Kiwi Acres Farm Creative Studio held its grand opening on March 12, on an unseasonably warm weekend in Maple Plain.
“We thought people were going to be busy with their warm Saturday afternoon,” said Tracy Anderson, owner and operator.
That beautiful weather, however, didn’t seem to put a dent in the event’s turnout.
“We had a steady stream all day,” said Rachel Palm, Anderson’s business partner.
The creative studio, as Anderson explained, fulfills a number of creative needs for the community in a multitude of ways. The shop itself, located on Main Street and open Thursday through Saturday, sells unique furniture, home decor and other items, but there’s a lot more to the operation than that.
“We do a lot out of this small space,” said Anderson. “Besides the retail store and the classes that we do, we also have a full cabinet shop down the street, where we build custom furniture and retrofit people’s homes, or help people who are flipping homes.”
The home furnishing side of the business has been in operation for years, up until recently out of northern Minnesota. And, though the grand opening took place this month, the occasional shop has been open periodically and gaining momentum since early December of last year.
Some of that building-up has come in the form of the classes in the creative studio.
“We run classes, at least something every week,” said Anderson. “We change it up, from painting step-by-step with me or…woodworking or chalkboard building, and we’re doing some weaving — we’re doing all different things.”
These classes feed into a large part of the mission of the business — to foster creativity in anyone who comes through its doors, whether through inspiration, direct instruction or any other method.
“There’s a void in the community that we’re hoping to fill,” said Anderson. “We want to be a creative outlet for people. Not only can we help them with their creativity in their homes, but we can help them with their actual, personal creativity on the canvas.”
Added Anderson, “It’s just something I think people are craving: they want something different and unique.”
The furniture that Anderson and Palm create certainly fall into the “unique” category, by Anderson’s account. Besides being hand-built to the item, often Anderson will find a way to repurpose or otherwise entirely transform a piece of furniture.
In fact, Anderson identified this transformation as key to her creative process. “I’ll see something — it could be a coffee mug, and it turns into a table,” said Anderson. “Or, it could be a picture frame, and it turns into a painting. Creative brains see something and build backwards. They tear it apart, and they figure out how to readjust it, make it what they would have wanted or change it completely into something different.”
In each of the pieces she creates herself, however, functionality is a must.
“Form and function are really big things for me,” said Anderson. “It can look pretty, but if it doesn’t function, I have a problem with it.”
Many of the pieces in the shop were made by Anderson or Palm, but many of them come from other vendors, some from as far away as Haiti. Other items, smaller gifts like LED candles, come from other outlets.
“We have this mix,” said Anderson. “I would say we’re about 80 percent either vendors, or us.”
Anderson said that she was pleased with community response to the creative studio moving in to the space.
“It was great to see the community coming out,” Anderson said. “And the comments were, ‘We’re so glad you’re here.’”
“The weekend classes always have students, and people are coming in,” continued Anderson. “We’re super grateful to the community for coming out.”
For more information on Kiwi Acres Farm Creative Studio, visit www.kiwiacresfarm.com.
Contact Sean Miner at [email protected]