Prince George residents will soon have a place to let creative ideas flow with a cup of joe.
Kim Hayhurst is opening The Makerie in downtown Prince George, hopefully in July 2020 depending on the COVID-19 concerns and closures, where people can, literally, make what they want.
The Makerie will be a craft centre with a rotating curated selection of projects and suited to the modern maker, coffee bar, letter-writing station and small retail shop all under one roof.
"The Makerie has been a concept developing for about two to three years," Hayhurst tells PrinceGeorgeMatters.
"I began preparing seriously with business planning about a year ago. It’s taken time to build the “right” plan, find the “right” location and get all the little things in line."
She explains people can step in The Makerie and buy a craft project from a curated craft menu, complete with a kit and instructions.
If you need help, 'Craftenders' will be on hand to help instruct on basic techniques and provide assistance.
Hayhurst says the projects will rotate regularly to keep things exciting and fresh. You can also bring your own project if you prefer and work on it for a small drop-in fee.
There's a small retail shop, which will be named 'The Nook," where you can buy stationery, gift wrap and specialty crafting supplies.
There is also the coffee bar, which is accessible to anybody, and Hayhurst says she's excited to also showcase vendors her business is working with to bring in coffee and teas.
They're currently also working with other Prince George businesses like Col Juicery and 3 Seeds. The bar won't be good focused, but there will be a small availability of house-made baked goods.
"We love local. [...] In addition to those daily offerings, we’ll be organizing special workshops with guest makers, hosting pop-up shops, managing group and corporate bookings, and organizing special events," she adds.
Another unique and interesting attraction in the shop is that there will be a Lerner Writing Station which includes a vintage typewriter as well as supplies.
"This was inspired by the Regional Assembly of Text, a great little shop in Victoria and Vancouver that we’re collaborating with," Hayhurst says. "We’ll be working with them to bring their Letter Writing Club concept here."
She says she hopes The Makerie can help bring out creative energy to everyone who comes through the door, whether they're seriously crafty or not.
"I find when I talk to people that they break themselves into groups that are “creative” or “not creative” which I think is bunk," Hayhurst explains.
"I hope that The Makerie will have a creative energy that will even get the not-so-crafty to let loose and play. Tap into that creative spirit. Not only is it good for the soul, it permeates other areas of our lives. The precursor to innovation is creativity, so let’s tap that energy however and wherever we can."
You'll be able to find the Makerie on the corner of Fifth Avenue and George Street across from Crossroads Brewing.
"I’m so excited," she says. "And terrified. And overwhelmed. But mostly excited. Like so many small businesses are, The Makerie is a passion project for my family. We’re putting everything we have behind it to see it come to light and we hope it resonates with the community."
"It’s a bit of a scary time to launch a new business that’s for sure. I’ve had lovely messages saying that the announcement of The Makerie is a glimmer of light amidst the dark which is so lovely and sad at the same time. Ultimately, we are pressing on and looking forward to being on the other side of COVID-19! We’re aiming to open early July and I’m sure we’ll all be thrilled and ready for social connection by then! Ultimately, we’re super excited and hope you all love it as much as we do!"
Hayhurst is hoping the project will bring more attention to the arts scene in Prince George.
"I also hope that The Makerie can work with so many other arts organizations throughout Prince George and the North to bring awareness of the incredible arts scene we have here," she says.
"The talent and craftsmanship throughout our region is incredible and I'd love to help celebrate it. At any level."
Hayhurst says the current opening date is scheduled for July of this year, depending on numerous factors.