Michelle Darling travels in two circles: the world of arts and crafts and the world of community. This spring, she brought those worlds together in a 2,000-square foot space in downtown Charlotte.
Darling's new business Creatively Mi at 129 S. Cochran answers her calling to build community by bringing people together through the pursuit of arts and crafts. So far, she's offered both public and private classes in painting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, wood burning, and craft-style classes for kids. Plans are in the works for scrap booking and painting furniture. She also offers the supplies and intel people need to create on-site or at home.
"As I've gotten older, I've found interests that keep me inspired," says Darling. "And I got my chance to turn my passion into a business."
Darling was born and raised in Charlotte. She moved away for a few years when she came of age, then moved back so she could be closer to her family again. She earned her associate degree in graphic design from Lansing Community College, and works as a web master for a Lansing company.
"I've been artsy and creative my whole life," says Darling. "And when I came back home, I decided I wanted to help build the Charlotte community. There's so much going on here now."
While out and about in her community activities, Darling heard many people looking for entertainment-based options. Creatively Mi, she says, fits that niche by providing a gathering space for people to take classes, pursue a hobby, or find a new past-time.
Creatively Mi can accommodate 60 to 100 people seated at artfully arranged tables. To add to the creative ambiance, Darling painted a large mural in the theme of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" on one wall, and smaller mural with circles on another. A third wall is white, while the fourth is "interactive," with customers welcome to sign their names.
Darling currently works with five instructors. She plans to bring on a few more as well as a staff member in the next few months based on interest and need. Creatively Mi will hold a grand opening the weekend of June 17.
Source: Michelle Darling, Owner, Creatively Mi
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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