*This article may be read in the February print issue of This Melrose Life Magazine.
Something creative and affordable to do with family, or on a date, that’s Sunshine Craft Co. Business owner Amy Guerrero, 30, has been knitting since she was a teenager and selling home-made, “home decor” items at other peoples’ retail and event spaces. In December, she signed a lease in the Campbell Place Retail Plaza next door to Modern on Melrose. “I’m really excited to be pouring this kind of community space into (Melrose),” she said in January. “We’re going to offer another reason for people to come into the area.”
Guerrero and her husband live down 7th Avenue at Osborn. “When the (Campbell) space became available I really wanted to develop (Sunshine) into its own business so it could be way more than just my interest.”
She said the approximately 1k sq. ft. studio, which she found online, is perfect for her expansion. “For me the space feels awesome and positive,” she said. “It feels like it can be used for creating.” Her studio is less a store and more an artistic workshop where she and guest artisans will teach the basics of “fiber art” and other “gift-able” skills as Sunshine grows.
What Guerrero has already displayed is more macramé than macaroni-noodle. There are woven Ojos de Dios (God’s Eyes), plant holders, keychains, needle felted cacti in decorative mugs, and a traditional Finnish mobile made out of drink stirrers one would guess was metal. “We are trying to have an elevated aesthetic to our product, so you really walk out of here wanting to put it up in your home,” she elaborated. “You’re going to not only be able to learn from an artisan, but have all the materials and supplies available to you in that class in order to complete the project.”
Fiber art is just the beginning of the projects Guerrero is planning, and she welcomes suggestions. She said most projects will fit into two-hour blocks, and she’ll try to limit artwork to things people can fit into their car. Students will also be offered a snack to spur their creativity. Guerrero said her Grand Opening January 13th had several attendees but she was hoping for more turnout at the following week’s regular Moonlight on Melrose event.
Pre-scheduled classes will be posted online and will range $25-85 per person depending on skill level and material. Families can walk in each third Thursday evening (Moonlight) and enjoy a discounted, pre-arranged class for $10 a person. She hopes to fill the studio with crafters those nights.
“We’re really encouraging the community to start making things again,” Guerrero explained. “It’s really hard to dedicate that creative energy at home. You’ve got to do the dishes and the laundry. Other things are pulling your attention. Coming to a space like this you can set aside that time to be creative and be introduced to new projects and skills.”
Similar creative ventures are happening in Gilbert, Chandler and even Scottsdale Guerrero said. “(Sunshine) will be an awesome date place,” she added. “I’ve (already) had a couple take my plant-hanger class.” She suggested classes would make unique birthday gifts for someone with a crafty mind. Though she welcomes regulars, she aims to teach students how to practice on their own. “If you’re learning an intricate skill like weaving, we’ll do a mini project so we can complete the whole thing.”
Those interested should visit SunshineCraftCo.com rather than drop in randomly. Guerrero expects to use the space only when scheduled.