Sherri Bartley Rivera
AR Workshop Fairfield
Jessica McCormack and Michele Scholl are co-owners of the AR Workshop Fairfield, which is a boutique DIY, Home Décor Paint and Sip studio of almost two years. These busy local moms have had to change up their in-person classes and come up with ways to stay in business during a very trying time.
We had a virtual interview with Jessica and asked her what led to the opening of AR Workshop. Jessica and Michele, neighbors for the last 6 years in Fairfield, were discussing opportunities, being their own bosses and and being close to home, over a backyard bonfire. Michele with the creative background and Jessica with sales and marketing background realized timing was perfect for them. AR Workshop stood out from the rest of the franchises. There are over 100 locations all over the US but they’d be the first in CT. This women-owned franchise is so hands-on, always coming out with new ideas and welcoming new ideas all the time. Michele and Jessica love how they offer customers custom projects; while one customer works on a patio sign, another customer works on a framed or plank sign, all during the same session. There are over 900 different personalized designs to choose from! Jessica explains, you don’t need to be crafty, AR Workshop gives you a stencil to work with, an instructor to guide you and from there magic is made!
You may also order these custom treasures to be made for you as well. Currently, with the real estate market booming, many real estate agents are ordering custom wood signs and corn hole boards for their clients as closing or house warming gifts!
AR Workshop has hosted many of the Fairfield schools and surrounding towns’ school fundraisers. School parents come in for an evening of creative activity and socialization and AR Workshop gives back up to 20% of the proceeds to that school. With the changing of times they offer fundraisers as Virtual or DIY kits to go; a way to still give back while knowing so many are still unsure about group settings.
Since corona began in mid-March these business-minded ladies had to pivot and close their doors for in-person classes but started selling DIY kits to go, to be picked up daily curbside. It gave parents a break and kids an outlet for something to do during such a crazy time. When classes were allowed to start again they hosted summer camp bringing in over 180 kids for a 4-day camp making over 5 projects a week throughout the summer. The kids loved it, made great projects and had no problem wearing masks.
Customers are happy to note, AR is taking strict precautions to make sure its customers are safe during COVID! During camp, temperatures were taken at the door and campers received their own manicure-like box with all items needed for their individual projects in addition to other sanitary measures. Currently during this time of distance learning, AR Workshop is offering work space to students K-5. Parents coordinate a group of 4 kids along with a teacher/tutor and AR Workshop provides a safe, quiet work space for students to learn.
A couple weeks later, Jean and I had a great time at AR Workshop Fairfield, creating Chunky Knit pumpkins with our dear friend Sue, our daughters and family-friend Riley! These chunky knit pumpkins are the Halloween décor must-have for this season! And they’re just so cute and fluffy!
AR Workshop is such an amazing, magical space. The grey wood paneling, beautiful custom projects hung from the walls and the powder blue accents create such a fun and inspiring vibe. Jessica’s husband and dad constructed much of the interior of this charming space. And the instructors are awesome! They were so friendly and patient as they assisted us making sure we were on target with our pumpkin creations.
We had the pleasure of meeting owner Michele Scholl during the workshop. She filled us in on how she and her partner Jessica McCormack started the business, and pivoted to DIY projects during lockdown. We are so excited to see what lies ahead for this powerhouse duo! In the meantime, supermom Jessica is due with baby number two any day Throughout the whole workshop, masks were kept on by all attendees and staff. Each group that comes in grouped together while still being spread out. Because our group consisted of 6 people, our group was split up into two large tables. As winter approaches, this is definitely a safe, indoor activity to keep in mind when outdoor activities are limited.
We are definitely coming back to make chunky knit blankets, canvas totes, porch signs, and something fun for holidays…! Jean, if I don’t answer my phone, you’ll know where to find me!
Fairfield County Lifestyle friends can use the code FCL10 for $10.00 off your next project at AR Workshop! Follow them for class announcements and new projects @arworkshopfairfield.