This post is sponsored by our friends at Valspar Canada. If you followed along with last summer's Cheerstream Makeover of 2019 you'll know that we're big big fans of their paint products for our projects...and this one was another home run.
I used to own a little handmade candle company called Campy.
I started the business with a friend in late 2013 in response to the challenges I was having finding a well-made, well-branded candle supplier for the shop and, over the 4+ years that I owned it, it grew into one of our best selling product lines and also my foray into understanding handmade wholesale from the other side of the counter.
It was a bumping little venture that started in our kitchen and ended in the basement of the shop itself.
I wholesaled Campy candles to more than 60 retailers across North America and, despite that kind of success being my ultimate goal for Campy, the reality of keeping up with it all AND the shop AND craft markets was all just a little too much to manage.
So when Campy's current owner Michelle approached me to purchase the business in 2018, a deal was made and the basement of the shop was reclaimed.
It was also a hot hot mess.
Possibly even the hottest.
We began using it as a dumping ground for everything we didn't feel like dealing with upstairs and despite being a nice, bright, and entirely useful space, we were not using it to it's potential.
Fast forward 12 months when I hosted my 2nd annual Maker Retreat and met Holly Warford.
After a workshop session that focused on hashing out where each retreater envisioned their business in 5 years, Holly (then the maker behind a small children's clothing line called Thimble and Fox) came to me and said "I'm really not sure I want to do this in five years".
I relatively brief chat taught us that what Holly DID envision herself doing is running a creative community space for workshops and gatherings...
And I had just the space.
Holly came to me with a design plan that fit our brand vibe, I reached out to our friends at Valspar Paints for help bringing the walls to life, her husband was enlisted to bring his tool belt and contractor expertise, and we were off to the races.
The vision included a palette of emerald green, blush pinks and a pop of our signature yellow.
The first task was to put in a new floor (the former was just cement), put some walls around the storage space and patch up the holes.
We had considered adding a wallpaper feature wall, but in the spirit of supporting local creatives, Holly employed the services of Chalked by Mabz, a talented Ottawa-based calligrapher who custom designed this sweet hand drawn doodle wall above our additional counter workspace.
Fast forward a few months (and a serious pandemic hiccup 🤪) and our former dumping ground for unused display units, scratch + dent items and shipping materials is now Make + Merry.
A beautiful, bright and airy space and creative hub for workshops and small events.
Though Holly's business plans are not exactly how they looked pre-Covid, we have implemented all the necessary precautions to maintaining the cleanliness and safety of the space and workshops are all systems go.
Class sizes are currently limited to 6-8 people to allow for ample social distancing and they're filling up quickly!
If you're looking to get your creative juices flowing, or simply to escape the monotony that can be everyday life these days, visit Make + Merry online for the full calendar of events and give Holly at follow @makemerryco on Instagram to stay in the loop!
A special thank you to Holly's hardworking husband Mike for all of his efforts in making this space so lovely, and to our good friends at Valspar Canada and Lowes Canada for the support and fresh new paint job!
Hope to see your smiling faces in this space soon!