Q and A: Carly Quinn at Old Market Inn Tile Shop
August 9, 2012
All the illustrative tile you see in The Old Market Inn Tile Shop, 403 N. 6th Ave., was made by the shop’s owner, Carly Quinn, nearly all of it since she opened the shop on April 9. It may say Made in Italy on the base, but that’s just where the Italian quarry tile came from. The glazed enamel artistry on the surface – that’s all Quinn. She’s attracted quite a following in people’s homes far and wide in just a year or so in business – and online.
Q: Tell me about Old Market Inn Tile Shop?
Quinn: I am a full service custom tile design studio and showroom. I sell ready-to-hang murals to customers across the globe.
Q: Where in the world?
Quinn: As far as Austria, Canada, East Coast US, West Coast, the Midwest.
Q: Does that surprise you?
Quinn: Yes, it does. There’s a lot of stuff to look through online. I did a 4-foot-long, 8-foot-tall focal piece for the Marriott in Riverside (Calif.). That is the biggest job as far as high-profile goes.
Q: How long have you lived in Tucson?
Quinn: Since 2005.
Q: You’re from Prescott. How did you end up in Tucson?
Quinn: I went to the Art Center Design College (now Southwest University for the Visual Arts). I lived in L.A. until I was 12 but I say I’m from Prescott.
Q: Why did you decide to stay in Tucson?
Quinn: I fell in love with my now husband (Anthony Trugman). I like it here. There’s something about the desert. I think it’s magical. I looked for a job and found one really fast. I thought Tucson was a great place to jump start my career.
Q: How long have you been living in the Iron Horse Neighborhood?
Quinn: Five years. I was looking for something close to Downtown. My husband is my business partner in all this. He used to work for The Hut. I do all the art and he does everything that’s not art.
Q: What do you like about Downtown?
Quinn: I like the bohemian aspect of 4th Avenue. I really love the development that’s going on. I know it’s affecting businesses. That makes me sad.
Q: What future do you see with the streetcar?
Quinn: I think it’s going to be a good thing for everybody. I think it will put Downtown Tucson up there with downtown Denver as one of those hip, cool places.
Q: What impact do you see student housing having?
Quinn: For us, I think it’s going to be great because they spend money.
Q: What’s your favorite Downtown event?
Quinn: Oh, All Souls. It’s so Tucson. There something so beautiful to me. I also love the bike swap.
Q: What do you like to do away from the store?
Quinn: Traveling is my main thing. I’m going to Bali, Indonesia, in October. For now, we will settle with some backpacking trips.
Q: What countries have you been in?
Quinn: Spain, France, Portugal, Morocco, Thailand, Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica.
Q: What’s on your mind today?
Quinn: I am thinking of finishing a fireplace design and starting some sketches for a very large piece that goes outdoors next to a pool.
Q: What the newest fun item in your store?
Quinn: I am making connectable trim tile. What that is is 6-by-6 tiles placed next to each other with a repeated pattern.
Q: Why do you have your shop on 6th Avenue?
Quinn: Because I like the look of the shop. If I’m going to be some place 50 hours a week, I better like where I am.
Q: Location doesn’t really matter for your business.
Quinn: It doesn’t matter for me because a majority of my sales are made online. 75 percent of my work consists of custom orders where I actually go to clients houses.
Q: What’s so wonderful about this location?
Quinn: I can walk here, ride my bike, I’m close to everything. I literally don’t have to leave the Downtown area.
Q: How about a supermarket?
Quinn: There’s the Food Conspiracy Co-op.
Q: What do you like about living Downtown?
Quinn: I like that it’s close to entertainment. I like going out, watching a show, meeting with friends.
Q: Where do you like to eat Downtown?
Quinn: My absolute favorite is Maynards. I love The Cup.
Q: How have you ideas about Downtown changed?
Quinn: They haven’t. I’ve always been in love with Downtown.
Q: But Downtown has changed in recent years.
Quinn: For the better, I think. We’re evolving into something a little more special down here.