Saturday August 6th
3-10pm at both Wholly Craft! and Surprise!
Bust out your summer caftans, friends! The retro beach party themed Grand Opening of Surprise Modern Party + Cocktail Goods is next Saturday! Join us from 3-10pm for giveaways, snacks, tiny cocktail umbrellas, and best of all: a party bus shuttle!
Hop on the bus every hour on the hour at Wholly Craft and head down to Gallery Hop to check out Surprise at 941 N. High St. The shuttle runs from 3-10pm and is family friendly until 6pm then 21 & over after 6pm. Enjoy a beachy cocktail and snacks while you check out the new store!
Partygoers on the shuttle will receive swag bags (while supplies last) and we’ll have giveaways at both stores all night! Take a spin of the Sur-PRIZE wheel with every purchase and receive extra prizes and discounts every time!
At Surprise, you can borrow a muumuu for a memorable pose in the photo booth and enjoy beach tunes by our DJ. And at Wholly Craft, you can earn your degree from Googly Eye University hosted by Craftin Outlaws. Open admissions!
Wear your sunscreen and see you Saturday!
Are you engaging, independent, and looking to work with great customers?
Be a retail magician!
Wholly Craft and our new sister store, Surprise Modern Party, are looking for friendly, customer-oriented individuals to join our business! As a retail magician at Wholly Craft or Surprise, you’ll work independently with the support of a great staff and customers you’ll want to take home to mom. The position calls for 12-24 hours per week. Availability on select weekday afternoons and most weekends is a must.
Love working with customers and making them happy
Have a warm, engaging, and positive personality
Are self-motivated and looking to grow with a small business
Thrive working independently
Like making magic for your customers
A flexible and independent work environment
An easy-going and fun-loving customer base
A creative and stimulating atmosphere
Competitive hourly wages
Paid training and room for growth
Wholly Craft features handmade gifts from over 400 crafters and artists. In addition to handmade gifts, Wholly Craft has been helping people find the perfect gifts since 2005. The shop is located in Clintonville and also hosts craft-based workshops and special events.
Surprise is a modern party store featuring party supplies and cocktail accessories opening in the Short North in just a few weeks.
Please submit a resume and a brief paragraph explaining why you want to work at Wholly Craft and/or Surprise via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include your general availability and desired number of hours per week. Applications will be reviewed and interviews conducted starting July 28th, so apply soon! This posting will be removed when the position is filled.
Want to do something extra special and kinda unforgettable for your sweetie for Valentine's Day? Have your Valentine delivered via giant cat!
YES! A giant cat in a pink dress will come to your sweetie’s home or workplace to deliver:
* a locally made, single-sourced Ohiyo Chocolate Bar
* a Valentine card from Wholly Craft!
* a small floral bouquet from Eco Flora Designs
Cost: $65 (Upgrades available to a medium or large floral arrangement and/or a gift certificate to Wholly Craft!)
Deliveries will be made on Friday February 12th between 9am and 3pm. Must be within 5 miles of I-270. Spaces are extremely limited! To book a delivery, please email email@example.com by 12pm on Wednesday, February 10th with the following information:
Your Email Address:
Residence or Business Delivery:
Company Name (if delivering to a business):
AM or PM:
Special Instructions for Delivery (i.e. sign in at front desk):
Message for Valentine Card:
Cost: $65 (invoice will be emailed)
Available Upgrades: +$30 for medium floral arrangement in vase, +$50 for large floral arrangement in vase, + any $ amount gift certificate to Wholly Craft! (Just let us know in the email if you want any of these upgrades!)
We're making room for a fresh crop of handmade goods for 2016! Find select goods 30-50% off from January 23-31st. Get yourself something nice to get through the winter!
It's that time again! Join us for Midnight Madness on Saturday December 12th from 7pm to 12am! Midnight Madness is a sale, party, and open house rolled into one--you'd never think holiday shopping could be SO MUCH FUN! Here's what to expect:
First 50 people in the door will receive a tote bag with swag from our vendors! We'll start handing out line numbers at 6:30 (you can leave but you must be back in line on time to receive your bag!) Head down to Global Gallery for a coffee on us and hop back to the shop by 6:55 to get in line, get your swag bag, and come in for madness at 7pm!
