DIYers and craft enthusiasts alike now have a new place to go when they need inspirational supplies, want to support other local artisans or just want some company while creating out of the box.
Create! This DIY Craft studio, 208 W. 2nd Street in Muscatine, next door to Proof Social, opened last month during a holiday open house in downtown Muscat. Since then, owner Tammy Tunis said her new store has already received a lot of support and positive feedback.
“The reception was great,” she said. “A lot of people are very excited to see something like this in Muscatine.”
Tunis, who previously worked as a teacher for 16 years, said the store’s origin came from her research into buying a franchise.
“I decided I needed to be my own boss and do things my way rather than someone else’s,” she said. “So I came up with all these ideas on my own. I just need something that I can be a little more creative with. I want to create things, I want other people to create things and I want to help them create things.”
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Tunis said the shop was something she thought about about four years ago. Even though Blue Grass is her home, Tunis said she was still thrilled to bring a store like this to the downtown Muscatine area, viewing the space she was able to get for her store as perfect for what she likes to do. He. She.
By connecting with 32 local artisans and vendors, Tunis has been able to fill its storefront with many different handmade items. Some of them include homemade candles, glow blocks, crochet and knit items, baby items, and much more.
“My vendors are so creative. When they bring things in, I’m always like, ‘Wow, I would never have thought of that,’” Tunis said. “They also work with different materials than I do, so it’s nice to see such a wide variety in the store. If you need a gift, I feel like we have anything you can think of.”
Of course, that’s just half of her store. The other half has been dubbed the DIY section, which has plenty of DIY supplies and tools and even a room where workshops can be held on different craft projects. These workshops require prior registration, as some focus specifically on crafts for children while others focus more on crafts that adults will enjoy.
“There are a range of different projects that you can choose from,” Tunis said. “Then you can go to the back of the store where I have tables and all the supplies to do these projects, and if you can’t finish them here you can get kits ready.”
While her workshops this month are slowly filling up, Tunis admitted she thinks some people might be reluctant to do DIY projects in the shop.
“I’ve sold a lot of handmade items from my vendors and myself, but the DIY part is something I really want to have—to be something people can get into and be creative with, and I’m not afraid to step out of a box.”
Tunis added that after the New Year she hopes to also focus on making her other back room into a birthday party room for groups of children to enjoy, further helping her “DIY” shop concept.
“I think with my teacher’s background, I know how to help people in different ways, so I really encourage people to come and try,” she said.
For more information on the shop’s current sales or its workshop schedule, check out their Facebook group at Create! DIY Craft Studio.
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