Two local businesses are providing opportunities to Arcadians of all ages to explore their creative side through hands-on workshops focused on arts, crafts and science-based projects.
Happy Craft, started by Allison Siegel, brings art to the neighborhood through unique workshops. Until recently, Happy Craft solely focused on hosting arts and crafts workshops at birthday parties and other events in people’s homes. Thanks to a partnership with local coffee shop Oh One Eight, Siegel is able to host events out in the community.
Siegel graduated from Georgetown University and started a career teaching English. As a teacher, Siegel loved to make learning a creative process. She loved working with kids, but she found that working in a conventional job was not for her.
Siegel created Happy Craft as an extension of her passion for the creative process, with a goal of creating a space for kids to get creative without pressure.
“My favorite part of owning a business is the flexibility and freedom to do what I want to do. My work is intellectually challenging and interesting,” Siegel said. “I am currently planning a “Boho Chic” camp where we are making leather and feather headbands. I’ve never made these headbands before. This work offers me more opportunities to become creative.”
In addition to offering crafting parties and workshops through Oh One Eight and at her home, Siegel is working on a new project called “Crafter,” where students can come into the coffee shop after school, hang out and work on their own projects.
Siegel also hosts workshops for adults, so all members of the family can spark their inner creativity. For more, visit the Happy Craft Facebook page.
Another local program is Pop Up Science and Art, owned by Aida Hatem. Pop Up Science and Art provides unique workshops in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) for kids and adults.
“In coming up with the name, I wanted to convey the idea that these classes would ‘pop up’ and that you wouldn’t need to sign up months in advance. My goal at Pop Up Science and Art is to harness creativity and wonder to inspire a lifetime of learning,” Hatem said.
Hatem has always loved tinkering with objects which led her into the field of engineering – she actually has two degrees for the industry. After moving to Arizona, Hatem became a stay-at-home mom, but she was always gravitating towards engineering tasks and building fun projects, like a Cashnado (a booth that blows money around). She also spent 10 years working on and leading the Exploration Friday Program at Echo Canyon.
After creating classes at Exploration Friday and working with Free Arts of Arizona, Hatem felt motivated to bring creative hands-on experimentation to Arcadia.
“I decided to go back to my STEM roots and combine it with a newfound love of art and working with kids. I was really good at developing fun hands-on classes and leading them in a way that inspired the participants to enjoy science,” Hatem said.
Hatem offers private workshops, birthday parties and hosts workshops in either her home or Oh One Eight coffee shop. Hatem also recently started offering Sweet Science Kits (examples are a build-your-own rocket launcher and a chain reaction kit that holds five different projects in one set) and other products, like magnetic slime and Origami earrings to customers for purchase.
For more, visit Pop Up Science and Art on Facebook and Instagram.