An more and more well-liked woodworking studio franchise from the Midwest is discovering success — and spreading a novel model of do-it-yourself empowerment — at a location in Somers.
Board and Brush, which guides would-be builders by means of the development of personalized, farmhouse-style indicators, has been drawing in company groups, fundraisers, bachelorette events, and birthday gatherings since opening in a historic mill complicated on High quality Avenue in December.
Proprietor Patty Hunter stated the studio’s calendar is filling up as winter approaches, an anticipated spike in enterprise because the indicators make good vacation presents. Past that, nonetheless, Hunter sees a extra highly effective cause for the model’s rising reputation: the expertise of crafting a product from conceptualization to completion is exclusive for many clients, and instills a way of accomplishment.
“Lots of people who come right here, principally girls, have by no means used an influence instrument earlier than,” she stated. “They take a look at the signal once they’re accomplished and say, ‘I did this.’ There may be that feeling of satisfaction and even empowerment.”
Like different Board and Brush areas, Hunter’s studio, which covers 3,000 sq. toes and might accommodate as much as 42 clients, is designed to advertise a energetic occasion environment. The enterprise has a bring-your-own-bottle coverage, a comfy lounge space the place clients can chill out whereas their painted and stained works dry, strings of outsized lights strung from picket rafters, and ’80s music movies taking part in on big-screen televisions.
However Hunter attracts a transparent line between Board and Brush and varied “sip and paint” areas, noting that, at her studio, clients have the possibility to customise their tasks and make their designs their very own. In addition to indicators, crafters also can construct flower bins, cabinets, trays, and clocks, she stated, and add names, dates, and different inventive thrives to make the completed product extra private.
“It’s all their selections,” she stated. “They’re those taking cost of how their venture seems to be.”
Hunter, a graphic designer, stated she first realized of Board and Brush whereas planning a pre-wedding occasion for her future daughter-in-law, who didn’t desire a typical bridal bathe. As a substitute, she booked a session at a Board and Brush in Monroe, and the situation’s look and philosophy instantly clicked with Hunter’s background.
“It was the perfect occasion I ever threw,” she stated. “And I ended up with a brand new enterprise.”
Hunter and her husband, Gary, attended coaching periods at a Board and Brush location in Hartland, Wisconsin, after which set about on the lookout for an acceptable spot again in Somers, finally selecting an area within the renovated former wool mill off Principal Avenue. Hunter is a lifelong resident, and holding the enterprise near her roots locally felt proper, she stated.
She additionally noticed it as an opportunity to introduce an up-and-coming, entertainment-centered enterprise to the north-central a part of the state.
“Sometimes you’d drive to West Hartford or Glastonbury for this type of factor, so it’s good to have one thing native,” she stated.
Consistent with the DIY ethic that has pushed a lot of Board and Brush’s development, they constructed their very own tables and check-in station. And because the firm requires that new franchisees make 60 indicators earlier than opening, the Hunters invited family and friends to the studio and made an evening of it, a trial run for the events they now commonly host.
Hunter stated a typical three-hour class prices $65, and covers every part from working with the uncooked wooden to sanding, distressing, stenciling, staining, and screwing in hooks that can enable the indicators to hold on a wall.
That hands-on strategy, coupled with the lighthearted environment, engages attendees, Hunter stated, and is now producing a gentle stream of repeat clients.
“The artistic house now we have is what retains folks coming again,” Hunter stated.