Young entrepreneur’s art store

Layla Tibon in her new arts and craft shop in Majuro at the opening of the shop. Photo: Darren Lanki.


Covid did not stop a 14-year-old businesswoman. It resulted in a temporary closure of her store just days after it opened, but Layla’s Gallery is back in action.

Layla’s Gallery held a soft opening late last month, not long before the first outbreak of Covid in RMI. The gallery sells painting and art supplies.

Layla Tibon is daughter of Emma and Sherwood Tibon attending her first year of high school at Majuro Cooperative School.

Although only in her early teen years, Layla has developed a passion and skill for creative artwork.
“I was inspired by my former Coop art teacher, Yoora Lee, who is now living in Korea,” she said. “I’ve been sketching and painting and crafting ever since I could remember. When I sold my first canvas art, I was motivated to sell more.”

She spoke to the Journal about her hobbies that include painting, photography, karaoke, swimming, and playing basketball and volleyball.

At the age of 14 Layla already knows what she wants to become. “I wish to become a successful businesswoman,” she said. “My goal for the store is to inspire other young artists and to provide art and craft materials for the community.”

“I saw pictures of their inventory and I’m so excited to check it out,” said Debbie Schutz, a notable local artist. “They have a lot of great art supplies that usually take a month or more to get here when I order them. They have a nice variety of beginners’ material as well as professional grade stuff. It’s great to have a shop where supplies are readily available, and I can just go over to pick up supplies whenever I need it. I’m happy we have an arts and crafts store on island. Hopefully it’ll also get more kids into doing art as well.”

“After stepping out of the shop, it reminded me of how limited art supplies are around here,” said Geovannie Johnson, who is well known locally for her drawing talent.

“Crayola is nice and all but you always have that one kid who wants to do more with their coloring-drawing and I think that’s where Layla’s Gallery comes into place,” she added.

To enter Layla’s Gallery, there are step to follow due to Covid, customers must wear a mask, sanitize hands upon entering, and social distance. The gallery is located below Tide Table restaurant; next to the John Alefaio’s tattoo shop.

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