Urbana Art & Soul Studio introduces Creative Spaces, a unique shopping experience that allows clients to select pre-arranged gifts as well as make and personalize their own. Similar to a tag sale, the concept involves customized gifts for the holiday season that are all either hand-made, hand-picked, or hand-touched.
Creative Spaces is a sister-company to the studio, shared between studio owner Manda Mackintosh and studio manager Rachele Lowery. “We both have a love and passion for decorating, accessorizing and making things,” said Mackintosh of how the idea came about. “We have fun together, so we thought why not do it.”
Mackintosh opened the studio 11 years ago after teaching public school art. Lowery is a recent addition to the company.
“Rachele joined about a year ago, when I needed help (after) I had my third baby,” Mackintosh said. “I was overwhelmed with keeping up with the business because it was continuing to grow—it wasn’t intended to be this big. (The studio) was supposed to be a fun mom gig on the side so I could stop teaching full time, but it was received so well, and it kept growing and growing. … I needed help. I couldn’t do it by myself anymore.”
After Lowery joined, the two came up with the idea for an interactive shopping experience, and Creative Spaces was born.
Most of the gifts they offer are season-oriented. Last weekend’s theme was “gather” and featured many cozy, fall-inspired products to get everyone ready for the upcoming holidays. Pre-arranged presents included fall-themed furniture, textiles and decor. Canvas artwork and prints by featured artist Courtney Prahl made an appearance, too.
Customers also had the option to create their own gifts like decorative trays and signs with studio guidance. Creative Spaces visitor Kailey Canaday said, “It’s not just the products that they’ve made and hand-touched … you get to put your own little creativity into your presents you can make for people with two different options, and it creates a unique experience for everyone and people of all ages.”
The company’s premiere event had a nice turnout. Visitor Jen VanGinkel was very pleased with her experience and described it as “absolutely stunning … everything is arranged beautifully. It’s welcoming, (and) you can tell they put a lot of effort into it. … I just want to spend hours in here buying all kinds of beautiful things.”
Creative Spaces will be focusing on seasonal pop-ups and one-day events, but in the future, they hope to establish a more permanent residence through an actual storefront. For now, their next event is scheduled for some time in early December, and an ongoing stock of fall gifts is available at the studio while classes are in session. For more information on upcoming dates and studio hours, visit urbanaartandsoul.com.