Free Holiday Ape Photo Booth 8-10pm! Bring a camera or let us take your pic with the one and only Holiday Ape!
10% off holiday cards and ornaments all night long! Rotating hourly sales--everything will go on sale at some point in the evening! The sale schedule will be published in our email newsletter the day of the event!
Chocolate Fountain! Yums!
Door Prizes every hour!
Spend $100 and receive a free Wholly Craft tshirt (while supplies last)!
If you only visit us once a year--this is the night to do it! Remember we'll be celebrating with sales, prizes, and chocolate until MIDNIGHT. (Though the Ape goes home at 10pm--even apes have curfews.)
Why is Wholly Craft thriving? Because the people that work here are awesome. Right now, we have the best staff ever – a crack team of rowdy ladies that genuinely care about helping you find the perfect gift. We’ve come a long way from the beginning when, for years, it was just me behind the counter.
Despite the fact I always had a second job during the first five years of the store, I was pretty much there everyday (A little bit of Wholly Craft trivia: the reason we were closed on Tuesdays is because I had to work extra late at another job on Monday nights. Even after the job ended, the closing day stuck because our customers were used to it!) I really enjoyed all of my side jobs, but the store was always my passion. It rarely felt like work to communicate with our vendors and help neighbors find gifts for special occasions. This is the part I miss most about not being behind the counter every day anymore.
We really didn’t build a staff until a few years ago, when I was first thinking about having a baby. I really admire (the mostly mythical) women that can “do it all,” but I knew that wasn’t me. I’d have to have more steady staff support at the store in order to raise a kid and still run the business.
And last year when we added staff for the new store, we made a big change: for the first time ever, Wholly Craft had a manager! Jen has brought to the business everything we needed: organization, excellent staff communication and training, attention to detail, and so much more. She has made us way more efficient and capable of handling the volume we work with today. And she totally keeps me on track which is a really difficult task! She deserves all the praise as do the rest of our amazing staff:
Heather has been with us the longest and she has built awesome relationships with so many of our regulars. I remember a day when Heather was a little shy behind the counter, so it has been great to see her grow into this role and feel comfortable treating our customers like old friends. Also she has great stories and opinions, so talking to her is always a treat! I’m glad she can give our customers that experience and I feel like she’s absolutely a part of who we are.
Amy is just flat out amazing. She’s warm, funny, and my partner describes her as the nicest person he’s ever met. And we can always tell when she’s worked a shift because the whole store looks fantastic. She has a great eye and works some merchandising magic for us every week!
Molly is probably the coolest person I know. She’s genuine, smart, laid back, and we’re lucky to have her here on Saturday mornings. Her enthusiasm is always there, even when it’s a cold and dreary Saturday, and she’s so much fun to work with. Fun fact: Molly booked all the awesome entertainment for our anniversary party and for the after party, we’re going to see her own band play at Rumba Café!
Elise is one of our newest hires and she is just wildly impressive. She just jumped right in with great ideas and a work ethic to match. In addition to the fabulous idea to work with Lineage on a 10th anniversary craft beer, she also had the idea to create a cat head cutout to use at the party. Then she made it! I also like to joke that Elise keeps us bitties young and up on what the kids are doing these days. (snapchat?! what's a snapchat?)
Beth is our other newest hire and she’s our go-to person for crafty needs and special events. Kids love her at birthday parties and adults love crafting with her at our monthly Pinterest Parties. She’s like Martha Stewart with a very distinctly Wholly Craft flavor. And she did an amazing job on all the decorations for the party!
So, that’s our amazing staff who absolutely deserve a little gushing about in this 10th anniversary blog gushfest. I hope you can join us all on Saturday for the big celebration!
