What made you start Dare to DIY?
I was working in the event industry, and I taught cookie-decorating classes on the side. I left my job and started teaching full time. After a while, I wanted to have my own space so that I could teach but also have outside artists come in and teach crafty workshops. The weekend I had my grand opening was actually when everything started to shut down. I have since learned that you have to have many backup plans for your business.
How did you adapt?
We still do some limited in-person workshops, and we do virtual workshops such as macramé, watercolor, and calligraphy. But we’ve also pivoted to focusing on private events and hosting small-business markets. I’ve had micro weddings, baby showers, bridal showers—they rent the space per hour, and they can add on rentals or in-house event coordination. Normally, I can fit 48 people for a dinner party, but with COVID-19 it’s obviously fewer, and it just depends on the rules at the time.
Tell us about the small-business markets.
Twice a month, I host the markets at Dare to DIY, and then I also partnered with my friend Michelle Casillas of Desert Hangers to form Creative Babe Market, which is a vendor market we organize but it’s held at different venues such as Golden State Coffee and other small businesses. In either case, the vendors are all local, woman-owned small businesses—all sorts of things from clothing and jewelry to candles and macramé. Small businesses are struggling, so we just wanted to find a way to help.
Find out about upcoming workshops, markets, and event rentals at daretodiyoc.com.