If you’re looking for something fun to do this summer with the kids, you might want to check out We Craft Studios, a local arts and crafts business started by friends Natalie Swaak and Maria Leung.
The idea for the business came after Swaak realized how much her seven year old daughter Arianna enjoyed arts and crafts, but she was unable to find anything for her age group.
“My family has been participating in the programs at the library, Early ON Centre and community centre since my kids were babies,” she explained.
“These programs provided our kids with so many rich, creative learning experiences that we would not have been able to offer otherwise while we balanced careers, commutes and kids. My daughter has aged out of many of these programs but still wants to do crafts and science projects almost daily.”
The two friends make a great team, with Swaak focusing on the development of programs and Leung using her background in public relations to market and promote the business.
“It’s a great experience. We make a good team because Natalie is good at creating unique and fun programs, and I’m good at promoting these programs and connecting with people,” said Leung.
We Craft Studios has programs available for all ages, with many ways to participate, including camps, workshops, birthday parties, and pop-up events.
“The hard part (of crafting) is sourcing and storing the materials, setting up and then cleaning up. I hope that by taking care of those aspects I can help get more people into crafting,” said Swaak.
A lot of the studio’s inspiration for projects come from Pinterest and the Internet, as well as Swaak’s daughter.
From lemonade stands to her own YouTube channel, Swaak said her daughter has always been creative and business-savvy and helps her think of project ideas for the business.
“She is very creative and has always been business oriented,” Swaak explained.
Some of the projects they have come up with so far include unicorn headbands, bird houses, fairy gardens, and slime.
This summer, We Craft Studios will be hosting two camps for kids in August, one of which will be focused on arts and crafts, and the other based on science activities.
They recently partnered with a few local businesses to provide fun workshops for both kids and adults.
At Experience Toys and Games in downtown Bradford West Gwillimbury, the program room is reserved for camps, birthday parties, and workshops.
They have also teamed up with Uni Bubble Tea and Coffee Culture for adult home-décor workshops happening in July.
“You’d be surprised how many adults love crafting. When we go to our events, and the kids finish the craft, the adults usually stay behind for quite a long time to help finish the craft. The adults get to be a kid again,” said Leung.
We Craft Studios is also mobile, providing fun activities parties and events.
Swaak and Leung both enjoy the social aspect of the business, and being able to bring out people’s inner artists.
“The best part about working with the kids is sharing moments when they discover that they can do or make something that they never imagined they could,” said Swaak.
“I hope to inspire kids and adults in our local community to tap into their inner crafter and to create beautiful things with their own hands.”
To see what activities are running this summer, check out the Facebook page and sign up at wecraft.ca.