Monday, February 15, 2016

Studio Create! Opening soon!

I am SO excited to announce that after almost a years worth of planning, we are launching Studio Create! We found a location, secured the initial funding, signed a lease, and have started remodeling. It's been insanely exciting and a true dream come true



This is the transition of my multiple Etsy shops (Horizontal Designs, Shabby Peacock Shack, OrganiGeek Soaps & Gifts, & The Purple Fairy Shoppe) into a real life boutique, craft supply store, studio to host classes, and donation spot for the non-profit I run called The Yarnheads Project. 
 
As a legally disabled single mom who works from home (in my garage studio), transitioning back out into the workforce outside the home can be a challenge! Owning a business allows for freedom to work around my individual limitations - such as making my store VERY wheelchair accessible, and making my own hours. If I'm too sick to go in, my partner/fiance can take over. I plan to use this as a means to come off disability in the future, God willing, and do some good in the community at the same time.

So - What's Studio Create all about?


SHOP*LEARN*GIVE

Shop: 
We will be stocked with tons of handmade, locally created products! My own line of organic/natural soaps, candles, and bath/body items will be featured there, along with creations from multiple local artisans. We will have an online shop as well, and I'll continue my individual Etsy sales.


See examples HERE .

We will also provide unique DIY supplies you can't find at "big box" stores, such as elastics for headbands and trims, unique fabric flowers and appliques, YARN, really cool terrarium and fairy garden supplies, and more. The shop will be set up so you can buy your supplies, and stay and create them using tools we have on location. There will be a common area with tables and seating to design your one of a kind creation, or just hang out, drink a cup of coffee, and crochet/knit/create with other crafty folks.

See examples of supplies HERE.

Learn: We will host a variety of craft based classes and have space available for parties and events. Craft and cocktail nights will happen often! Classes include jewelry making, crochet, terrarium creation, soap 101 classes, floral design, shabby headband DIY, paint classes, and more!



Guest artists will be featured as well, and we will have an interactive calendar of events on Meetup.com and our website.

Book your child's birthday party or a baby shower to make headbands, a bridal shower to make keepsake necklaces or shoe clips for a wedding, your garden club to create holiday centerpieces, and many more opportunites to use our fun, elegant space for your next event! We will even have an assitant on site to help, or you can "hire" a teacher to host your event!

Give: This is my favorite part! The store will be the headquarters for The Yarnheads Project, a collection of fiber artists (crochet, knit, etc...) that create to donate to local homeless and women/children's shelters. We have established relationships and donate to multiple local charities, and will both have free classes to create donated items, and a "drop box" for donations on site. Creating for a cause!


Yarnheads Website HERE.
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Who is behind all this?
Hi there! I'm Claire, a scientist turned designer, a part time wheelchair user, a chronic illness butt kicker, a single mom of two, and a creator of fun quirky and geeky soap/bath/body products. I also publish crochet patterns and create jewelry. I've been designing professionally for a decade, have been featured in national print and online publications for both my floral and crochet designs, and owned a successful floral shop, but had to close in 2011 due to health  issues with the pregnancy of my daughter.

I started using and making organic, sustainable, cruelty free, mostly vegan, and chemical free bath and body products after being diagnosed with long time undetected neurologic Lyme disease. Removing scientifically documented toxins from my life (and my kids/family) has become a personal lifestyle choice, both in food and what we put on the biggest organ our body has - our skin! I deal with a few other chronic health conditions as well, and am a part time wheelchair user, so being as healthy as possible is very important to myself and my family.

I also want to do my part to contribute and educate about the importance of environmentally friendly, natural, sustainable, animal cruelty free products.



Me with my kids - and during my last hospital stay in Sept '15, had my mediport replaced to keep those IV fluids (I run them daily) pumping!

I had been searching for fun soap favors for my daughter's birthday party, and noticed all of the shops that I found only carried chemical filled cheap soaps in the shapes I wanted. So I decided to make my own, but with organic and natural ingredients, and started giving them away. They were a hit!

I am a professional designer, owned a successful floral design shop/business for many years, but am a marine biologist by education (and taught science for a few years). Creating soaps is an awesome combination of science and art - I fell in love with the alchemy right away.  I also love to teach! So this project is a combination of my loves, teaching, designing, science, art, and giving back.


I already had a few Etsy shops, so when people started asking to buy my soaps, I decided to launch OrganiGeek. There was a void I wanted to fill - soap, lip balm, and bath products in fun shapes and packaging, but with organic, vegan, and natural ingredients. I've expanded to include herbal (pretty!) soaps and fun food themes as well. After a great response in person this past year at craft shows and local events, I knew that it's time to take it to the streets and open a shop!

I have had this studio/DIY shop vision for a while now, a lengthy business plan in place, and my health has finally stabilized (mostly) for long enough to the point where, with the correct funding and help from awesome employees and my team of mentors, I'm ready to open a brick and mortar location. I also have an incredible fiance/partner who fills in the gaps and does the heavy lifting.


I've come a long way with the help of many amazing people over the last 5 years. From power wheelchair and bed bound learning to crochet lying down, to slowly being more upright and learning jewelry design and creation, to being able to live independently and raise my two kids while launching my OrganiGeek line, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have a shop again and pursue my career that had been put on hold while I regained health and function! I'm back in a wheelchair and deal with illness, but with the amazing team we have I can work around my health and push my limits.
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This isn't just about opening a location, it's about bringing a space to Hampton Roads where people can come together to create special DIY items, shop, and also donate! They can design something with their own hands, with our staff's help if needed, that will make it unique and set apart from a standard store purchase because of the personal time that went into it's creation. That will make Studio Create a truly unique and special destination.

Supporting local artisans and "shopping small" is incredibly important as well, and I look forward to supporting the arts community and the sale of handmade goods. Follow our progress here and on Facebook, watch as we remodel and transform the space into Studio Create!

Happy crafting!
---Claire (and team)

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