Bear with me here. It’s not the pads themselves that we’re celebrating (although they are great!), it’s the fact we make them available. When I feel pressure from increased competition in the handmade marketplace, I think to myself “well, no one would ever carry washable menstrual pads.” When we first opened the doors ten years ago, there was no other place in the city to find the goods we were carrying. If you wanted handmade, locally-made gifts, you came here. Now I joke that you can’t throw a handmade bar of soap without hitting a store selling locally made artisan goods. Even stores whose focus isn’t gift retail are making room for handmade goods:
“We’re a tire store but we also have a selection of locally made bath and body care.”
“We primarily serve pickled vegetables but we also have a fine array of locally made jewelry”
And don’t get me wrong here - I absolutely believe that an expanding marketplace is a fantastic thing. It allows our vendors a better shot at making a living doing what they love and it gets more consumers excited about choosing handmade over mass produced goods. It is most definitely a win. And selling some of the same brands and goods as a dozen other stores just means that we have to work harder and smarter than ever before to stand out and I genuinely do love a challenge. It’s the same type of challenge our vendors face - there’s not just one soap maker, greeting card designer, or scarf knitter, there are dozens locally and thousands across the country. Our vendors are challenged everyday to make their own products stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace and we’re all better business owners for it.
From time to time we experience the same lows that our vendors feel, like why I am still doing this, there’s like a million people that do this better than me, etc. And in our case, because in retail years a decade is a lifetime, I, like many of our long time crafters ask: are we a dinosaur? are we irrelevant? It’s sometimes tough to stay motivated and confident in your place in the world. So when I do go into doubt mode, I really do think about those darn washable menstrual pads. Why? Because in a weird way, they represent the something that’s different about our business.
Let’s take a quick minute to talk about washable menstrual pads. The name pretty much says it all - they are handmade cloth pads that are designed to be worn during your period, washed, and used again and again, reducing the waste created by producing and discarding disposable pads. Over the course of a decade, we’ve given that explanation hundreds of times to folks who had just never heard of them before. And it’s quite the conversation starter. Women sometimes don’t feel comfortable talking openly about their periods in public spaces, but here we were suddenly talking flow, predictability, and the nuances of bleeding for several days straight. Other customers would jump in with their own stories and suddenly a shop of full of strangers were sharing something intimate. And it was never about selling the washable menstrual pads - they are not for everyone - it was just about letting people know they exist and starting that conversation. Although we definitely inspired a few devotees over the years! And Moonpads has been our vendor of choice for a decade.
So when I’m struck with a worry that our place in the world in shrinking, I think about those conversations and products and what they mean about our business. We’re not afraid to present alternatives, to bring something to the marketplace that may be off-putting at first, that may require a conversation. We’re not afraid to take risks, to make jokes, to offer a handmade product assortment that often features fun, irreverent takes on life. I’m pretty sure we’re the only handmade store that has an adult section. Are the beautifully letterpressed and hilariously dirty cards there for everyone? Certainly not. But they are definitely something that sets us apart.
Of course we have gorgeous, heirloom quality, locally made gifts. But a lot of places do. I don’t know exactly what keeps folks coming back to our shop year after year, but I feel like our particular slant on the handmade marketplace has something to do with it. It makes me rest assured of our place in the world. I’m genuinely proud of what we’ve built here, what makes us a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. We have good intentions and we like to have a good time and thankfully our customers share that sensibility.
We always say amongst ourselves that we have the best customers on Earth. We almost whisper it, incredulous, hoping that saying it aloud won’t reverse the strange magic that surrounds our daily customer interactions. So, it’s only appropriate for our 10th anniversary to offer an ode to the consistently amazing customers that make this job worth doing.
Somehow, we really lucked out. Almost all of us on staff at Wholly Craft have a background in customer service, so we’ve seen it all in terms of customer experiences. But the bad stuff just doesn’t happen here. Theft is rare, parents speak lovingly to their children, folks are patient with us, and everyone seems genuinely excited about their purchases. Maybe it’s the joy of hunting down a special gift for a loved one, maybe it’s the laid back culture of Clintonville, maybe it’s the appeal of handmade luring a certain kind of person into our doors, or most likely, it’s a mix of all those things. Whatever the special recipe is, we’re thankful we hit upon it because the daily engagements we have with our customers really make our jobs a pleasure.
