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?
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
See examples HERE .
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.
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.
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.
Who is behind all this?
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
---Claire (and team)