Earth Girl unites

Dorothy Vosse

Photo by Catherine Beeghly

Tucked in a gray business park behind the Chico Home Depot is an unexpected bright spot. Colorfully painted signs point to Earth Girl Art, a fun-filled art center founded a year ago by Dorothy Vosse. Vosse is a petite, silver-haired woman who glows with enthusiasm talking about her creative pursuits. She started her Earth Girl business six years ago, about the time she moved to Chico. The center features displays and sales of books, jewelry, rattles, incense, beads, art supplies and more. There’s something intriguing to look at in every nook.

In January she started offering classes, too, so the creatively inspired can learn about decorating gourds, “Vintage Funk Collage,” wire-wrapping for jewelry, knitting, sewing, watercolors and macramé. Vosse grew up in Washington state, and lived for a time in Southern California. But she missed nature and the outdoors, and decided to settle in Northern California.

Recently Vosse, 50, is putting much of her abundant energy into an interesting event on March 31. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Eclectic Artisan Festival and Art Contest will be happening around her store at 3851 Morrow Lane, Suite 2. Log onto for more info.

How did you decide to open the center?

I was doing the craft fairs on weekends, and I needed my house back. Since then it’s just grown, grown, grown. People used to tell me what they wanted me to take to craft fairs, and now I say, “you can all just come here!” I’ve gotten great word-of-mouth with the beaders, and last fall I started advertising. People started to find out about me. People call and say, “where are you?” and that’s so much fun.

What is the Eclectic Artisan Festival you’re planning?

It’s a community event, with lots of nonprofits participating. The Eagles will be hosting charity Bingo. GRUB [Growing Resourcefully Uniting Bellies] will host a plant nursery. The Nor Cal Roller Girls will be here, and I’ve pulled together some Chico celebrities. The Fire Department will visit with a fire engine. Craftspeople will be dressed in costumes, and we’ll have a drama presentation area. It won’t just be a bunch of crafters sitting around the parking lot working on projects. It should be really fun. Everyone’s invited to participate.

How did you decide to include nonprofits?

I love small towns. I grew up in one, and it’s about community. Community is about people, who are in these wonderful nonprofit organizations. You might know these groups by name, like the Eagles, but I’d like people to be able to meet them and find out exactly what they do. Community is who we are. I couldn’t thrive like I am in a big city. It works because it’s a small town. I want to bring kids, families, crafters and nonprofits together.