Colorfully painted doors help separate the booths stocked with the works of local artists in one of Highland’s newest businesses.
The choice of decor is symbolism for the doorway to imagination and creativity that the owners of Highland Arts and Crafts hope to open up for the community, according to the business owners Chris Sander and Nick Aranowski.
“We kind of have the philosophy that creativity is for everyone,” Sander said.
Sander and Aranowski are local artists now made entrepreneurs.
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For the last 12 years, the couple has dappled in selling homemade goods at local craft fairs, such as scrubs, lotions and soaps at various craft shows, though they make just a bit of everything from macrame creations to glass crystal sun catchers. But, the couple’s passion for creation inspired them to reach beyond craft their own hobbies so they may help to grow inspiration in others.
Without any nearby big box stores such as Michaels, Joanns or Hobby Lobby, Sander and Aranowski saw a need for a local craft goods store in Highland. The business, which is located at 207 Suppiger Lane Suite 200, celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 3 with a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Highland Chamber of Commerce.
Sander said the store wanted to provide art supplies for customers who did not want to make the trek out of town to get their creative fix, including paints, brushes, canvases, polymer clay, yarn, charcoal and anything else one might need to get their creative fix.
As the store grows, the couple said they are also planning to grow the inventory and will accept customer requests for supplies. However, Sander and Aranowski said they knew they wanted the store to be more than just selling art materials.
Sander said the mission of the business is to supply, support and teach creatives.
“We just really wanted to be a fun, creative place and get people into new hobbies,” Sander said.
Aside from supplying materials, the business provides an outlet for local artisans to promote their work. In the front of the store is a consignment section made up of booths filled with a variety of unique artworks.
“We have a lot of very talented artists in here,” Aranowski said.
Shoppers can find an assortment of works from more traditional artists like photographers, painters, and potters. But, while taking a walk through the store one might stumble upon something a little more unique liked stamped metal spoon jewelry, custom pens, and resin art.
“If you can name it I probably have somebody who is putting it in there,” Sander said.
For those wishing to “art” but don’t know how, Sander and Aranowski have got you covered.
The couple plans to start hosting classes for those wishing to dapple in creative ways. Sander said the classes will be taught by the consignment artists and will cover a variety of artful disciplines. She also hinted at the possibility of a “sip and splatter” format, where guests will be able to bring their own bottle of wine to a painting class.
They anticipate to do hold the first class until sometime in September.
Overall, since the store’s opening the couple said that the community seems to be responding well to the new business, an encourage any curious shoppers to come take a look.
“Everyone is just very excited for us, and that makes us more excited too,” Aranowski said.