Born of a Mother’s Love
The Story of The Handwork Studio
The Handwork Studio is a nationally recognized organization that centers on handwork education.
We empower children, families, and communities through experiential learning. We encourage children during their creative journey to develop a sense of pride by being kind to themselves and others, accept mistakes, and fearlessly explore their ideas. Our core values are grounded in trust, care, education, and creativity.
We strive to be an inclusive and diverse community committed to creating a holistic environment where all members feel included, respected, and celebrated.
From a Kitchen Table to a Thriving National Brand
The Handwork Studio's story begins much like you've found it today—with intertwining nutrients of love, imagination, and wonderment. On a much smaller scale, of course. My name is Laura Kelly, and much like you, I found myself in a situation familiar to working grown-ups: sending my two kids off to preschool for the first time, hoping that the environment would care and nurture my kids as much as I wished that I could.
I took my two kids Ryan, then 5, and Devon, then 4, to a preschool run out of a church basement. In other words, it wasn't much to look at. But when we stepped inside, I was overwhelmed with abundance. The littlest hands were grinding millet to make muffins; the older kids were knitting by hand. Little did I know then that as this sense of comfort washed over me, I would eventually leave my job in corporate America to facilitate small moments of happiness just like this on a much larger scale.
But, it began at my kitchen table. With the neighborhood, all were invited over to learn with their hands and activate their imaginations. Children of all ages were welcome. It soon became apparent we would need a larger space, and I knew a thing or two about business plans, so The Handwork Studio was born. Since then, our business has grown to camps in over five states and reflects over two decades of mixing childhood development with a love of making things with our hands.
Today I find myself in my role as the CEO & President, where I am fortunate to report that The Handwork Studio is currently facilitating growth for children all over the country. That's the thing about us—we're still holding on to the magic of what began in my kitchen. Thank you for making us a part of your life.
Did you know?
The Handwork Studio is a thriving national brand. We serve thousands of youth across the US with our face-to-face classes, our curriculum and trainings are used in after school and enrichment programs across the country and we partnered with Simplicity Patterns to create the first-ever sewing machine pattern for kids. If that's not cool, we don't know what is!
Years of Teaching Kids Hands-On Skills
Campers Every Summer
Learning the handwork studio way
- The Basics
- Get Comfortable
- Learn to Commit
- Be Courageous
- discover capabilities
- Master Confidence
Our one-of-a-kind camp plan is crafted to introduce campers to a wide range of skills in a fun and challenging way. We believe everyone can unlock their creative potential if they have the right tools, guidance, and support behind them. With our proven process, campers will go on a journey through the stages of Comfort, Commitment, Courage, Capabilities and Confidence. They’ll learn not just what they can do, but what they can achieve!
When kids head off to camp, they’re nervous about meeting all new people. It’s so hard to learn something new when you feel that way. But with our trained counselors, the campers quickly learn that these new friends will become some of their greatest summertime memories. We’ll take the day to play games, tell stories and set the tone so that kids will be comfortable to create.
On this day, campers will take the next step in finding their own creative voice. In a morning full of artistic inspiration and educational adventure, they’ll discover how to take the lead on a creative plan and hold themselves accountable–the first of many lessons that extends beyond camp.
Learning something new is a confidence building challenge made to stretch your young campers mind. Our counselors are here to encourage them to be courageous, to work through frustration and to take a risk or three. Because breakthroughs are on the other side of encouragement and confidence.
By the fourth day, campers might just start to feel like a pro. Counselors have guided your child through ups and downs and now it’s time for them to take their newfound confidence and discover what else they can do!
After a week of imaginative and creative expression, we invite your child to share the marvels they have found inside themselves. By encouraging them to find joy in the process, The Handwork Studio helps cultivate creative leaders with skills that will carry them throughout a lifetime.