Casey and Jilaine Freeman’s new boutique in Indianola offers visitors a space to learn new skills and Iowa artisans to showcase and sell their crafts.
Creator’s Collab, located at 105 S Howard St. south of Town Square, opened on May 12 and held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, May 27. The shop sells a wide variety of crafts created by the Freemans and other artists and artisans with whom they have made connections.
Jilaine said they were driven to open their business by the desire to get involved in the community and share what they love with other people. Previously, the building was occupied for a short time by Copper + Fringe Beauty Co., which is now around the corner in the plaza.
“(Casey) always wanted to have a brick and mortar building, but I think it all really came together three months ago when that space opened up,” Jilaine said. “We had the money and we had the time, so it all fell into place.”
The store’s shelves are stocked with a variety of items from Iowa artists. A set of welded-on miniature sculptures by Grimes artist and carpenter Larry Goodwin sit on the store’s center table while resin artwork hangs on the wall across the room.
Jilaine said Casey’s tattoo artist Lorelei Bevins sent them paintings to sell in the store and that they were looking to sell products from Red dragon herbs and teas in the near future.
Casey said opening their first business together was “scary”, but said it was great to help contribute to the community, as business owners.
Along with the other artisans, the two Freemans also offer their own crafts and hobbies for sale in the store.
Jilaine took over crochet during the pandemic and moved her crafts, including crochet stuffed animals, to the shelves at Creator’s Collab.
“I am a very visual learner and looked for tutorials on YouTube,” she said.
Casey started wood carving and wood burning as a hobby years ago after learning to work with wood. The store has a variety of own-made items for sale, including canes, large wooden dice, and intricate woodburned pictures and signs. He also made the wood floors for the store.
“My dad made me work with wood – he’s been a carpenter all of my life,” Casey said. “He’s always tinkered with things, or always allowed me to destroy things so that I can put them back together.”
Casey called the burning of wood a “Zen thing,” saying it calms him down, but he always created things. He said he used to try to sell his crafts on Facebook.
“I always wanted to have my stuff in a store and wondered if my stuff was worth it,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to give others the opportunity to put their stuff in a place to sell it too.”
Both said they wanted their store to be their first step in giving back to the community in their own way. Jilaine said this effort will begin with holding workshops in the store where people can learn the same trades they have for sale in the showroom.
“Since we’ve been stuck at home for a year, I wanted to give people a chance to go out and move around,” Casey said.
He said workshops could include classes in 3D printing, resin working, wood burning, ceramics, candle making, glassblowing or simple painting with the artists the store works with. . He said he wanted the workshops to be places where people can learn new skills.
The couple have yet to schedule workshops, but they want to organize one for the end of the month. Jilaine said they expect the classes to be open to 6-8 people who have answered the call and possibly occur once or twice a week.
She said they also hope to eventually expand into the community and sell at the National Balloon Classic or the Iowa State Fair as well.
George Shillcock is the Des Moines southern suburbs reporter for the Register and reporter for the weekly Indianola Record-Herald. He can be contacted at [email protected] and on Twitter @ShillcockGeorge.