AR Workshop is a boutique DIY studio and retailer that offers instructor-led hands-on workshops for creating custom and charming home décor from raw materials in an inspiring lounge-style atmosphere.
Our class offerings include wood plank and framed signs, canvas pillows, wood lazy susans, canvas wall hangings, centerpiece boxes, tote bags, knit chunky knit blankets and more.
Register online by choosing a date and time that works best for you, pick from hundreds of designs and provide necessary details (such as names, dates, or even wording changes) to customize it appropriately. We provide all of the tools, materials, and step-by-step instructions. Most workshops take around three hours to complete and at the end, you will get to take your finished project home to enjoy your new stylish custom decor! We are not like the paint-and-sip classes you may be used to…at AR Workshop, each person chooses their design.
In addition to standard workshops, we offer specialty workshops occasionally, as well. These workshops may be led by a guest instructor or our own staff. We are getting a lot of love for our Succulent Centerpiece Boxes this summer and our Chunky Knit Blanket Workshops are very popular as the temperatures start to cool down. We just released Pet Beds for our favorite fur babies.
Our workshops on the First Friday are for those that have FMO! These workshops are all about making our latest and greatest designs/projects. And our Final Friday workshops amp things up a bit, by combining a workshop with another experience such as cocktail making or craft beer or wine tastings, and more.
Did I mention that we are also BYOB (beer and wine). We encourage you to grab some friends, snacks, a bottle of wine or two, and have fun letting your inner craftinista shine!
AR Workshop is a unique and fun experience, making it perfect for Girls’ Night Out, Date Nights, Team Buildings, Birthday Parties, Bridal Showers, Customer Appreciation events and so much more.
How long has it been in business?
Our grand opening was Friday, June 28.
How many people does the Company employ?
Five to 10, depending on the season.
What prompted you to start your own business?
I fell into the career of IT consulting, as sometimes happens. And while it was very good to me, it was never my passion. For years now I have been dreaming of my own workshop – a place for me to create and call my own.
Anything extraordinary/unique that your Company does:
We partner with other national brands and charities throughout the year. In July, HGTV sponsored DIY Across America with AR Workshops nationwide. HGTV, Kuerig, Scotch Blue, and AR Workshop Gilbert, provided Swag Bags full of goodies for the first 50 registrants of the workshops. The participants were able to make a bonus project and participated in fun games and raffles. Each June, we partner with Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money to fight childhood cancer. August, we launched a partnership with KEEP Collective/Stella & Dot for some exciting Create & Shop events.
Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice can you offer to the residents of your neighborhood?
I think you get what you give. Maybe not all of the time, but certainly in the long run. Doing right by others, extending a nice gesture, having integrity, contentment and humility are truly the things that matter most. I believe we should all be looking out for each other, not just for ourselves. That is what I consider a win!
How did you decide on this industry?
When my husband and I blended our families, we were all of a sudden in need of a much larger dining table. Rather than buy a new table and chairs, I (easily) convinced my hubby to make one that I had found on Pinterest. So, he built it and I stained, painted and sealed it. We still love it today! That led to many more projects (he has built barn doors, desks, our TV stand, sofa table, and so much more for our home) including sign making thanks to inspiration from Pinterest. It became a fun hobby for us.
Fast forward many years…We were celebrating a good friend’s birthday in downtown Gilbert when we walked by a similar workshop. One friend said, “Why aren’t you doing something like this?” And I said, “I should, shouldn’t I?” And so, it began. That following week, I started researching the possibilities. That is when I found AR Workshop. I truly believe that AR Workshop is the gold standard of DIY workshops. Our founders are exceptional women. They started a design company in 2010 that quickly got national attention and led to features and collaborations with Martha Stewart, Target, Universal Studios, Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV and many more. In June 2016, Maureen Anders (the “A”) and Adria Ruff (the “R”) opened the first workshop in Pineville, NC. They are truly talented designers and businesswomen. And a ton of fun. They personify our motto…Work Hard, Play Hard.
What neighborhood do you live in and how long have you lived in that neighborhood?
We have lived in Seville since 2011, in Castillo II currently and La Mirada previously.
Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family…
I grew up in Ohio and my hubby grew up in a very small lake town in Minnesota. My hubby leads a sales team at Insight, the very company that moved him here in 2005. We married in 2013 and blended our families (his four and my two). With three boys and three girls, we often are called the Brady Bunch.
Our oldest is Jack, 20, he decided to try real estate right out of high school and is loving his job. He is currently a realtor with Keller Williams, right here in Gilbert. Peter, 19, will be attending CGCC in the fall, and our other four are at Casteel. Tom, 17, will be a senior and is working toward the Lumberjack Scholarship. Kyra, 16, will be a junior. She plays club and high school soccer. Meg, 16, will be a sophomore and does horseback and plays tennis for Casteel. Our youngest is Katey, 13, and she will be in 8th grade next year.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I love being outside; playing sports, hiking, camping, etc., though I don’t get out nearly enough these days. I love watching a movie with my hubs and kids (when they are not too cool for us) with a glass of wine just as much as I love spending time with my friends at the club, out on the town or by the barbecue.
Feel free to stop in and check us out any time. We’d love to show you what we do and who knows, maybe we will be a perfect place for your next party!
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