While a children’s birthday party was going on in one room of Kookiedoodle Crafts, pairs of partygoers were in the main room using sand to make keepsake art pieces to take home. But they didn’t forget the birthday girl. They all worked on one big piece for her.
Kookiedoodle Crafts, a family-owned and operated arts and crafts studio for children ages 3-to-12, recently opened at 7924 Santa Fe Drive in downtown Overland Park.
Owners Sheila Weiford and her daughter, Katie Weiford, wanted to create a stress-free studio environment where making art is more about having fun than the perfect piece.
“There is so much structure in schools. This is a place where they can gain confidence in themselves and their ideas,” said Katie Weiford. “Not only is the mess made here so they don’t have to do it on the kitchen table, but the fact that we sit down with the children, learn about them and they can create their own masterpieces.”
Customers can paint on stretch canvas for a wall hanging, make wooden jewelry, a felt pillow, paper mache piece, candles, and greeting cards. They also can buy art materials to take home, including beeswax sheets, glitter tape, felt cut-outs, printed tissue paper, or kits.
Some customers stop by weekly. Every project can be taken home that day and some change seasonally. So in the fall, they could make paper mache pumpkins, skulls and candy dishes, but now are more likely to make reindeer, snowmen, and holiday ornaments. They also can decorate aprons, tote bags and stockings for holiday gifts using stamps and stencils, or drawing freehand.
An artist in the Crossroads Arts District uses local wood to make the shop’s wood pieces – including ballet shoes, peace signs, footballs, dinosaurs, alphabet letters, and animal shapes, as well as seasonal pieces like snowflakes, stockings, and Christmas trees, that are then decorated by the customers.
Kookiedoodle Crafts also holds private parties geared to children ages 5-and-older. But its new “Arts and Carafes” nights are decidedly for adults, pairing wine and appetizers from a local restaurant with a more adult art project – say decorating a wine bag or box. One Overland Park company also is booking a team building event during the holidays.
Sheila Weiford has three children and five grandchildren and recently retired as director of development and director of alumni affairs at Notre Dame de Sion School in Kansas City. Katie Weiford earned a master’s degree in elementary education at Avila University in 2011. Katie credits her mother for pushing her to take the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac program for new business owners.
“I wanted to do this for a long time but thought it was too risky, too scary,” said Katie Weiford. “I’m a creative person so I had the concept down. I needed help on the structure - this is how you do a business plan. It gave me the practical steps to move forward. I hope to do more locations. It’s been amazing to see the concept work.”
New Olathe grocer
BYB Investments LLC plans to open a new specialty grocery concept in Olathe.
The three local owners are purchasing the 10,318-square-foot former Gambucci’s building at 12203 S. Strang Line Road and will expand it by about 4,000 square feet. They would not release too many details for competitive reasons and are still working on a name (the BYB is after their initials) but promise a new concept to the area market. Sources say that could be an online grocery store.
A spring opening is planned.
Leawood’s new Rye restaurant hopes to open Dec. 10 in Mission Farms, 10551 Mission Road. Owners Colby and Megan Garrelts – of Westport’s Bluestem – plan a menu that includes beef brisket, pork shoulder, a smoked chicken noodle soup with the broth poured tableside, a Mo-Kan pie using Missouri Pecans and Kansas Black Walnuts, pumpkin layer cake, butterscotch custard and shortbread, and stuffed peanut butter cookies.
“We are trying to reinvent the Midwestern mom-and-pop restaurant and make it relevant again,” said Colby Garrelts.