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Part art gallery, event space and wellness collaborative, Forsyth County's Lush Life a space that aims to connect, educate
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Jennifer Gumbert poses for a picture on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Lush Life, which she opened this year on Meadow Drive in Cumming, a space that she envisions being part art gallery, event space and wellness collaborative. - photo by Brian Paglia

For the last few years, Jennifer Gumbert had struggled to find a way to combine her two businesses of selling art and essential oils.

But the Forsyth County resident may have found a solution.

Gumbert recently opened Lush Life, at 101 Meadow Drive in Cumming. Part art gallery, event space and wellness collaborative, Gumbert has used the location since it opened in January to host special events like baby showers and community meetings, as well as sell independent art and host workshops on a variety of wellness topics.

“I wanted to create a community of sharing and living and thriving,” Gumbert said.

The space is a culmination of Gumbert’s own personal and professional journey.

A South Carolina native, Gumbert came to Atlanta to study fashion design and marketing at the American College of the Applied Arts (now the American InterContinental University). Gumbert went to work after graduation for an advertising agency that produced fashion shows.

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Forsyth County resident Jennifer Gumbert was looking for a way to combine her two businesses of selling art and essential oils, so she opened Lush Life on Meadow Drive in Cumming, a space to do both and even more. - photo by Brian Paglia

Gumbert eventually left the agency to move to Charleston with her husband, Michael, who attended culinary school there. When they moved back to Atlanta, a friend invited Gumbert to an art show at her home. The art was beautiful, Gumbert said, and the prices were reasonable. She bought a painting and decided to host an art show of her own.

Her first one was Thanksgiving of 1997, and it was a success, so much so that one of the show’s attendees convinced Gumbert to join her home art show business. Gumbert thrived and eventually bought the business in 2008.

“It was so much fun,” Gumbert said.

Six years later, Gumbert was enduring medical issues and struggling to sleep. A friend recommended she try essential oils. It worked, Gumbert said, and she quickly became an advocate. She started to host education workshops for Young Living Essential Oils, a Utah-based company, but wanted a place to do it outside of her own home.

Gumbert tried a restaurant, but it was a disaster, she said. The coffee ran out. The muffins were stale. The lighting was bad.

“I was just frustrated,” Gumbert said.

So Gumbert searched Forsyth County for a space and found the location on Meadow Drive in August. A month later, Gumbert set about transforming it with the familiar white-painted look of an art gallery. She had movable walls made to give the space flexibility for different types of events.

Lush Life held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in January, and it’s mostly fulfilled Gumbert’s vision for the space. She’s been able to hold workshops on her essential oils. Two weeks ago, she sold out of all 60 pieces of art. But she’s also rented out the space for others to host courses on a variety of health topics, such as the healing power of sound, chakras and yoga, as well as let arts and crafts vendors promote their own work.

“The primary function of this space is to create a community where we can help teach friends in the area how to live their best life,” Gumbert said.