Jen Schlechte is the owner of Pinspiration, a new Pinterest-inspired crafts studio in Ponte Vedra Beach at 880 A1A N., Suite 7.
As told to Maggie FitzRoy
Q: When did you open?
A: We had a soft opening on Feb. 29. We had planned to have our grand opening Saturday, March 21 but with recent CDC recommendations about not having gatherings of 10 people or more, we had to postpone it. We had been planning the grand opening for months and we had over 500 people “going or interested” on our Facebook Events. Now, in order to continue our business in a safe manner, we are offering take-home craft kits that people can pick up curbside at the studio.
Q: What else are you doing to deal with the coronavirus crisis?
A: We are also promoting our Jackson Pollock-inspired Splatter Room, where people dress in protective suits, with hairnets, booties, goggles and gloves and throw paint to create their own splatter masterpiece. We are taking reservations hourly to be sure we stay under the CDC limit of 10 people.
Q: What is your business all about?
A: Our motto is: community meets creativity. Our goal is to provide a fun, engaging environment for people to find their inner creativity. We have projects for age 3 through 103 and feel that everybody is an artist.
Q: How does that relate to Pinterest?
A: Pinterest is an online pin-board, where people can share ideas. There is also the idea of the “Pinterest fail,” a trend on social media where people are sharing all their attempts to make the beautiful crafts they found on Pinterest and failed.
Q: How do you help people succeed, instead?
A: We facilitate the making of unique and popular crafts and take away a lot of the anxiety from not knowing how. We have all the materials and tutorials with step-by-step instructions for each of our crafts. We have over 40 at any given time and they change seasonally. The business is a franchise and we have a dedicated marketing team that scourers Pinterest for the most frequently pinned projects and then figures out how we can offer them at the studio, where we have creative assistants who can help with any of our crafts.
Q: What inspired you to want to open this type of business?
A: My husband, Brandon, and I have always been crafty, creative people. I learned about the franchise through social media and was immediately intrigued by the idea of having a place in the community where people can be socially creative.
Q: What is your background?
A: I taught elementary music and directed a show choir at Ocean Palms Elementary for three years. I’m currently still involved in the musical world by singing with the Jacksonville Symphony and at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach and I also direct the First Coast Youth Show Choir.
Q: What are your thoughts and hopes about the coronavirus?
A: We see a definite impact on our business. We’ve been working on this space for over a year. We’ve been planning the grand opening for months. Our hope is that all the small local businesses like ours will have the support of our community as we try to figure out creative ways to navigate the fluid situation.
Q: How can people contact you?
A: By phone at 904-395-3056. Our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and our website is Pinspiration.com/Jacksonville. Reservations for making crafts are recommended but not necessary. We are open Tuesday through Sunday and hours vary. We also have a private space that can be rented for groups and corporate events. We also have a group package rate for parties, including birthday parties, when the virus-crisis passes.
Photo by Maggie FitzRoy