Ever started a Pinterest project with high hopes that your finished product will look just like the demo, only to realize your time-consuming creation is a flop? Now, there’s a new shop in town that assures success with do-it-yourself home décor projects. Anders Ruff (AR) Workshop offers crafters epic saves when creating beautiful home décor.
Both Abe and Grace Stopani are avid do-it-yourselfers. After they were encouraged by family and friends who own an AR Workshop in Georgia, the couple opened AR Workshop in Colorado Springs, believing it was a great fit for them.
Grace has been part of a women’s craft group for years. “It’s the highlight of my month, hanging out with friends,” she said, because someone puts all of the project materials together before guests show up.
The Stopanis bring that same opportunity to Northgate. Guests show up and find everything ready to start their projects.
Abe said the couple did a lot of research before they opened the business. A stay-at-home dad and graphic designer by trade, he said as soon as they decided on AR Workshop, someone else was interested.
“Sure enough, when we talked to the franchise there were two people in front of us” asking to open the same type of store, Abe said. Thankfully for the Stopanis, both of them bowed out.
The shop, located at 12245 Voyager Parkway, Suite 162, is a heavenly space to construct versatile and decorative home décor objects. The franchise is based on the work of Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff, creators of the Etsy e-store Anders Ruff. Their creations were so popular, people wanted to create similar projects themselves. Anders and Ruff were compelled to start a brick and mortar store that has since evolved into more than 150 franchises in 32 states.
At AR Workshop, clients register online to create a wood project, such as a centerpiece box, a pedestal tray or a wool craft, like a chunky, soft blanket. Then, all the materials needed to create the project await your arrival at the shop.
Not the artistic type? Not to worry. The templates created by AR Workshop make it easy to create the perfect design, offering the chance for creativity without the pressure of being artistic.
The wood projects start as raw wood. Making a centerpiece box (starting at $49.50), for example, includes sanding and painting the wood, then using a nail gun to piece it all together. Next, transfer tape is used to apply the stencil, painted in a color of your choosing, and voilà.
“It is all stress-free,” Grace said.
The store hosts chunky blanket ($85) workshops several times per month. Crafters can knit 40-inch-by-50-inch luxurious blankets of soft, thick yarn that are great to give as gifts or to keep for yourself and stay warm around the fireplace.
The templates can be customized and put onto any of the projects available.
“You should see people’s faces when they make the projects themselves. They’re so happy,” Grace said.
Abe said forging something with their own hands and getting to bring it home immediately gives people a sense of accomplishment.
Most classes are scheduled for three hours, and an assistant is nearby to give DIY-ers a hand with any part of their projects.
And the classes aren’t just for women. The Stopanis offer date night workshops so partners can create something together. Abe said the shop also hosts open wood working days, when men can build a clock or an antique-looking bottle opener box.
Children ages 10 and older can sign up for kid’s crafts that include canvas tote bags ($15), or work together as a family to create a canvas wall hanging (starting at $49.50). AR Workshop will also offer summer camps so kids can come for a day or a week and make a craft to bring home daily.
For the holiday season, AR Workshop will host several open house events. The public is welcome to come in and create a hand-made wooden ornament for $5.
Birthday parties, corporate events and Girls’ Night Out events are a great way for people to make projects in a group and celebrate at the same time. Youth projects for parties include wooden planks, pillows, totes and wall hangings. The Colorado Springs AR Workshop has 36 seats at tables set up for action.
Those hosting a private event or with a full table of participants may bring food and drinks.
The shop also has a full bar area, where a party spread of foods and beverages can be laid out for any event.
In the next few months, AR Workshop is offering Carpool and Crafts, a half-day workshop for adults that allows for self-care and downtime, with projects under $50.
To sign up for a class, go to arworkshop.com/coloradosprings.