Carson City is getting crafty, with the addition of a number of shops to bring out the inner artist in everyone.
When all of the fabric shops in Carson closed, best friends Jan Moritz and Cheryl Grenke decided to take matters into their own hands.
About a month ago, the women opened a storefront on Highway 50 dedicated to all things quilting — hoping to sell, teach and connect with other quilters from across Northern Nevada.
“Carson needed a new quilt and fabric shop,” Moritz said. “It was just time.”
So the two friends got together to start the business and it has taken off.
“It has been phenomenal for us being brand new,” Grenke said. “We went and contacted different quilting girls we know who talked us up and so far everyone has been very happy (we opened).”
“It has been phenomenal, better than expected,” Grenke said.They said that quilters from all over Northern Nevada have come to their shop looking for materials, advice and a mutual love of quilts.
“We have already had people coming all the way from Fernley, Red Rock and Reno because there is no true quilting shop around,” Moritz said.Rustically Divine- How to paint a pallet from Sierra Nevada Media Group on Vimeo.
Quilting is actually what brought the two together 20 years ago. They met at a craft show, hit it off and have been inseparable since.
Grenke started quilting in high school after falling in love with it during home economics class, and Moritz started after attempting to make her son a quilt.
“It is addictive,” Moritz said. “Once you get started it is something you either love or hate, there is no middle road.”
Now, after a year of planning, they are able to share their love of quilting with the community.
“We have been looking at doing this for a year, but we wanted the right location, central so that people from Lyon or Gardnerville can find us,” Moritz said. “We love getting to meet new people and compare notes with other quilters. It has been good all the way around, we have met lots of new people.”
For the women, quilting is more than just a business.
“It is like therapy for both of us,” Grenke said.
Moritz said one of the appeals of their shop is they keep their prices low so the hobby doesn’t break the bank.
“The fabric we carry is top of the line, but also reasonable,” Moritz said. “With quilting you can spend a whole lot of money so we keep our prices down so they can enjoy quilting without going into debt.”
And the pair is excited to get the community interested in quilting. In addition to selling materials, they also offer custom quilting and will start offering classes so quilters of all levels can learn some new skills.
“We are excited because if people want to learn there aren’t a lot of places for people to go to learn,” Grenke said.
CJ’s Fabric is located at 1976 E. William St., and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To sign up for classes, visit Grenke and Moritz at the shop for more details.
Just Brew It
One Carson City store is showing sometimes the best craft comes in the form of beer.
Trevor Rotoli and his wife Tessa opened Just Brew It eight years ago after deciding to turn their homebrew hobby into a business.
“I was beer making, I just started doing it and I loved the hobby,” Rotoli said. “At the time the only store to get supplies was in Reno so we had to commute and I thought this is what Carson City needed.”
Just Brew It caters to every class of home brewer from the beginner to the experienced, the shop offers kits, tips and materials for all sorts of alcoholic projects.
Rotoli said the craft of home brewing is good for everyone because of its relative simplicity — he said all it takes is to follow the instructions, let it ferment then bottle condition for the right periods of time and you have your own beer.
In addition to the simplicity, it also provides a cheaper per bottle cost than retail brews. While the initial cost for equipment may run about $100, the beer and wine kits may range from about $30 to $80, totaling about 75 cents per beer bottle and about 30 bottles of wine per kit.
“It can be really cost effective,” Rotoli said.
Creating your own beer also allows the brewer to create a huge variety of flavors to experiment with and suit any taste.
“It is completely customizable so you can brew it for your own taste so it is a fun time,” Rotoli said.
With home brewing, the possibilities are endless, Rotoli said he once created a banana split stout that was a big hit.
“Making it at home you can make those tweaks and changes and that is why it is appealing to customers,” Rotoli said. “You can mix and match and there are so many things you can make, if you can imagine it you can make it.”
But for him, owning their own business means spending more time together as a family.
“My favorite part is getting to spend more time with my family,” Rotoli said. “Before, with a construction job, I was always away and now we typically have the kids running round the store. It is a very kid-friendly place.”
And it isn’t just about the alcohol. They also sell materials for customers to make their own beer, wine, cider or cheese as well as selling one-of-a kind clothing, soaps and beers on tap.
“Carson City has been really receptive to this, there is a big group of local Carson residents who craft beer and people just love to make their own,” Rotoli said.
Just Brew It is located at 1214 N. Carson St., and is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For those crafters who enjoy the hobby, but aren’t good with finding the inspiration for what to make, Neon Salt is the place for you.
The Do-It-Yourself studio provides customers with Pinterest-worthy kits to ensure a craft worth displaying. Jennifer Smith and her daughter Samantha opened the store about four months ago, to cater to the crafting crowd that wanted to do more than just paint and sip.
“We thought, with all the popularity with Pinterest projects, we liked the idea to do crafts and sip instead,” Samantha said.
