Locals searching for personalized, Polk County-sourced items can now turn to The Crafter’s Den, a new store that opened doors for business Monday, Sept. 2, on Bolivar’s square.
The Crafter’s Den offers handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, home decor, crochet, wreaths, repurposed furniture and more from local crafters.
“You can’t really put it into just one box,” said owner Jami Kolsky, referring to the scope of items available at the store.
Kolsky said the idea for the store came from her experience selling bath and body products at craft shows and farmers markets.
“As crafters, we love doing those kind of things,” Kolsky said, referring to craft shows. “It’s a way for us to put ourselves out there, and it reinforces what we’re doing.”
But for crafters to have their own space, she said, “just makes sense for us to have a place that essentially is a craft show, but it’s all year long and it’s indoors. Even our customers don’t have to worry about getting out in the heat.”
For the store’s vendors, Kolsky said they have been sent contracts detailing “how much space they get, different sizes for different prices, and it’s paid on a monthly basis.”
In addition to offering vendor items, the store also hosts craft classes. The class schedules are available on The Crafter Den’s Facebook page and website, thecraftersdenbomo.com.
“All of our vendors are encouraged to teach classes either on their specific craft, or if they just have fun ideas,” Kolsky said. “It’s a variety of ages, so some classes might be for kids, some for adults. … There are a lot of fun ways we’re just trying to get really involved with the community and keep people coming in our doors.”
She said classes are typically $30 or less, depending on the type of class and the materials needed.
Vendors also volunteer in the store five hours a month “to come in, hang out and mingle with customers,” Kolsky added.
Kolsky noted most vendors are from Bolivar, and all items are guaranteed to be “from our southwest Missouri area.”
And the store, she said, will help locals keep the money in Bolivar.
“A lot of people have the mindset that if you want something, you have to go to Springfield to get it,” she said. “So hopefully, this will help people realize they can get what they want — especially if they want something specific. I’m sure somebody here could make it, especially because we have such a wide variety of items.”
She said the store’s handcrafted, local offerings will make an impact on the community.
“It’s for the community, by the community,” Kolsky said. “We’re all sisters in this art. We like to make things. … We just want to share our passion with everybody.”
Kolsky added most vendors offer custom work, so “we can help you find or set you up with somebody to make it happen.”
The store currently has over 40 vendors, but the store has space open for more, she said.
And come holiday time, Kolsky said, The Crafter’s Den will be “the place to go, because whatever gift you get for someone from here, you know they’re not going to find it from anywhere else. It will be one of a kind.”