By Sherri Coner
Right about now, Rickie Long, an avid quilter and furniture refinisher, and Beckie Pike, an artist, would likely pinch themselves to make sure they weren’t dreaming … if only they had time for that kind of thing.
Since officially opening Crafts & Creations on Dec. 10, 2022, these co-owners have greeted a steady stream of art-minded locals, conducted classes and sprinkled all of it with laughter.
“I get excited about this stuff, I’m telling you,” Pike said with a laugh.
Three years ago when Pike enrolled for an art class at another craft shop, Long was the instructor.
“We just clicked,” Long said of the instant friendship. “Beckie is an amazing artist.”
Mutual respect for each other’s talents, genuine excitement about all things artsy and a shared sense of humor have been the perfect ingredients to make this business endeavor fun rather than stressful. The end result is organized supplies and class spaces, artisan manufacturer product displays and an area where customers browse through one-of-a-kind pieces sold on consignment by area crafters and artists.
Beginners are as welcome in this Center Grove location as advanced students. But so are customers who are looking for specific products or hoping to learn specific skills.
“Whatever we don’t know how to do ourselves, we hire another person who does know,” Long said. “That way, when someone is interested in something, we can make a class available.”
Celebrating all kinds of art for all ages is a primary goal. So the women offer children’s classes, such as learning to paint images which may then be framed for their bedroom wall or transformed into puzzles.
Some teenagers might be drawn to watercolor, oil painting or mixed media classes.
Others might fall in love with bringing memorabilia to the shop, such as special Valentines, concert tickets, sports ribbons or dried petals from prom corsages.
Using their milestone treasures, teens get busy and messy, learning to create what Long refers to as junk journals.
“Students collage all kinds of keepsakes and memories,” she said. “A junk journal keeps their memories. It’s about communication and feelings. And it’s so fun.”
Private junk journal classes are perfect birthday party ideas for all ages, Pike said. “And we clean up all the mess.”
From her background as a registered nurse, Pike wants to serve those who are often underserved in creative outlets, such as caregivers.
“They are a very socially isolated group,” Pike said of those who tend to ailing family members.
Chemotherapy patients, transplant patients and others who are immunocompromised are another group invited to attend classes in this shop.
“We wipe everything down before they come in,” Pike said.
Recently, a group rented space for a friend’s 40th birthday, “and they crafted together all afternoon,” said Long, a retired realtor. “Art is about connections.”
In the midst of sloshing water on paintbrushes or sanding furniture for refurbishing, these dedicated women understand that technology also has an important presence. That’s why they offer classes to help crafters gain a solid understanding of the many cutting, scoring, writing and decorating tools available on Cricut Maker Machines.
Store hours are purposefully limited to provide time slots for private parties with friends, family, coworkers, retirement and any other reason you can imagine. When crafty fun lovers get together with glue, scissors, paints, stencils and more, imagination blooms and so does friendship.
Stepping out of retirement to jump right into this longtime dream is well worth any learning curves these two friends have conquered.
Some things are just meant to be.
“I can’t not do this,” Long said with a giggle.
Crafts & Creations is at 3100 Meridian Park Drive, Suite Y, Meridian Park Shopping Center,
Greenwood, 46142. Phone: 317-743-8958. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.