Small business thrives with home delivery of crafting kits to cooped-up Calgarians

·3 min read

From bird watching to bread baking, Calgarians have explored new activities during 2020. One local business found a niche by delivering crafting "kits" directly to housebound hobbyists — and the results show that was a very crafty move.

"It was a niche and a need that wasn't being met," owner Kiki Lally told theCalgary Eyeopener.

The business, a crafting studio called Pinnovate, now offers home deliveries of DIY craft kits.

Lally said it's an idea that is right for the times.

"The entire DIY movement, watching Pinterest flourish in the last few years, has been amazing," Lally said. "You find that with the cooking shows and you find that with HGTV and home renos, that having something available this season to make in your house, it's needed."

Lally's story could have been just like those of many small businesses forced to close the doors in 2020.

The craft studio had barely opened when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But instead of shrinking, the business grew.

"We have a brick-and-mortar studio in Mahogany, and during the March shutdown, we were forced to close our doors," Lally said.

"We started packaging our delivery kits, [and initially] we were just driving them ... to people's homes and dropping them off with a YouTube tutorial."

Despite the shutdown, Pinnovate continued to grow.

"Over this last eight months, we've really had a chance to grow our business and to watch it kind of catapult into the next level," Lally said. "So we now ship across Canada. There's a full YouTube platform. We have probably 70 kits in our shop. And yes, it's been very exciting."

The key, according to Lally, is offering to deliver a kit with all supplies necessary, as well as a tutorial for the craft.

"A lot of our macrame, a lot of our textile kits are still available … the macrame that was popular in the '70s, the macrame and the wall hangings in the newer style, the more boho-chic style," Lally said.

The studio had been offering a children's art program, and has adapted to deliver all the supplies for those projects as well.

"A lot of children's kits. We do painting kits. We do art kits. Because our studio had an entire children's art program, we've really been able to diversify what we offer," Lally said.

Lally said the appeal of these kits is the ease of having everything at the ready.

"I am not naturally a big crafter. I am more of a person who would go to my studio, or buy a gift," she said. "I love getting my hands in there and creating something fun. But I'm not naturally a crafty person. I don't have a craft room in my home.

"What I found was a need — a need, and kind of having all the materials sourced, the supplies, a tutorial, something fun to make."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.