Friday, April 8, 2011

"The Crafter's Haven" {feedback needed!}

Over the course of almost 15 years, I've dreamed of starting my own "brick and mortar" business, from opening an herb store to starting a Montessori preschool with my mom to running a tea room and gift shop. I think I've finally settled on a good idea, and I think there's a need for it.

Lately, I've been noticing a trend. Women NEED a place to go.

* Moms need a quiet place to go (that doesn't obligated them to spend $10 on food or $5 on a drink) to use their laptop, read a book, meet a friend, chat with a client or business associate, knit or just unwind.

{like this}

{or this}

* Crafters love to craft but rarely have a designated crafting space so they never get a project going or commandeer the dining room table for weeks on end with their project. Plus they may not have the tools they need to do what they want (like paper punches, a Cricut, a sewing machine, etc.).

{the one below caters to quilters and is located in Toronto}.

* Women want to teach something they know or learn something they've always wanted to know but don't have a place to do it. Someone loves teaching couponing but doesn't have anywhere to do it, or she's always wanted to know how to get her family on a cash budget but doesn't know where to go to learn.

* Ladies want to do things like host a direct sales home party, start a Bunco club, throw a kid's birthday party, etc. but don't want to use their own home because it means all the prep work of cleaning and preparing, plus kicking their family out for the night.

* Talented women are already crafting but don't have anywhere to market or display their wares. Or maybe they want to set up an Etsy shop but need someone to sit with them to teach them.

I want to offer a place to accomplish all of this!!

{like this}

Here's my vision.

"A Crafter's Haven."

It would be girly, bright, colorful, clean and welcoming.

This space resembles what I have in mind (a conveniently-located store-front in a strip mall, easy in and easy out, where you could drop in for ten minutes to grab a gift or spend an entire Saturday working on a project).

I've been inspired by designer Heather Bailey's studio for a long time. I would model my space after this clean, bright, colorful, girly look she has going.

I could help support fellow craftswomen with a consignment area of carefully selected handcrafted items, too {similar to picture below}.

To start with, we'd have a monthly calendar of events, from craft how-tos to practical classes on a wide range of women-specific topics.

The rest of the time would be "open studio time" where crafters could come in to work, using our supplies and machines, or bringing their own from home. We'd have plenty of space for cutting and piecing quilts, spreading out scrapbooking layouts or working on a craft project with a friend.

It would be a woman's home away from home. A spot to craft (paper crafts, needle crafts, sewing, quilting) and a place to sit and read a book (possibly like this)...

{except mine would have a blue tufted chair!}

...enjoy a beverage, chat with a friend, meet with a client, hold a meeting, host a party, teach a class or take a class.

{like this...and notice the coffee station on the right}

There would be a small semi-contained area for kids, too, so that moms have the option of bringing their children with them while they work (or play). Imagine something like the picture below, only with the picket fence around the perimeter....

...and lots of kiddy craft supplies!!

My passion is "putting women in their place" and I love the idea of helping women accomplish their goals and pursue their dreams, just by giving them some help, some tools and a place to do it. My business tag-line could be, "It's my business doing pleasure with you." Talk about mixing business with pleasure!!

{my space would be painted turquoise with plenty of white, too!}

As for me, this idea would incorporate every job I've ever had, all of my favorite things and all the stuff I'm already doing--just on a much bigger and more official scale!! I'd like to offer craft classes, of course, and fill custom craft orders but beyond that, I can see myself using the space for my own projects, like offering instruction on how to set up and run an Etsy shop, small business networking events, community fundraisers, party planning and much more!

Our biggest challenges now are finding a place, getting funding (duh!) and figuring out how to have the place actually make consistent money on a daily basis. I'm working on my business plan now and have already gotten prices on a few different store-fronts in south Phoenix. I'm excited! :)

I am looking for people to fill out an informal market survey for me! Interested?? E-mail me at tabandrew(at) with "survey" in the subject line. Thank you!!


Angie in AZ said...

Oh my GOSH! Here in Phoenix! PLEASE write my name and email address somewhere and keep me in mind when you begin looking for teachers! I am crazy about this idea. Sounds like a dream! I've had bits of this same dream myself! I didn't realize you were local! If you ever want to brainstorm with someone, please contact me. I'm cheering... complete with pom-poms... can you picture it?! :)

princessburninghair (at) cox (dot) net

Vicki J. said...

YES YES YES!!! Tab, God has given you such a vision... I can't wait to see how it comes to fruition!

Jeani said...

Love it!

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

what a fabulous idea! i'd totally come!

i've attended and coordinated ladies craft days/retreats at our church for that very reason too!

we all bring whatever we're working on with all of our tools as well as a few extra supplies to share and learn from one another. it's always been SUCH fun!

came your way after following your comment via Tsh's InCourage post.


Kayla said...

Thank you so so much for the kind comment you left on my blog, Inspired Living! I looked over your blogs and think they are great! Is there any way I can follow your blog roots & wings?

Kayla said...

Wow! I love this idea! Everything about it sounds wonderful and inspired by the passions and desires God put in your heart! I wish I didn't live so far away.. I would definitely visit when you open up the doors! Keep us posted!