In the city that inspired the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Judy Collins, and Art Wolf, something about Seattle just spawns creativity—that magic continues with StudioLife, a place dedicated to making space for, well, making things. Nestled in the heart of University District StudioLife officially opens its doors on July 7, offering an array of classes taught by local artists of varying talents—watercolor whizzes, cake decorating experts, photographers, painters, and more. You can make a plant terrarium or macramé hanging. This place is a crafts enthusiast's dream come true.
It started with two mothers, Kristi Brumbaugh and Brooke Anderson, who have been friends for years. Oh, and they're neighbors, too. A couple of years ago, they started to talk about what they'd do when both of their youngest children would start full-day school. “We both felt this sort of draw to create a little more space in our lives to focus on building something," says Brumbaugh, "and we both loved the idea of investing into our neighborhood in a different way."
In a brick-faced building with large windows StudioLife is situated on University Way (aka The Ave), with nearby spots like Rusted Vase and the ever-satisfying Xi'an Noodles within walking distance. Full of greenery, soft lights, potting materials, white walls, and rustic tables and chairs, this place is an open invitation to create something beautiful. It's broken into three main areas: there’s a retail section in front where local artists can sell their creations, a rotating project station where people can dive into whatever is trending, and a space in the back where artists will come and teach classes in this light-filled, earthy dwelling.
The variety of classes each have a different personality, and plans for more grow by the day. “People have given us so many ideas,” says Anderson. “We want to respond to what people want.” Life has a way of squeezing the time out of our days, making it hard to find the creative space to let loose, zone-out, and mingle with other like-minded creatives, but Brumbaugh and Anderson have created a perfect solution for us Seattleites and visitors alike. Currently on the calendar: water coloring with The Mint Gardener, brush lettering, and layered cake decorating with Johanna Knapp of Delicately Sweet Confections workshop, and talk of a possible fly-tying class with a local fly-fishing expert.
Although Studio Life is geared more towards adults, they are creating the opportunity for teens this summer with camps starting in July, in which kids ages 12 and up can learn hand lettering and bullet journaling, jewelry making, and macramé crafting with fiber artist Layne Eckardt. “Kids seem to really do it naturally," observes Anderson, "but I think for adults we have to make a point to have the space created."
StudioLife 5236 University Way NE, University District, 206-427-6339; studiolifeseattle.com
Classes open for registration now. Retail shop open daily from noon to 5.