NORWALK, CT - From the outside, it looks like a charming shop with an artsy feel. Once inside, there’s no mistaking this is a place for creativity to blossom, DIY confidence to take hold, and memories to be made. The Norwalk, Conn., Board & Brush Creative Studio, located at 68 Water Street, Suite E, is holding its grand opening Monday, Nov. 19 from 5-7 p.m. with gift bags for the first 30 people, raffle prizes, and a chance to win a free sign-making workshop for six valued at $390. Attendees will also have the chance to create mini-signs during the evening. Workshops start the day prior, Nov. 18. The grand opening event is free and open to the public. For more on the new studio and to register for a workshop to create your own home décor piece of art, log on to boardandbrush.com/norwalk.
You need not be a master craftsperson to sign up at the Norwalk studio, with novices feeling right at home at Board & Brush thanks to the instructor-led format of the workshops during which attendees are guided through the ins and outs of power tools, paint, art and assembly, with all materials supplied by the studio. Each workshop lasts about three hours and attendees can select from hundreds of design templates, with new ones added each month. The company works with top graphic designers around the country to create the designs, most with a vintage farmhouse look. A workshop cost is $65 and pre-registration is required.
Customers are sure to meet studio manager Marcie Riley when they attend a workshop, as Riley will be managing the day-to-day operations and instructing workshops. She was previously a studio assistant at the Board & Brush Monroe, Conn., location and when studio owners there, Scott and Lisa Selby, announced they were opening a Norwalk location, she jumped at the chance to manage it. Riley used to live in Norwalk, so it made her transition to the new studio especially easy.
Before working for Board & Brush, Riley served in marketing and merchandising for major fashion brands in New York City, so there’s definitely a creative side to her. She’s also an enthusiastic DIYer. Riley first learned about the company when she received a Board & Brush workshop as a gift from a teacher friend. She loved the experience so much that the very next day she called the Selbys to see if they would meet with her for an interview.
“This is such a happy place to work, seeing the customers excited to make a sign all by themselves and feeling empowered to hold a drill and a hammer, that’s satisfying to me,” said Riley.
Riley is mom to three girls and mentioned her 13-year-old volunteers to help with birthday parties at Board & Brush. “She loves it too,” said Riley.
The studio is located in Sono, short for South Norwalk, with views to Norwalk Harbor and lots of original buildings dotting the district. Riley pointed out how that location fits with the rustic farmhouse feel of many of the Board & Brush sign designs. There are lots of restaurants and bars nearby too, with Board & Brush now adding to the nightlife of the neighborhood.