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TREEHOUSE Kid and Craft Athens : Interview with Kristen Bach

One of the many perks of being in business and creating a brand, is finding men and women who have their own vision to open a store, spread the word about our products, and help us reach children and families around the world. At blabla these store owners are an integral part of our business.
Our first in a series of interviews with some special store proprietors   begins with Kristen Bach, owner and creator of Treehouse Kid and Craft which is a kids shop and DIY center located in Athens Georgia, and is one of our favorites.

Kristen opened Treehouse in 2010 with a vision to create a place where people in the Athens community and beyond would feel welcome and be inspired to make, create and live happy!

1. How did you end up in Athens, Ga?

My husband and I moved to Athens 10 years ago.  We were living an hour east of Minneapolis and knew about Athens because of its music scene.  We visited once and decided to move here.    The city has always had a creative spirit which I was initially drawn to and is something that I have always loved about it. 

2. At what point did you know you wanted to open a toy store?

I really try to support small and local businesses and while I was expecting my daughter, I was having a hard time finding things, locally.  It was then that the idea came to me to create a place that offered ethically made products that inspired creative play.  I also knew that I had to offer a hands on creative experience and that is where the idea for offering classes came about.

3. Tell us about Shop Baby

Shop Baby’s real name is Maypop Persimmon Wren.  I opened the shop when she was 9 months, she spent a lot of time with me at the shop and quickly developed a fan club amongst our loyal customers.  As she has gotten older I decided to hire local artist and friend Lauren Gregg to illustrate a character that wouldn’t age.  Shop Baby is our mascot I guess you could say…if you are lucky, you’ll see her in the shop from time to time.

4. Tell us about the people you partner with in your DIY classes.

Luckily we have a really amazing Art and Art Education department at the University.  We oftentimes collaborate with  students who are getting undergraduate or graduate degrees in Art.  It is great for students to get an alternative teaching opportunity and for us to get great teachers.

5.  What kind of classes do they teach?  We do a lot of fun classes at the shop.  During the summer we offer camps for ages 3-14 years.  Camp themes are anything from Superhero Camp, Fairy Camp, Project Runway Camp, Photography and Photo Styling, and more.  During the year we offer a series of “Art School” classes that teach Art History and Technique.  We also have an ongoing Craft business class where our students learn about developing products, selling etiquette, package design, and  they sell their goods at local craft markets.

6. Tell us about Beauty Everyday.

BeautyEveryday is a daily journal that started with friends Rebecca Wood and Rinne Allen just over 5 years ago.  We all share a love for the South and its landscape and enjoy exploring and documenting it.  It is a major creative outlet for me as the day to day activities of shop owning isn’t always creative (although oftentimes it is).  We recently compiled 365 of our favorite Southern Beauty images and made a coffee table book.  The book shares a photograph that represents each day of the year.    A customer once told me that our book was like a day dream and I couldn’t agree more!

7. We hear you might be opening an Atlanta shop…..

I am in the midst of opening an Atlanta location with my sister, Kim whom has been working for me in Athens for the past year.  We are excited to keep it a family run shop and bring the TREEHOUSE to Atlanta.  We are planning to open in September in Inman park.  Our space will allow us to have some pop up crafts, kid art markets, and lots of activities for families and crafters in Atlanta.  We are over the moon excited!!!

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