When Deb Chambers left Iowa eight months ago to visit family, she never imagined that she would end up opening a business in Franklin. She only planned to spend a few weeks with her daughter and newborn grandson before relocating further South.
However, a few weeks turned into an indefinite stay after she had an innovative idea at her family’s Thanksgiving celebration. Deb’s daughter-in-law shared a picture of wooden wall art that she had created and painted at a local craft store. Her artwork inspired Deb to start a craft shop of her own.
“We got the idea in November 2015, and we just ran with it,” Deb said. “Everything was from scratch, and we did it in 60 days.”
Her daughter and son-in-law, Sara and Brian Tinger, agreed to be partners. By March 2016, the trio opened Craft Love, a space that offers D.I.Y workshops to create wall-worthy art and home decor from raw materials.
While Deb has not always considered herself an artistic person, she has had a lifelong passion for working with wood and other natural materials.
“My dad was a carpenter and painter who redid interiors, so I grew up surrounded by woodworking,” Deb said.
When she was 11 years old, Deb and her father built a treehouse together, which Deb recalls as one of her favorite memories.
“It was in a willow tree, probably 40 feet high,” Deb said. “We embellished the structure with swings and bars to create a type of homemade obstacle course.”
Deb loves all things outdoors, especially water activities. Her long-term goal is to live on a troller.
“A troller is not a houseboat, but it’s a unique living situation where it’s safe in the deeper seas,” Deb said. “So I could travel with it, up and down the coast, and I would feel safe.”
Deb’s daughter Sara admires her mother’s ambition to follow her dreams.
“A lot of people think it’s weird, but I think it’s cool,” Sara said. “I hope when I’m older I still like to be adventurous, run around and do different things and not just get comfortable in one spot.”
Adventure seems to run in the family, considering that Sara has an interesting background as well.
“I was a Peace Corps volunteer,” Sara said. “I spent two years in West Africa living under a thatched roof with no electricity or running water.”
While working with the Peace Corps, Sara met her husband Brian, who was also a volunteer.
“The Peace Corps really instilled in me that I need to be helping other people when I can,” Sara said.
Sara and her mother continue to help those in need through Craft Love’s fundraiser events. A portion of proceeds from private parties go to the group’s designated nonprofit.
Sara and Deb believe that Craft Love is a great way for adults to build friendships while tapping into their oft-neglected creativity.
“As an adult, you kind of stop that,” Sara said. “When I talk to people, they say that it would be great for their kids. I say, ‘No! It will be great for you!’”
Deb believes that once people participate in a class, they will understand why it is such a rewarding experience.
“People have to come in. They have to try it. They will truly love it.”
Craft Love is located at 107 Confederate Drive #1. To view a calendar of events and workshops, and for more information, visit craftloveusa.com.
This is part of a series on merchants in downtown Franklin that runs in the Williamson Herald. For more stories, go to www.williamsonherald.com