Let your inner artist dabble

By Pamela Savage

Dabble is Springfield’s newest, one-of-a-kind, do-it-yourself arts and crafts venue. It is a business forged by family and created for the community.

Sisters Ashley Striplin and Amanda Terry came up with the concept of a community-based arts-and-crafts venue following Terry’s travels through China. While living in China for three years, she noticed DIY shops that were accessible, fun and conveniently located amongst Chinese communities. When Terry shared her experiences with Stripin, the sisters knew that they wanted this type of shop in Springfield. Terry’s artistic and creative background combined with Striplin’s business and real estate work made them the perfect teammates in opening Dabble.

A true family business, Dabble’s location at 614 North Grand Ave. East was opened with the help of the sister’s parents and grandfather. The family pitched in to get the space cleaned, renovated and ready for business before it opened in March 2023.

The concept of family doesn’t limit itself to biology for Striplin and Terry. Both sisters care about helping and engaging with the community they serve. Recently, six boys made their way into Dabble, asking if there were any projects that they could complete for free. Rather than turn them away, Striplin offered the boys the chance to work for an hour sweeping floors and sorting beads, in exchange for time creating in the studio. Once their projects were complete, the boys opted to display their work for sale at Dabble, and the proceeds from those pieces went toward supporting future trips to Dabble.

This experience led Striplin to develop a Dabbler-supported fund for youth who would like to come in and craft, regardless of the expense. Dabble also offers varied projects at price points that are accessible for anyone interested.

Not confident in your artistic abilities? No problem. Striplin explained that Dabble is very much about creative freedom. Unlike some other arts-and-crafts experiences, there is no set outcome for a Dabble-led craft experience. Customers are encouraged to create works that look the way they want them to look; it is really more about the process than the end result.

Dabble’s always-available artistic offerings include acrylic painting, resin crafts, beading and mini-gardens and terrariums. Dabble also offers unique classes and events such as glow nights, lava lamp workshops an upcoming six-week sketch series and a monthly Dungeons and Dragons night. Coming this fall, Dabble will provide two classes for horror costume makeup in preparation for Halloween.

Dabble is available to host crafting birthday parties for kids ages five and up, and a summer camp is offered every Tuesday in June and July for students ages 10-17. But while there are many offerings for kids, Dabble is an adults-only space after 7 p.m., and customers are invited to bring their own beverages to enjoy while they work.

Dabble is open for walk-in crafting Wednesday through Sunday and available for reservations on Monday and Tuesday.

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