A Haven for Crafting and Community in Downtown Renton
Today, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tawnee Kinnebrew, the creative mind behind Wyldwood Creative, located in the heart of Downtown Renton. Join me as we dive into Tawnee's journey, the unique offerings of Wyldwood Creative, and the values that make this place a special haven for all craft enthusiasts.
After many attempts to schedule our meeting, Tawnee and I finally found time to chat. As I entered Wyldwood Creative, I couldn't help but appreciate the vibrant and inviting atmosphere that enveloped the space. Tawnee's warm and friendly demeanor instantly made me feel at home, ready to explore the story behind her thriving business.
Tawnee shared the story behind the birth of Wyldwood Creative, which opened its doors in October 2019. Her desire to own her own business was always present, but she wasn't sure what form it would take. As a skilled creator and crafter, Tawnee saw an opportunity to share her passion with others. The idea for Wyldwood Creative was born—a place where people could embrace their creativity and learn various crafts. Initially a maker space, the business adapted during the pandemic, transitioning to online retail while continuing to offer classes. Now, as things settle down, Wyldwood Creative is back to providing in-person classes three to four days a week and offering a wide range of fabrics for sale.
During our conversation, I was intrigued to learn about the diverse array of classes offered at Wyldwood Creative. From beginner-level sewing and quilting to garment making and connecting with local artists, the options are endless. Tawnee emphasized their commitment to inclusivity by welcoming everyone, regardless of skill level or background. The classes range in price, with sliding scales available for some courses based on income levels. To ensure accessibility, Wyldwood Creative also offers scholarships supported by the community, providing free classes to deserving individuals.
Tawnee and I delved into the topic of the cost of creating one's own clothes versus purchasing them from traditional retailers. She shed light on the misconception that handmade items are always cheaper. Through her insights, we explored the value of considering supply chains, craftsmanship, and personal investment. While making your own clothes may cost more initially, it fosters a deeper sense of pride and cultivates a conscious approach to consumption. By understanding the true cost of handmade items, Tawnee encourages people to cherish and maintain their creations for longer.
Drawing parallels between sewing machines and cars, Tawnee explained that proper care and maintenance are key to ensuring their longevity. Much like servicing a car, sewing machines require attention and occasional upkeep. She recommended local businesses, such as Sewing Machine Service Co. and Bernina of Renton, for cleaning, repairs, or upgrades. By nurturing and respecting their machines, sewing enthusiasts can enjoy the benefits of using their trusted companions for years to come.
One of the standout aspects of Wyldwood Creative is its strong sense of community and alignment with core values. Tawnee emphasized her commitment to creating a safe and inclusive space where everyone feels welcome, irrespective of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. She shared her personal experiences in other quilt shops and her determination to challenge the status quo by fostering an environment that encourages creativity and provides support. Additionally, Wyldwood Creative actively supports the Duwamish tribe by paying monthly rent that goes directly toward the sustenance and preservation of their culture. Tawnee's dedication to social responsibility extends beyond her business, reflecting her deep-rooted values and desire to make a positive impact on the community.
As I entered Tawnee's sewing and craft store in downtown Renton, I could immediately sense that this was no ordinary quilt shop. Tawnee shared her vision of creating a safe and inclusive space where people from all backgrounds and skill levels could come together to explore their love for sewing and crafting. It was inspiring to hear how her efforts had touched the lives of those who had previously felt excluded or lacked confidence in their creative abilities. Through her welcoming environment, Tawnee has truly transformed the way people perceive the sewing world.
Tawnee's shop defies the traditional image of a quilt store. Instead, it offers a curated selection of products that align with her values and supports small businesses within the community. Tawnee's shop is not limited to sewing supplies; it offers an array of unique gifts and products that appeal to a wide range of interests. From fabrics to candles, coloring books to puzzles, every item in the store has been thoughtfully chosen to provide customers with a diverse and delightful shopping experience. By stepping through the doors of Tawnee's store, visitors can uncover a hidden gem within downtown Renton. It's a place where creativity and community intersect, and where unexpected treasures await. Tawnee's emphasis on collaboration and supporting local artisans sets her store apart from the rest and adds a unique charm to downtown Renton.
Downtown Renton is more than just a collection of businesses—it's a tight-knit community that supports and uplifts one another. Tawnee shared how the pandemic and ongoing construction projects had brought the downtown business owners closer together. They rallied around each other, recognizing that their collective success was intertwined. The sense of camaraderie and mutual support in downtown Renton is palpable, making it a truly special place to live, work, and shop.
In a world saturated with online shopping, Tawnee emphasizes the power of word-of-mouth recommendations. By telling a friend about her store, we can help spread the word and support the vibrant downtown Renton community. Encouraging others to visit Tawnee's shop not only exposes them to a welcoming space but also contributes to the growth and success of local businesses. Let's come together as a community to celebrate and support the wonderful spaces that make Renton so unique.
My conversation with Tawnee Kinnebrew was truly inspiring. Wyldwood Creative is more than just a crafting store—it's a haven for creativity, community, and conscious consumption. Tawnee's commitment to inclusivity, sustainability, and supporting local artists sets Wyldwood Creative apart and makes it a cherished gem in Downtown Renton. Whether you're an experienced crafter or just starting your creative journey, I highly recommend visiting Wyldwood Creative and immersing yourself in the warm and welcoming atmosphere that Tawnee has cultivated and become a part of the vibrant Renton community. Together, let's celebrate the transformative power of embracing diversity and uplifting one another!
Remember to support your local businesses and embrace your creativity.