HOLLSOPPLE — If it hadn’t been for a college art class last year, 248 Penn Ave. could be empty — or an unfinished daycare center, Kristan Niessner said.
She and her husband, Luke, purchased the building with the intention of opening a daycare center there. But the task of hiring enough employees to staff the space and the strict regulations for these businesses left them at a crossroads, Niessner said.
After enrolling in an art class in college to relieve her stress, they decided to get creative, she said.
“Whenever I was overwhelmed, I always turned to art,” Niessner said.
“And that’s what I want this space to be – a place where people can come in, relax and have fun.”
The couple opened The Makery on 601 earlier this month.
Inside, they filled the space with all things art.
There is a ceramics section with objects to paint.
There are two pottery wheels in one area of the building and even a “mud station” where kids can create different textures and styles of gooey stuff.
“You can come in and paint canvases, sculpt,” she said. “We have beads and other supplies for making earrings. We have a bit of everything here. »
That includes supplies, she said, though people who already have supplies, like brushes, can bring their own.
Small projects, such as mini shadow boxes and ceramics, start at $5, Niessner said.
“Our hope is to provide a space for people of all ages to come and create – to leave their stressors at the door,” she said. “And if someone has an idea and maybe they’re not experienced enough, we can help them try it out.”
Niessner said his training was in drawing and painting.
Her husband, Luke, has more experience in pottery and ceramics, “so we complement each other”.
The Makery is open seven days a week.
Niessner said they also host birthday parties, fundraisers and private events, and soon outdoor space will be added for seasonal activities and events, she said.
Summer camps for children are also in preparation.
“We want our girls to learn to follow their dreams – to never follow the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” she said. “That’s what we’re doing here – chasing our dream.”
David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.