• Last modified 333 days ago (June 22, 2023)


New arts and crafts store seeks to be a haven

Staff writer

Two longtime crafters, Lori McLinden and Barbara Alleven, met at Art in the Park in Marion last fall and decided to join forces and open a shop in Marion.

When the operators of a former quilt shop at 329 E. Main St. indicated they were closing, the women leased the building. It opened June 2.

“Being next to the hospital auxiliary is a plus,” Alleven said. “They send customers our way.”

Crafty Cactus Studio is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday during the summer.

Hours will change in the fall, when McLinden returns to her job as a librarian at Marion Middle and High School.

The store is filled with the women’s own paintings and crafts, as well as items brought in by consignees. These include ceramics, T-shirts, crocheted baby items, jewelry, paintings, and wall hangings, to name a few.

The store also sells art supplies of all kinds, including ceramics, painting canvasses of various sizes, embroidery thread, and paints.

McLinden and Alleven are making their shop a place where people can come to get away and do something relaxing.

They have dubbed a large workroom at the back of the store a “make and take” space for art classes and individual use.

During business hours, children can come and make something for themselves or for their moms and dads.

“It’s a way to build confidence,” Alleven said. “They see what they can accomplish.”

Customers can arrange arts and crafts events in the workroom for special occasions such as birthday parties, sisters’ days, or other small group activities.

The two women schedule classes in their areas of expertise. McLinden is a painter. Alleven is a crafter. Classes can accommodate 10 or more people.

Other people can come in and use the space to teach their own classes.

The women acknowledge it isn’t a money-making business. They do it for the love of painting and crafting and providing calming activities for area residents.

“We have had great feedback,” McLinden said. “We feel very welcome, that’s for sure.”

McLinden’s mother ran a ceramics store named Hobby Haven in Hillsboro. McLinden said she practically grew up at the store. Her two children were involved in 4-H, and McLinden taught arts and crafts and was involved in the county fair.

“I’ve always been creative,” Alleven said.

Her parents bought her a light-up drawing desk as a child, and she won a drawing contest. She took art classes from Jim Versch in high school and also designed backdrops for school drama productions.

She wanted to be an art teacher. She became a cosmetologist to pay for college but then decided not to go to college. She built her own craft shop near her house and started attending craft fairs to sell her handiwork.

Now, they both work out of the shop in Marion.

“We want to be accommodating,” Alleven said. “We can do custom stuff. We are willing to be taught new things so we can teach them.”

McLinden can be reached at (620) 382-6255. Alleven’s phone number is (316) 644-7572.

Last modified June 22, 2023