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Getting crafty in the warehouse district

Crafted offers timed sessions for drinking and crafting which can be booked through their site. Photo via Crafted.

Students may consider Peoria’s Warehouse District as a place for a caffeine boost at Zion Coffee Bar or to catch a Bradley baseball game at Dozer Park. However, this area is now home to a colorful business where people of all ages can relax and “untwine.”

Crafted DIY Studio and Bar opened on Feb. 28, 2020, and the bright and vibrant atmosphere provides a place for customers to create their own crafts while also enjoying a cocktail or boozeless drink.

The owners, Jodie Vieira and Cliff Vieira, count Peoria among several different cities they have lived in. When moving back to Peoria, they would ask each other what they wanted to do and often found themselves wishing the city had something like a DIY studio. 

“After talking about it for a while, we’re kind of like, ‘Why don’t we do that?’” Jodie Vieira said. “Instead of complaining, instead of wishing for something, why don’t we open one?”

Since the place opened shortly before the nationwide quarantine, Crafted was only open for two weekends before it had to pause service. Customers were canceling their reservations the weekend before non-essential businesses had to close on March 17. 

“I just remember looking around at the beautiful place that we created and feeling totally lost,” Vieira said. “I made a craft that night. It still hangs up because I like to look at it and remember.”

After making that craft, she spent the night getting projects online for people to order and do at home. Crafted still offers crafts for people to do at home by having them shipped or to pick up. Most projects are $38 on Crafted’s website. Additionally, there is a DIY kit, kid friendly projects and cocktail kits also available online.

Crafts include woodworking, leatherwork, home decor — such as painted farmhouse signs, string art and wall hangings — and jewelry. Projects are self-led, and step-by-step instructions with pictures are provided.

Vieira said Crafted gets wood from Lowe’s and other supplies from Hobby Lobby and Amazon. 

The string art and signs are the most popular because the different designs allow more room for personalization. 

Senior health science major Jem Salmon planned a small birthday party for a friend at the studio last month.

“It’s very atmospheric,” Salmon said. “I learned I’m more capable than I thought I was crafting a complex project because of their helpful instructions and staff.” 

The owners suggest that those wanting to craft in the studio make a reservation due to limited capacity and allow three hours for crafting. The total is $35 for all the supplies needed to make a project, and drinks are available for purchase. 

Cocktails are $9-11 and boozeless drinks are $3-9. The cocktails can also be made without the alcohol. Wine, beer and gluten-sensitive options are also available.

The Vieiras also participate in a Drink to Donate program where 50 cents from every drink purchased goes to a local charity, and a different nonprofit is highlighted each month. 

“We wanted to give back to the community that’s supporting our business,” Vieira said. “As soon as we sold our first drink, we were making our first donation … It’s been really rewarding to give back in that way.”

Some organizations the business has donated to include Build Peoria, the Crittenton Center, Easter Seals, Jolt Harm Reduction and ART Inc.

Vieira said she hopes to expand the business by extending hours and utilizing more of the space. In the long run, she said the couple would love to open other locations. 

“We’ve been in survival mode for the last year, and this year we’re looking forward to stabilizing a little bit more,” Vieira said.

Crafted is located at 807 SW Adams St. and is open 5-9:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday 5-9:30 p.m. and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays.

For craft and drink sessions, people should arrive between 5-7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and there are three sessions on Saturdays starting at 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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