Anyone looking for unique hand-made artwork should look to Gallery U Boutique. Located at 310 W. Fourth Street in the Washington Square building, Gallery U is certainly an eye-catcher. There’s a wide variety of amazing and colorful artwork that can be seen in their remarkable window displays, which embellish Fourth Street’s artistic and trendy motif. But there is more to this gallery than what initially meets the eye. The gallery serves as a vocational training site where victims of traumatic brain injuries are equipped with skills that will enable them to return to future competitive employment.
“Gallery U is one of the side businesses that we have under the umbrella of Therapeutic Rehabilitation,” says Susan Miller, Director of Marketing and Admissions. The gallery is part of a larger operation to rehabilitate victims of traumatic brain injuries. All the artwork in the gallery is made by clients of this organization. Gallery U started in August of 2010 and has been helping people get back their lives by teaching skills and fostering individual’s creative talents.
“We want to bring awareness to people that we are more than a gift shop,” says Barbara Hill, the Clinical Director. Ms. Hill is an occupational therapist by training and has been with the company since the beginning. “Our business is supporting, training, and providing meaningful productive work to someone with a traumatic brain injury.” She and her staff share the goal of getting their clients back to work in the community unsupported.
She thinks Royal Oak is the best place for Gallery U to display and sell the artwork made by the clients. “We decided to come to Royal Oak because we wanted to come to a diverse place where we would be welcomed. Our store is unique, and we wanted to fit in with the quirkiness that downtown Royal Oak has to offer.”
In addition to its appeal of being a thriving and diverse place to do business, Downtown Royal Oak has the advantage of being near Therapeutic Rehabilitation’s Troy clinic.
“We transport clients to Royal Oak each day for work,” says Hill. “We love everything about Royal Oak, from its supportive community, friendly customers, and good neighbors who embrace our business and help us spread the word about what we do.” The gallery is involved in the Downtown Royal Oak community, even having participated in last year’s Small Business Saturday event. According to Hill, Downtown Royal Oak is the perfect place for the gallery, “It’s just a fun town to work, live and have fun in… not to mention all the great food!”
Come see Gallery U Boutique, experience all of the impressive artwork, and support their important mission that is transforming lives day by day. The gallery’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. They are located at 310 W. Fourth Street in the Washington Square building. Visit their website at galleryuroyaloak.com