TIPP CITY — A new creative studio has opened in Tipp City, giving aspiring do-it-yourselfers all the raw materials and equipment they need to produce a piece of home decor they’ll be proud to show off.
Board & Brush Tipp City owners Ernestine Carmack and Colleen Gilardi celebrated the opening of their studio earlier this month.
Carmack wanted to get back into the workforce after taking some time to care for her family and she reached out to her friend, Gilardi, who was working in her family’s business.
“I asked Colleen one day, ‘Are you settled where you are? You ever think about doing anything else else?’ I’d heard about this place and it was funny because she knew Julie Selby, the franchise owner,” Carmack said. Selby used to live in Troy and Gilardi offered to reach out to her. “It just kind of organically happened.”
Having been friends for several years, opening the studio together just felt right, Gilardi and Carmack agreed.
The company started as a girl’s night with crafts and wine in the founder’s basement and has now grown to include more than 80 locations nationwide.
Board & Brush offers a wide variety of customizable projects for private parties, bridal showers, birthdays, children’s parties and more.
Gilardi said some first-timers are worried they’re not creative enough or they’re nervous about using power tools for the first time, but added that the instructor led classes are open to everyone of all skill levels.
“There was a whole family that came in with a grandma from out of town. I’d say she was maybe close to 80 and she was a little bit timid at first…and she walked out the happiest one in the group,” Gilardi said.
Instructors walk participants through the whole process of assembling, staining, distressing, stenciling and painting, and they end up with a customized piece of art they can take home
“You will find some hesitant customers that are kind of scared to touch their board at first, but once you show them it really can’t be messed up — that’s kind of our motto here: everything is fixable,” Carmack said.
Helping people take their projects from raw wood to finished project, Board & Brush instructors make it their goal that participants leave with something they’re proud to display, the owners said.
“You’re going to walk out with the product that you want at the end of the day,” Carmack said.
“It’s fun to watch people become proud of their work,” Gilardi added.
Carmack and Gilardi said the sessions usually take two to three hours to complete. Participants have to book their time online a few days in advance, select the design they want at that time, and show up ready to have fun. They have the option of choosing from already scheduled workshops, or creating an event of their own.
There are hundreds of designs to choose from online and the company adds more every month, Gilardi said. There are designs for every season and holiday, as well as those for both men and women
The concept is similar to the popular wine-and-painting parties, but gives participants a more hands-on experience, the owners said.
“It’s more customizable, because you can determine up front what you want. You can personalize it with your name, and birth dates, date of origin,” Gilardi said.
The workshops have been popular with men and women and people of all ages, Gilardi said, and are open to parties and individuals. Beer and wine is available for purchase at the studio.
Board & Brush is located at 816 W. Main St. in Tipp City. For more information, call (937) 524-2116 or visit www.boardandbrush.com/tippcity.
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