Updated Monday, Jan. 13, 2020

AR Workshop is holding its grand opening Saturday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., according to the business's Facebook page.  

AR Workshop, a studio business that teaches crafts and home decor techniques, among other things, is planning a Sept. 20 grand opening in Auburn.

The Keahey family owners plan to offer an entertaining do-it-yourself experience and venue for the community to enjoy.

Auburn's AR Workshop will offer residents the opportunity to construct a plethora of wooden, jewelry and textile do-it-yourself projects, including decorative trays, signs, clocks and blankets, Auburn AR Workshop proprietor Kimeran Keahey said.

“We’re always looking for something fun to do, and why not Auburn?” Keahey said. “We are super excited because I don’t think there’s anything on the scale like us. It’s a boutique, do-it-yourself workshop where we use raw materials to make home items and accessories. It’s an entertainment and class venue.”

Located at 1214 Ogletree Village Lane, the shop will provide three-hour instructional courses with an extensive variety of wood, jewelry and textile projects for children and adults, Kimeran Keahey said.

“AR Workshop feels like a family-oriented business,” Kimeran Keahey said. “Last month, it was 139 franchises. They created the first workshop and got it running in 2016. These ladies are talented, and for them to invite you in, allow you to be a part of the creative process and teach what they know to take it to your community, it was my thing.”

Searching for a creative outlet conducive to caring for her four children, Kimeran Keahey said she discovered co-founders Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff’s AR Workshop franchise established in Pineville, North Carolina.

Something different

“What appeals to me the most is everything that comes out of this shop is going to be different from what other people are making,” Kimeran Keahey said. “We can do just about any wood project, and we can take personalized images to put on canvas and wooden projects. We have trays, lazy susans and clocks. We stamp jewelry, and we do chunky knit blankets in the fall.”

Kimeran said the cost of the course is determined by the scope of the project and the age of the student.

“Our youth projects could be anywhere from $35 to $45, jewelry is more in the $30 to $35 range and the adult workshops where we are doing wood signs and clocks could be anywhere from $65 to $85,” Kimeran said. “It will go up and down, depending on what project we do. We have some pet beds. That’s going to be a more expensive product because there’s a lot to put together in a three-hour window.”

The AR Workshop will have summer camps for kids and specialty workshops hosted by local chefs and entrepreneurs.

“I’m looking forward to partnering with some chefs and business owners that can help us with specialty workshops,” Kimeran said. “There’s a charcuterie class that we could offer. We could do a wine tasting, wine and cheese pairing and cookie decorating. With the talent we have in Auburn, there are so many opportunities to bring in talent and learn from them as well.”

'An integral part'

Kimeran emphasized a desire to utilize her creative skills as a former architect in the workshop to be essential part of the Auburn community.

“I’m excited to be back here in Ogletree Village,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and we have lots of room to play. There are lots of opportunities as we partner with other businesses. You might see us pop up at downtown events. We hope to be able to start doing that soon, so we can get our name out there, introducing ourselves to people in the community.”

Her 13-year-old son Connor Keahey shared a similar eagerness to craft projects with friends and meet new patrons.

“It’s exciting, and I cannot wait until it opens,” Connor said. “I’m going to be able to meet quite a few new people. I’m going to be helping out. During that time, I could end up socializing with them more and getting to know them better. You can spend the day with friends.”

For potential patrons wanting more information on Auburn’s first AR Workshop, they can visit its website at www.arworkshop.com/auburn.

“We want to be involved and do fundraisers,” Kimeran said. “We want to be an integral part of the community, and we want to know if there is anything we can do to help. We want people to reach out to us because I’m going to be reaching out to them as well, so we can make the most of the AR Workshop.”

Kimeran Keahey can be reached at (334) 539-8057 or auburn@arworkshop.com.

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