs for commercial and documentary films. Cigdem recently moved back to Northampton where she had spent some time during h~r college days to open her dream store in a city that had captured her heart. LeBonNton supports women artists and business owners from the United States and around the world.
Cigdem Turkomer: "I grew up in Istanbul Turkey, and my background is quite diverse; art director/producer interior designer, and stylist for film, T.V. and other projects. I also designed home decor accessories and holiday ware for a popular department store in Istanbul. I started creating as a very young child and have always gravitated toward decorating. Wherever I may be, at horne or in a hotel, I regularly bring some items along that bring me comfort and joy. My style is earthy, simple, cross cultural and neutral. I love mixing colors and cultures in my work as a photography stylist and curatorI draw inspiration in all that I do from my roots while growing up in Turkey.
My store supports both local and global female artists. We collaborate with local artists and designers to highlight their work, which in turns supports our community of artisans. On the second Friday of every month, the city of Northampton runs an event called "Arts Night Out". It has become a staple for the artistic community in the Pioneer Valley. We feature one or more artists each month, and they set up a pop-up shop to sell directly to our customers and also connect with other artists. The event brings the city alive with music, art and culinary delights you can just feel it in the air.
In the summer, we take advantage of our beautiful stone patio that is covered in twinkling white lights and flowing lengths of beautiful handprinted textiles. The antique wrought iron railings outside serve as a gallery for paintings and quilts during some of our events. Large comfortable pillows provide a spot for you to relax on and to indulge in a strong cup of Turkish coffee or a cold drink. We are also planning on a permanent cozy cafe corner in our shop for the locals and visitors to stop in and relax inside our unusual and eclectic space. Many of our customers frequently tell us that they want to move in.
I have recently started a collaboration with a small company in Peru that will help support the women in that community. They will be producing my textile designs that will be sold in LeBonNton. This has always been a dream of mine, and I am so thrilled to see it come to fruition.
Artist and crafts people are also invited to teach and participate in the workshops at our store. We have had fiber artists, musicians and crafters from our local community offer to share their knowledge and experience with our guests. During our events, I often make some of my traditional Turkish dishes to share. The spices I use add another layer of comfort and richness to the overall appreciated experience in our space."