The Crafty Branch Meets the 64 Arts

Creative Business

Which is to say, I’m moving forward by picking up a lost project, at least in part.

It’s clear that opening The Crafty Branch as a full-fledged arts & crafts supply shop isn’t in the cards right now. But I can do two things to work towards that goal:

  1. Teach classes through the local arts center
  2. Launch the kits that the store was going to carry

The classes tap into my desire to support and encourage the local creative community in Thomasville. To accomplish this goal I need to make some class samples and put together the individual class proposals. I’m gravitating towards altered books and art journaling classes for the time being. Once I see how those are received, I’ll have a better idea of where to go from there!

The original plan for the kits was that they’d be good for giving as gifts, a good starter set for the curious without having to wonder if you had everything you needed sort of thing, and perfect for people who liked to learn things on their own instead of in a class setting. I knew that they were also something that could be sold online, and it was in the back of my mind that it would make for a good Plan C if the store didn’t work out.

But then it was pointed out to me that subscription boxes are wildly popular right now. This shouldn’t have been news to me, I’ve subscribed to several off and on over the last couple of years, and enjoy getting fun stuff in the mail–be it stationery, makeup, clothes, jewelry, or anything else–it’s like every month is your birthday! A little digging shows that current subscription boxes focused on arts & crafts range from the sample supplies idea (4-5 products, usually single items like a pencil or a tube of paint, that sort of thing), finished crafts, or project-focused kits (often but not always aimed at kids). My plan is to focus on techniques or skills, putting 8-10 items in each box, including tools that will take you far beyond the suggested projects that can be made with just the supplies in each box, packaging them up with a small booklet or pamphlet that explains the basic process to get the recipient started.

That’s where the 64 Arts blog project comes along. My plan with that always ended in a course or journal, encouraging us to work a little creativity into each and every day by offering prompts and activities to help delve into new hobbies or skills. The kits can and will serve a similar purpose, and I’ll be digging through my 64 Arts archives for inspiration, as well as looking at the remaining 20 or so arts to see what can be built from them, while picking back up the 64 Arts posts again. (Monday’s is something I’ve wanted to get to for ages, but a snafu with a partnership opportunity that, obviously, didn’t pan out played a major hand in derailing the next project on my list. No more!)

Some of the kits I’m already planning are focusing on skills like…

  • Calligraphy
  • Bookbinding
  • Mail Art
  • Needle felting

and half a dozen more at last count. While I work out the details of what each kit will include, trying to keep the value of each box pretty consistent, and setting the final price-point for the subscription, I need to find out who might be interested in these kits when they’re ready to roll! If you are at all curious about the kits or where the next steps for the store will be, sign up for The Crafty Branch mailing list using the very simple form below. I have set a goal to get 200 people to sign up for the list before I’ll feel comfortable launching the kits out into the world, so lease spread the word, too!

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The end result, I’m hoping, is that the kits will launch and I’ll be able to build that up over the next several months, using this as my start-up company and, when steady enough, revisit opening The Crafty Branch as planned. Provided, of course, that someone else hasn’t already opened a supply store here in Thomasville, negating the need for mine (gotta be practical). But if the kits prove as popular as I think they will, they will continue on, with or without the store. Who knows what’ll be the next great idea then???

So…. tl:dr I’m going to start an arts & crafts supply subscription box. Sign up for more info. Get other people to sign up for more info. When I have 200 people signed up for more info, then I’ll open the kits up for actual subscriptions. More details to come, sign up for the list!

And, you know, stick around here because I’ve got all sorts of other fun stuff planned, too!

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