Each kit comes with step-by-step instructions and all of the supplies needed so customers can choose to work on the craft in-store or at home.
“Come try some new things,” Jennifer said. “(The crafts are unique) when we have a big group of people, everyone can do something different and even if they do the same project it turns out different.”
The kits currently range from string art to wine glass painting, with new projects being added every month. They also have mini kits for stocking stuffer presents.
“We go off of the seasons (for projects) or create things that we enjoy making,” Samantha said. “We have had some requests for projects so we also try and find out what others are into and work to create what they would like too.”
The two also can customize projects, if given notice before a customer comes in.
Jennifer also said they’ve started doing more research into what they’ve seen as successful online to see what people are interested in, and many of those projects are going to be introduced in the coming months.
“We are expanding as we get a feel for what people want to see, what they want to do and what they are afraid to do on their own,” said Jennifer.
The mother-daughter duo will create the crafts before making the kits to ensure it’s easy to do, is a good finished project and is fun to do for all ages.
“We both do all sorts of crafts and it is just fun to experiment with them,” Samantha said.
Soon, the pair will also be adding in a full bar so the over 21 crafters can indulge while they create.
“Next up is definitely the bar so we can have the full concept,” Samantha said. ““The people who have come in are excited we are a part of Carson City and we are excited to expand more and offer more to do.”
Samantha said they’re excited to be able to offer more to keep residents, especially younger folks, involved in Carson and the downtown area.
“I remember when I was a kid around here, there wasn’t much to do without traveling out of the city,” Samantha said.
The pair has been involved in several Carson activities including the Wine Walk each month and the Passport to Downtown held earlier this year.
“We have a great downtown, it is changing and getting better and we are excited to be a part of that,” Jennifer said.
Neon Salt is located at 108 W. Telegraph St., open Thursday through Saturday with the last project session ending at 6 p.m. each day. Projects start at $25. For information visit neonsalt.com or call 775-883-2093.
Kim Saucedo, owner of Rustically Divine, has always been a crafty woman, with six children in tow it was almost always a necessity to make whatever she could around the house.
“I have a big family so it was like if I can picture it, I can make it,” Saucedo said. “But this is the first time in our lives we had the financial stability to go full scale and make a business out of it.”
And now, she has turned that love of art into a business for all of Carson to enjoy with the creation of the town’s first pallet painting studio.
“This has been the most welcoming experience I have ever had,” said Saucedo. “The whole thing has been a learning opportunity, it has been hard sometimes, but you persevere and keep plugging along. Failure isn’t an option.”
Originally, Saucedo wanted to make the shop into a vendor’s boutique where she could continue to make her own creations to sell, but decided to change ideas after seeing the interest in the paint and sip activities.
“(Pallet painting) is big on the East Coast and in the South but I saw that there wasn’t really anything like this in the area,” Saucedo said. “And the wood signs are so popular in home décor right now.”
While the store has only been open for about two months, Saucedo is adding new pallet sizes and designs every month. And they just continue to gain in popularity.
“We have had some steady growth, most of our business has come from word of mouth as people come and experience it and tell their friends about it,” Saucedo said. “It will take people talking to each other — we’ve already had a group come in three times with friends, they just love it.”
The possibilities are endless. In addition to the stencil designs already available, Saucedo can create custom designs for an additional $10 and each design is completely unique with more than 60 colors of Dixie Belle chalk paint to choose from.
For Saucedo, the best part about the studio is the camaraderie it creates.
“We have people come in to do the class as strangers and by the end we are hugging when they leave and can’t wait to see each other again,” Saucedo said. “It is the friendships and relationships that grow because you are interested in the painting and conversation and not sitting on your phone doing this.”
Even the store is a tribute to empowering relationships, as the whole Saucedo family was involved in creating it. Her husband and sons built the tables, walls and pallets, while her daughter helps design and create the pallets.
Each workshop takes about two to three hours — with the materials set up at the stations upon arrival, to staining the wood, painting the design on and finally putting a top coat to finish. Customers must pick out their designs online ahead of time when they sign up for the workshop.
“We hand pick the wood, cut it and do the stencils so it is ready when you come in,” Saucedo said. “That is why it is a little more expensive than the traditional paint and sip, there is a lot that goes into it, a lot of behind-the-scenes work.”
Soon, they too will be getting their liquor license to offer a full service bar, but as for now customers can bring their own alcohol to enjoy with their craft.
While, there have been some bumps in the road, as with any new business venture, Saucedo said she has been met with nothing but support.
“We have a great support group so when we get stuck on things there are people we can go to for help,” Saucedo said. “People are really willing to help here.”
Rustically Divine is located at 410 N. Carson St., and projects start at $45. For information visit https://www.rusticallydivine.com or call 775-434-7404.