For years, Kingston Mail and Print has also provided custom gifts but didn’t have the space to showcase them.
Owner Amy Spray fixed that by opening another store just a few steps away called Makerhaus Craft Supplies & Custom Gifts. The new business consists of selling custom gifts, arts and crafts and offering classes where people can learn different art mediums.
General Manager Adriana Mendoza-Ackley said at Mail and Print, “we are super busy all the time with custom orders from individuals and local businesses. That was kind of the idea behind the store to expand that part of our business.”
Mendoza-Ackley said the demand in the area is high for crafters of all skill sets. “There are so many people in the area who like crafting,” she said. “I meet people every single day who make their own jewelry or have been doing cross-stitch for years. I think there’s a pretty big market for small crafters and big-time crafters in the area.”
As for custom gifts, the store offers embroidery, vinyl press, sublimation and laser-engraving.
“If you have a wedding you’re going to or a birthday party, why not make it more sentimental and custom to that person,” Mendoza-Ackley said. “We have a big industrial embroidery machine. You can put really pretty and elaborate designs on things. We also do vinyl press … We make custom T-shirts with it.”
She also described sublimation, a type of heat inking, and laser-engraving. “If you have a white shirt, we can take an actual photo of someone’s face and put it on the shirt as if it were an actual picture of them.
“We also do laser-engraving. We have a very large machine that can put designs on wood, glass and metal. We’re starting to dabble into a little 3D stuff with the cutter.”
The store also features a variety of craft items with the goal to have more people get interested in different art forms.
“Our goal is to offer hobbies for people in the area if they want to pick up a new craft,” Mendoza-Ackley said. “We’re very beginner-friendly. Most of the departments that we carry come with pre-made starter kits.
“We have starter kits for all of our needle art, that’s kind of what the craft side of it is right now. We’re trying to get people to come in and try these things out.”
While classes only began recently, the goal is to offer a crafting class for each art medium. Categories consist of painting, embroidery, cross-stitch, drawing, diamond art, resin, jewelry, kid’s crafts, etc. Makerhaus’ staff of four teaches simple art classes until they can get more qualified instructors to do the more complicated ones, Mendoza-Ackley said.
“If we stock it, we want to teach you how to use it,” she said. “Right now, we’re starting with a class per week … We try to offer beginner to intermediate levels of everything. We’ll probably be doing more and better classes come fall and winter. We take a lot of customer recommendations.”