Just over a year in business, Carrie Clayden opened a small art studio in the Benicia Arsenal. She paints commissioned pet portraits; makes mixed-media collages and creates new treasures from found objects. The space for Carrie’s painting and crafting quickly turned into a retail shop of “modern vintage” furnishings, trinkets, and found treasures or repurposed objects, appropriately named “Hip Chick Designs.” There’s a distinctly French-flair about the place that wows customers the minute they walk in the door.

A trend-setter with an eye for the unusual, Carrie’s enthusiastic sense of fun has allowed her to double the space of Hip Chick in the short time she’s been in business. Her success lies in her incredible display ability, taking shabby chic to a whole new level, while keeping prices reasonable. Carrie says that she keeps her price low because “I know how nice it feels to find a good bargain.”

This artist/hip chick is also known for her tutu skirts and ruffled petticoats, which she collects with a vengeance and displays in her shop, bringing in yet another layer of creativity. You will rarely find Carrie without a tutu thrown on over jeans, dresses or just about any outfit, frequently paired with a cowboy hat or boots.

Hip Chick Designs is an eclectic shop with ever-changing merchandise that ranges from funky jewelry and candles to furniture and wall art (and the assortment of tutus). You can find Carrie painting in the shop or hamming it up with tutu-wearing friends Thursday-Sunday “11-ish to 4-ish.” Hip Chick will be open during the annual Artists Open Studios April 30 & May 1.