Many people describe walking into an Art for the Soul gallery as an experience akin to “falling down the rabbit hole.” Art for the Soul has two colorful brick and mortar stores in the California coastal towns of Balboa Island and Laguna Beach.
Owner Valinda Martin opened the first Art for the Soul store in 1998 on the charming and historic Balboa Island (for more on Valinda see Valinda's Story). The whimsical and imaginative gallery was an instant hit due to its diverse selection of American handcrafted art, engraved jewelry, and unique gifts. Within three years the original space proved too small, and Valinda's dazzling creation busted out of its snug cocoon and flew next door to a store twice the size. This bigger and better shop allowed Valinda to carry bigger and better pieces such as: colorful dining tables with wood burned life lessons, larger than life chairs boasting beautiful seascapes, and artistic game tables to inspire hours of family fun. To this day, the Balboa store is a required destination for tourists who wish to sample a more offbeat and colorful flavor than the usual resort town offerings. Locals rely on the shop's selection of inspiring gifts for friends in need of a little pick-me-up, unique pieces for the person who has everything, and even a new piece that will set their beach home apart from the neighbor's.