Story and photo by Samantha B. Koss
Special to the Mountaineer
An all handmade arts and crafts shop, bursting with creativity and a rustic theme, opened May 17 in the Mini-Mall.
The Tumbleweeds artisan gift shop showcases the talent flowing from the military community through beaded jewelry, 4th Infantry Division-stamped baby bibs and camouflaged purses displayed on wooden tables, desks and pallets.
“We are trying to bring arts and crafts back on post,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson. “It’s a good thing for Families and Soldiers … and it’s a great way to learn and grow.”
Tumbleweeds offers artists a place to promote their skills.
“There wasn’t a place for people to go and get that inner artist out,” said Jackie Place, president of the board of directors, Tumbleweeds. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for Family members who do handcrafted work a place to sell their things.”
The shop currently sells items from 18 consigners who have increased the store’s selection since its soft opening in April.
“We are starting to get more and more items in every day,” Place said.
Many arts and crafts shops on other installations are funded by Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, but Tumbleweeds is a 501c3 nonprofit organization run by volunteers.
“We decided to go the nonprofit route so we can roll that money back into art projects and classes,” Place said.
Artists conduct classes in the back room of the store. Earlier in the year, store officials hosted a “Cocktails and Canvas” class for couples to learn how to paint on canvases as well as a similar class called “Cookies and Canvas” for children.
“This store gives Soldiers and Family members a place to shop for uniquely crafted items, an opportunity to consign items and make a little money, and also a place to learn,” said Sheryl Stall, wife of Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, senior enlisted leader, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson. “Every time I come in here there is something new and different.”
Along with arts and crafts, Tumbleweeds plans to offer a scholarship with future earnings.
“We are now thinking that we may be able to offer a scholarship by the end of our first year, which we were not expecting,” Place said.
Eighty percent of profits go to the consigner of the item while 20 percent goes back into the business and the scholarship fund.
Tumbleweeds summer hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday and Saturday. The store is open
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.