“Wander happily and leap at chances to act on inspiration and surround yourself with people and things that bring you joy.”
Meet Markels – the owner of Diving Cat Studio Gallery!
Before Markels opened Diving Cat Studio Gallery in March of 2008, she loved to spend time in Phoenixville – from going to the farmers’ market on weekends, watching movies at the Colonial to admiring the architecture of the Bridge Street shops. At the time, she worked as a full-time studio artist designing ceramics, glass, jewelry, and paintings. This was very familiar to Markels as she grew up with artists in the family and began on her artistic journey in sixth grade.
Markels said she had a gut instinct about Phoenixville. Even as shops closed down around her and people insisted that Phoenixville could not support small businesses, Makels saw potential…potential for a booming town. She was right! Free-spirited and passionately loving the outdoors, Markels drew her inspiration for the store. From the music playing in the studio, to the art on the walls, Markels poured herself into the Diving Cat believing people would feel the magic she felt. Quickly, Diving Cat started drawing attention from locals as well as people traveling into town to stop by.
So, why “Diving Cat”? Markels says, “Ever since I can remember, I have been a creature of instinct. I feel a yearning that leads me to explore something, and before I know it, I’m diving in following my bliss experiencing the wonder of what I’ve created or discovered.” Markels is the diving cat, and she certainly had the right instinct about Phoenixville!
Diving Cat Studio just celebrated their 11th anniversary! Markels vision for the studio of creating an experience, a place to enjoy hanging out, has blossomed into a beautiful community for locals as well as people from far and wide. Rose, the friendly studio cat, is a favorite among the visitors. Markels’ motto is joy. Joy in making art. Joy in creating an experience for others. Joy when others visit the shop. This radiant joy is contagious – you always leave her “enchanted forest of art” with lifted spirits.
People from all over, young and old, men and women can get lost in the Diving Cat enraptured by its treasures from over three hundred artists and designers. Markels sees it more as a museum than a store. Artists will come for inspiration, people will search for the perfect gift, creatives will come for Markels’ classes.
Markels says what she loves most about Phoenixville is the density and walkability, the old, intricate buildings, the rich history, the diversity, and the strong community. Markels has taken care to preserve some of that history in her gallery with the original wood floors and a picture displayed of the storefront early 20th century.
Check out the Diving Cat! https://divingcatstudio.com/