When I put together my Great.ly boutique I was careful to curate special items that would appeal to people who love crochet. I wanted to start introducing you to some of the makers I’ve gotten to know there, starting with Assemble Shop and Studio.
Interview with the Makers
Q: If you could describe Assemble Shop & Studio in just one sentence, what would that sentence be?
A: We see Assemble as a gallery of inspiration and ideas: a place for people to assemble, make, and do.
Q: In 2013 you moved from a brick and mortar shop to an online entity. What motivated that decision and what have the pros and cons been?
A: After over three years in our physical shop, which we adored, we decided to shake things up. It was a huge risk to branch out online with our own products, but we felt strongly that growing our brand meant going online full force! We began Assemble with a lot on our plates — debuting monthly art shows, running the retail shop filled with other designers, creating and teaching unique workshops, and writing a craft blog. When it came time to launch our own merchandise and consider writing a craft book, we decided that we’d rather do a handful of things impeccably instead of burning out on too many projects at once. We miss our store and regular customers a lot, and working from home isn’t always as fun as it sounds, but we feel so lucky to continue doing all the things we love.
Q: I love your granny square kit. What types of products do you think someone could make using just what’s in the kit?
A: Thanks! The kit is a perfect place to begin, practice and perfect your crochet skills. It is designed to make either four coasters or doilies, or one larger potholder if you connect those four pieces. Larger projects can be made if you purchase a few skeins of yarn and simply make those same squares over and over! You can line up a dozen or so, and create a long scarf. Or connect those dozen into a large square and use as a decorative pillow cover. We have even used the same pattern using teeny tiny hook and thin thread to create mini square jewelry!
Q: Granny squares are such a great project starter aren’t they?! Is there any chance you’ll be creating any more crochet-related kits?
A: Currently, we don’t have any new crochet kits in the works. However, we have a handful of exciting crochet and yarn-based projects we are working on for the blog and our book!
Q: Ooh, exciting!! You also have several cute rubber stamp kits. Do you have any favorite tutorials or ideas for using rubber stamps in creative ways?
Too many, in fact!! One of easiest ways to personalize a gift is to stamp some blank sheets of paper and use as gift wrap. There is something about the simple act of putting ink to paper that everyone seems to love — that extra touch goes a long way! One of our personal favorite projects is to create a Japanese-style furoshiki wrap – just stamp with fabric-safe ink onto a square of fabric, iron to heat-set, then use it to wrap any gift with a knot on top. We love these so much that we will give the wraps themselves away as the gift – they are so useful and pretty!
Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your various craft kits?
A: The kits we have currently were all derived directly from our most popular workshops taught when Assemble had its workshop studio. Crochet, bookbinding and needle-felting never failed to sell out. We knew those kits would be the first ones to develop – we already had the instructions, supply lists and three years of customer feedback!
Q: So you’ve sneaked in a mention or two about your upcoming craft book … Can you tell us more?!
A: Yes! We have had a craft book in the works for a long time now, and it should be no surprise that it will be FILLED with beautiful and useful projects incorporating a handful of different materials and techniques. We hope it conveys Assemble’s modern and pretty design style and mission to inspire people to create things and spaces they love! Although we haven’t announced our publisher and projects yet, we can tell you that it’s due out in 2016!