Artists in Residence

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The crafty shack provides a getaway

 

Have craft, will travel.

If the answer is yes, then a local business has the ideal brief getaway for hobbyists of any creative pursuit. Nestled on M-52 between Williamston and Webberville, The Crafty Shack has been providing group retreats for artists and crafters for more than three years. The business is the brainchild of owner/operator Jordan Fuller, who opened The Crafty Shack in her former residence in January 2017.

Whether the guests are those who sew, paint, scrapbook, knit, quilt, Cricut or are jills-of-all-trades and do all of the above, The Crafty Shack is equipped with all the amenities needed for a three- or four-day visit.

“Some people just come and drink wine and watch Netflix,” Fuller said. “They bring anything they want to work on. I just supply the home.”

Although, it’s worth noting that home is fully stocked. The two full kitchens are supplied with bakeware, cookware, crockpots, pots and pans, utensils, a hand mixer, glassware, paper products, and a coffee maker and Keurig. The home is equipped with WiFi and cable, and it features three bedrooms on the ground floor with eight twin beds. Fuller provides the linens, towels, wash cloths, bath gel, lotion, shampoo, a hair dryer, and an iron and ironing board.

However, it’s the walk-out basement that gets the attention of many artisans. While it features living room and a full kitchen with an enormous standalone island, it also has eight 6-foot tables and comfortable office chairs – plenty of room for crafters to spread out their wares and get down to business.

“People seem to love the walk-out basement and the fact that they can back up right to the door and wheel in their supplies,” Fuller said.

The idea for The Crafty Shack was roughly two decades in the making. Fuller, who has five children and was a day care provider for 18 years, used to go on weekend crafting retreats with family and friends several times annually.

“When my kids were little, that’s what saved my sanity,” she said with a laugh.

Typically the group would stay at a bed-and-breakfast or at a friend’s cabin in the woods; however, they eventually came across several spots dedicated solely to crafters like them.

“I secretly thought about how fun it would be to own something like that someday,” she said.

When Fuller and her husband began to consider selling their home of 14 years and moving across the road into the family farmhouse, the couple began to take stock of what they had with their home. Fuller said because it sits between I-69 and I-96, is nearby dining options in Williamston and Webberville, is a short drive to East Lansing and the state capital, and has several neighboring wedding venues such as RaOna Acres, it was an ideal opportunity to turn Fuller’s secret dream into a reality.

“You’re in the middle of all these things,” she said. “There’s really nothing around like it.”

Fuller repurposed furniture and spruced up the home with her own style of interesting art and furnishings, such as the 1950s-era refrigerator that has been repainted a bright red and now holds glassware and other items.

“I wanted a unique décor,” she said. “I would describe it as eclectic and quirky and vintage.”

The initial plan was to slowly build up the clientele over the years; however, things didn’t go according to plan. In fact, they went much better than the plan, and the success of The Crafty Shack took off immediately. Her first guests were scrapbookers, but clients have included crafter groups of all kinds and all mediums – including the medium of yard work.

“I had one group of girls who were making this art from twigs and leaves and stones they were finding in the front yard,” Fuller said. “I saw them out there and had to stop to see what they were doing. It was mixed media.”

It hasn’t only been crafters either. The Crafty Shack has hosted sorority retreats, wedding parties, Michigan State University sports spectators and more. It’s even hosted a statewide men’s knitting group.

“It’s perfect for anyone who is just looking for a quaint and cozy getaway,” Fuller said.

The Crafty Shack has become such a popular destination that Fuller and her husband are expanding. The couple recently purchased the former United Methodist Church property in downtown Webberville and are in the process of renovating the facility to host parties of up to 17 people. Fuller said the building will likely be done in phases, but the first portion could be hosting craft retreats as early as this year.

“When I started The Crafty Shack, I thought this would be something where if I could get it growing a little bit every year, everything would work out,” Fuller said. “I never realized how popular it would become. People love it.”

The Crafty Shack is at 5036 M-52 in Locke Township. Rates for The Crafty Shack are $100 per person with a minimum four-person reservation. Weekend retreats run from noon Friday through 3 p.m. Sunday. Thursday night can be added for an additional $25. Weekday retreats run from noon Monday through 3 p.m. Thursday. For availability and other information, visit thecraftyshackllc.com.

 

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