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Let’s face it — a lot of us aren’t crafty. At our best, our attempts to make something out of nothing end up looking like a fourth-grader’s art project. At our worst we’d be lucky to end up in a photo gallery of Pinterest fails.

A relatively new Madison business aims to change all that, with a simple concept that takes all the pressure out of crafting and replaces it with a relaxing, feel-good atmosphere designed to inspire.

The Crafty Project is the brainchild on Jenny Gatzke. While Gatzke has been teaching crafting classes in the area since the beginning of the year, The Crafty Project is just now getting a dedicated studio space, with a grand opening scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at 312 North 3rd St. in Madison.

A former buyer for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Ark., as well as an account manager for Disney, Gatzke understands retail. When she and her family moved to Madison three years ago to take advantage of a career opportunity available to her husband, Gatzke opted to take a break from corporate America and be a stay-at-home mom to their two young boys.

However, she never lost the itch to have something of her own, to say nothing of her passion for crafting and being a merchant, she says.

Late last year, Gatzke started making reclaimed wood signs to give as gifts to family and friends. When they saw the signs, they encouraged her to sell the signs, as well.

“Late one night, as I painted in my basement I thought, this would be so much more fun with friends, and the idea was born,” Gatzke says. “I had my first official party in late January with the awesome ladies of the Madison Moms Blog and it has just grown from there!”

Gatzke says she was able rent a small studio space for several months to host classes but she’s quickly outgrown the space, which necessitated the move to a more permanent home.


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