“It's a great space,” explains Lisa Cherry, owner of the Makery. “It doesn't matter that there isn't a ton of foot traffic.”
Cherry is referring to Community, the hidden gem of a shopping center in a working-class part of Anaheim where she teaches arts and crafts classes. The collection seems geographically undesirable, but it's actually a good thing; Community's cheap rent makes it possible for Cherry and other artisan businesses to afford a brick and mortar. “We're appealing to such a niche market that tons of people walking by wouldn't make a difference,” she says. “The people who want a crafting class seek us out.”
The Makery is the coolest place to make a mess. “I started in 2010 with a handmade store, but the people who came in were more interested in how things were made than in buying them,” Cherry remembers. The unexpected demand pushed her toward offering classes, and then to a full workspace. “I learned that I absolutely loved teaching,” she says. It comes naturally—she is so patient with people who can't even manage to glue paper flowers.
Cherry offers classes on crocheting, embroidery, fabric dying, weaving and knitting, but her most popular classes are sewing and soy candles. “We seem to attract mostly young women,” Cherry says, adding that she believes it's because craft skills stopped being passed down to younger generations as women moved into the workforce full time.
If you're more into buying handmade items than in learning how to craft them, you can easily spend your paycheck at Community's Halloween party on Oct. 30 or at the Makery's pop-up holiday shop with Academy of Handmade throughout December. See you there!