The owners of The Makery in Tacoma recently made the difficult decision to close the doors of its hands-on sign and craft-making studio, shifting to monthly subscription boxes.
The Makery, which launched in 2015, was created by female entrepreneur and military spouse, Jolie McNulty, as a fun, in-person party venue hosting both private and public do-it-yourself workshops.
The successful Pinterest-inspired Steele Street space was a popular venue for aspiring DIYers and experts alike. Guests were invited to make everything from wooden palette signs to decorative door-hangers and wreaths and to seasonal crafts and ornaments with no experience needed.
At the studio, the motto has always been, “everyone is a maker.”
Last March, when COVID-19 hit and in-person parties halted, McNulty and her staff had to quickly pivot and come up with a new plan.
“We closed down in March, like everyone else, and then we realized we could still do our ‘take and make’ kits,” said McNulty. “We opened back up, offering curbside pick-up, and it ended up being our best month of sales ever.”
With parties on hold, the business shifted its attention to ‘take and make’ projects — an option they always had in-store, but one that quickly became popular. It carried them through the fall.
“People were at home, whether they wanted to be or not,” said McNulty. “They needed something to do, so we came up with new projects they could do at home on their own.”
With a rent increase in the early summer, they downsized to half of the former space, and looked toward the future, and being able to reopen in November in hopes of resuming in-person parties again.
Unfortunately, that was not to be as state guidance extended the former mandate.
Around this same time, McNulty launched the rapidly successful subscription boxes — themed bi-monthly DIY craft boxes that are shipped to homes every other month and feature two to three seasonal projects, or more.
Guests can sign up online for a membership, with three different-tiered options to choose from based on the number of projects included in each craft box experience.
To date, subscription boxes have included fall, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day-themed crafts, with plans in the works for both spring and summer.
McNulty hopes to reopen a new Makery space in the future and get back to the in-person hands-on craft experiences they’re known for.
“It has been such an honor to be a part of so many people’s memories and celebrations,” she said. “We have been really grateful that they thought of us, and our little company to share those milestones with them.”
Membership to receive future at-home DIY subscription boxes will reopen at the end of February, April, and June. Sign up here.