“Why not bring the arts and crafts to customers?” thought Gabriela Schwender and Deborah Scalcione, who together run Long Island Crafty Ones, a mobile and traveling workshop based in Rocky Point.
Now such an idea is a reality.
The duo, who both describe themselves as passionate about creativity and craftwork said the idea to create the mobile workshop came to fruition a year ago. They decided to join forces after Schwender posted a message on Facebook looking for someone to collaborate with on crafts.
Initially the pair looked at retail frontage in the Rocky Point area but realized it wasn’t a good fit.
“We looked at a number of storefronts, but the rent was too expensive, we just couldn’t afford it,” Scalcione said. “After that we were, like, ‘Why don’t we go to the people and travel around?’”
From there, the duo purchased an RV and decided to convert the inside into their workplace area.
Schwender said they work closely with their clients to see what they are looking for.
“We bring everything to them, and they are surprised when we tell them we can come to them,” she said.
Scalcione said that they really try to customize customers experiences. She mentioned a recent birthday party they had worked at.
“It was an older girl’s birthday, and before we asked what she likes, her mother said she really likes to drink coffee and we thought why not marble some coffee mugs,” Scalcione said. “It turned out to be great — they had a lot of fun.”
Schwender said they started out slow due to people not necessarily knowing what they offered, but the feedback they have gotten from customers has been positive.
“They are amazed with what we bring and what we offer,” she said. “They can’t believe we have an RV and think it’s a great idea.”
Scalcione mentioned their services cater to children and adults.
Recently, the partners joined the Rocky Point Sound Beach Chamber of Commerce and said the connections with other businesses have very been helpful.
For the fall season, the pair will have a table every weekend at the Bakewicz Farms Fall Festival in Wading River, doing face paintings and customizing “Toy Story” figurines that fit in with the local festival’s theme.
In addition, the duo said they offer workshops aimed at a multitude of skill sets and they plan on offering seasonal craft sessions for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“We really want [everybody] to be excited about crafting and get them to make something on their own,” Schwender said. “We want to help build up your skills.”
Scalcione said she is glad they are getting more exposure and more people are finding what they do. The duo hopes to continue expanding and possibly buy a second RV or a bigger vehicle.
“I think it is a lost art — we really want people to work with their hands and seeing what they can create,” she said.