The Tinderbox is Transitioning

With the change of the year, and the arrival of a new baby, so comes a big change for The Tinderbox. After an amazing couple of years, we are going into hibernation mode and putting a hold on continuing operations at our brick & mortar studio/shop in Mid-Main after this weekend. Although we are temporarily closing the physical site of our business, we will continue to host seasonal craft Markets and collaborate with other Houston independent businesses to bring you craft + DIY classes throughout the year while we pursue other creative opportunities.

The idea for the studio sparked in Ren’s head over 5 years ago and it’s been a long and hugely rewarding journey toward realizing our vision of a space where people came to learn, share, create, and shop from a variety of local artists year-round. We’ve been fulfilled beyond belief throwing some memorable craft parties, offering a unique variety of workshops, fostering the development of many independent designers, and meeting so many amazing, creative, and inspirational makers. We have also loved being a part of Mid-Main, a cohort of small business owners and like-minded developers slowly reinvigorating a once-neglected block. It feels like family here, and we will continue to stay connected to this special place.

The end of one venture often signals the start of something new…the beginning of the next exciting journey is already in the works, and we can’t wait to announce our next project soon (wink wink)! We are thinking hard (and objectively) about repackaging and moving our current setup and catering to the needs of Houston makers and shoppers looking for unique and handmade products. We hope you’ll continue to follow this path with us and stay connected through FacebookInstagram, &/or Twitter.

Forever in our Hearts
Forever in our Hearts

Houston Makerspace

A few weeks ago I took a field trip to Houston Makerspace and got a wonderful tour of this incredible facility. I’ve been to ADX in Portland, and was excited to hear that fellow crafter and business lady Maclean Smyth was bringing the same type of facility to Houston around the time we opened The Tinderbox. To see it come to fruition and currently building momentum is great-from Culture Map’s Lane Lynch:

“Maclean Smyth, the founder and operator of Houston Makerspace, is working to pioneer a maker revival in the Bayou City by installing a large co-working, craft warehouse called Houston Makerspace — the first of its kind in the Bayou City. The forthcoming workshop will provide members with access to the tools, equipment, classes and co-working space they need to create, craft and collaborate with fellow artisans. Smyth believes the city has a deep-seated, untapped resource of capable, committed crafters that would greatly benefit from working together and learning from each other’s trades and skills.”

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The first thing that struck me was the size of the warehouse and the opportunities that come with 20,000+ square feet. My head was spinning with the possibilities of classes and educational opportunities that we cannot facilitate at The Tinderbox. Take a tour through pictures below of the jewelry fabrication space, screen printing setup, laser cutter, 3D printer, carpentry area, metalwork space, sewing and textile room, photo room, and classroom.

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“I believe that creativity aspires innovation and ambition in our culture,” Smyth says. “With this space, we can build a society of makers right here in Houston.” That is exactly what we wanted to create at The Tinderbox, so I am happy that the same attitude is being fostered elsewhere in the city. To finally see the space in person was really exciting, and I encourage everyone to go check it out, take a class, and most importantly invest in the businesses and opportunities in Houston that make it a much better place to live and work. 

 

Houston ETSY Craft Party

I wanted to circle back and highlight the amazing time I had hosting the Houston ETSY Craft Party June 20th. So many Houstonians came out to craft for a cause and the feeling of community was palpable. We had so many craft supplies and materials donated by the community, including The Tinderbox artists’ Beyond Her, Fuzzy Grapefruit, and Hola Dear Deer. Brittany of the Houston ETSY team and I decided to pick a local non-profit we could handcraft practical items for, and we made the following for a charity that does so much for women, The Women’s Home.

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Product donations: 
Candles from Manready Mercantile
Jewelry from Rust & Pearls
Lip balm from Rachel's Plan Bee

A warm thank you to everyone who participated by making, providing materials, food, and support, and helped spread the word, especially our neighbors My Flaming Heart and Natachee’s. I am always in need of a reminder of the good people are capable of, and why I opened a “craft collective” in the first place, so thank you! Check out the great pictures below from the night.

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