Many art lovers have been stuck scrolling through YouTube or Pinterest looking at do-it-yourself (DIY) tutorials, saying to themselves that they are going to start making DIY projects. Some do, while others never get to it. Board & Brush Creative Studio allows people to create their own projects, no matter what artistic abilities they have.
Board & Brush is a studio franchise where customers can create custom wooden boards, totes or welcome mats. The Flagstaff studio has been open for two and a half years. This year, Shannon Pebley and Morgan became owners of the studio.
“Heather and I have been best friends for about 10 years now,” Pebley said. “We came to the studio a few times to have a friend’s night, and we fell in love with the place. We made boards for home decor, and we kept coming back since that day.”
Although Pebley and Morgan found a place they loved, Pebley said she attended a private workshop at the studio where she found out it would soon be closing. The previous owner decided she no longer wanted to own both the Flagstaff and Prescott locations.
Pebley said she was disappointed the studio would be closing, but the previous owner asked her if she wanted to purchase the store.
“I was very surprised when I received this offer,” Pebley said. “I didn’t think I could do it ... After about a month of debating, I decided I would do it. I called Heather, and she was hesitant at first, but then she said yes.”
Pebley and Morgan bought the studio July 1. They began to teach themselves how to make the boards and run the store. On Sept. 1, they were given full ownership of the studio by the corporate offices. After getting corporate approval, they reopened the studio as official owners.
The studio’s public workshops are scheduled about four times per week. People who wish to create boards must sign up for a workshop or book a private workshop on the studio’s website. When a workshop begins, attendees put on aprons and get ready to create their boards.
“We prepare everything for the workshop before the attendees come in,” Morgan said. “We sand the wood and cut it so it’s a specific size for the workshop. When the attendees get there, we have everything prepared for them, including the stencils for the boards. Once they pick the stencil they’d like to use, they get to use any colors to paint their board.”
Board & Brush has hosted private workshop bookings for sororities, fraternities, birthday parties and bridal showers. For private workshops, attendees have a choice to make a board, tote or welcome mat.
“It’s been a fantastic experience running the studio so far,” Morgan said. “Of course we’ve had a few mishaps here and there, but it’s all part of the learning experience. I’m very grateful for the community supporting us in our new journey.”
Both Morgan and Pebley are locals, and they said knowing and working with the community has been essential in running the studio. The studio, located inside Aspen Place at the Sawmill, has gained support from the restaurants inside the shopping plaza.
“The restaurants offer food discounts if people want to bring their food into our workshops,” Morgan said. “We’re just so grateful the community supports us in running the studio. Without the Flagstaff community, we definitely wouldn’t be where we are right now. They made it easy for us to become business owners.”
Morgan and Pebley said they want to pass the studio to their children after a few years. Both of them have daughters that are seniors in high school, and they would like them to run the studio while they remain owners.
Hannah Morgan, Heather’s daughter, works at the studio in addition to working another job downtown. At the studio, she helps prepare for the workshops and assists attendees when they are making their boards.
“I think Board & Brush is great, because people get to experiment with their artistic abilities,” Hannah Morgan said. “My favorite thing is to see the attendees leave the studio happy with their boards. I love seeing this, because it shows they had fun, and they’ll have a memory they can cherish for a long time.”
While some people may be nervous to create a project that involves art, Board and Brush gives people the push they need to express themselves through a DIY project.