We had the good fortune of connecting with Delanie Holton-Fessler, MEd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Delanie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After working as an artist and teaching art for ten years, I wanted to create a community that supported community and craft. We started small, a 650 sq ft storefront with one table. We started hosting classes for kids and adults and C&a grew from there.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My husband and I opened The Craftsman & Apprentice in the summer of 2014 in a 600 sq ft store front in City Park West. We didn’t have a clear idea of what the shop would become but we knew that we wanted to make things with people. Running a business is all about learning as you go, recognizing what works and what doesn’t and meeting the needs of our community. Seven years later, the shop has become a hub for people (mainly children) to gather and create. In non-pandemic times, we host workshops, camps and classes with a focus on classic arts and crafts. We partner with schools and organizations to provide hands-on curriculum. This year has posed unique challenges and we’ve had to pivot to focus on providing kits, supplies and at-home maker support. We’ve recently reopened and are looking forward to our 8th summer camp season. I am especially excited for my book launch on Feb. 23rd. Writing Maker Camp: Heritage Crafts and Skill Building Projects for Kids has been the greatest accomplishments of my life. The book is a representation of all that we do here at the shop and my deep love for education and children.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ooh, I love this question. Times are weird but I would for sure take my people to soak in a hot springs (Mt. Princeton and Strawberry Park are two of my favorites). We’d hang at City Park, go to breakfast at Portside, grab coffee at Lula Rose and maybe plan a few studio visits with friends like Bonnie Gregory, Noah Manos, and Nikki Pike. We’ve recently renovated a 1965 a-frame cabin in Nederland. Ned is a sweet little mountain town with loads of hiking trails, a ghost town, and Eldora for skiing. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutouts to the Denver maker and educator communities that have supported us always. My family, my publisher, Roost Books and our staff.
Raine Chism (family and headshot) Delanie Holton (Book and shop)