Over the course of a decade, we’ve grown up alongside so many of our customers. In some cases, we’ve watched relationships go from early dates to first holidays together to shared living spaces to marriages to children. We help choose the gifts brought to a first visit with a new partner’s family then a few years later we help choose art prints for a new house or a nursery. It’s been wild and so rewarding to have a peek into good people’s lives.
So, now we’re going to break the fourth wall of retail and share some customer stories. My personal favorite involves a long time customer who was shopping for an anniversary gift for her husband in the old location. She picked something out and headed downstairs to the Supply Closet. Meanwhile her husband comes in and buys her anniversary gift while she’s just downstairs! We were all giddy about the adorableness of this, and when she came back the following week for an unrelated gift, I couldn’t resist sharing what happened. She appreciated the sweetness of the coincidence but also mentioned that they had not yet actually exchanged anniversary presents. So, I kinda sorta ruined the surprise of their anniversary gifts. Thankfully, our customers are the forgiving type.
Crafty kids are tops amongst our favorite customers. I remember a young woman, maybe 12 or so, coming to our grand opening celebration a decade ago so excited about a place to find handmade things and vintage craft supplies. She was an avid crafter, super creative and talented, and quickly became a regular. She’s one we watched grow up. Now she’s in college on the west coast and still comes back to the store every summer to shop for gifts and crafty materials in the Supply Closet. Another crafty kid we love comes in every week to do the kids craft during the Farmers Market. One week he mentioned that he loved owls and wished he could do an owl craft. Coincidentally, we had an owl craft that week and he was SO EXCITED. On the way out he casually mentioned, “maybe next week, dinosaurs?” You bet we had a dinosaur craft waiting for him the next Saturday.
And finally, recently, a woman about 20 years old came in to buy a bunch of feminist stickers. She said that her mom used to drag her into the store as a kid to expose her to all the feminist stuff and she was mortified by it all, as any tween dragged somewhere by her parents would be. But now, as an adult, she was “of course a feminist” and loved coming to the new location to buy fun feminist gifts for her friends. I was working in the back and listening to her have this conversation with one of our staff and I maybe, totally, cried. Our customers are really the best.
In the 10 days leading up to our big anniversary celebration on Saturday, October 17th, we'd love to share some of the reason we're celebrating #10yearsofcraft! These are the things that keep us coming back to the shop day after day, year after year, and NOW decade after decade.
Collaborating with our awesome vendors!
One of the best things about being in business for a decade has been watching our crafters’ and artists’ businesses grow and change over time. When we first opened, we had 40 vendors, a mish mash of folks we had met in the burgeoning local craft community and through this new website (still in beta) called Etsy. Ten years later, we work with 400 vendors – artists we met traveling around the region doing craft shows, crafters who connected with us through social media and word of mouth, and many more that just walked through our doors.
This anniversary month, we’re looking forward to collaborating with one of our favorite vendors of all time – Alison Rose! Nick and Alison Nocera are the hardest working couple I know and also, somehow magically, the sweetest. We’ve collaborated countless times over the years and each time we get together to plot something, it seems like we have twelve different things to talk about. This month, Alison Rose is hosting their super fun Monster Mash event at Wholly Craft on October 24th. Local artists design Halloween totes which are screen printed onsite and decorated by the kids. Families are encouraged to come in costume and 100% of the proceeds are donated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I take my own little guy each year and it really feels like a neighborhood Halloween party. We’re so excited to be a part of it this year!
PLUS Alison Rose will be printing up all of our Wholly Craft tshirts and totes for the Anniversary Party on the 17th. (The first 50 people in the door get a tote and mystery prize!) And they’ll be on hand all night live screen printing commemorative koozies for all the revelers. A huge thank you to Alison Rose and all our vendors that make this job feel like a party everyday!