Staff at the new AR Workshop Wasilla celebrated their grand opening on Nov. 13. Owner Janina Fuller brought this franchise to the Valley after attending one of their workshops earlier this year.

“It was such a great time,” Fuller said. “And it seemed like something that maybe we could use here, since we have such long, dark winters.”

Fuller and her team welcomed over 300 people during their grand opening.

“And that was super exciting,” Fuller said.

Fuller and her team were able to start the business quickly in Wasilla.

“We wanted to get started right away because we felt like people were ready for this and excited for it here in our area,” Fuller said.

The AR Workshop has a retail space in the front of the store and a workshop in the back. Customers can purchase or create a variety of home-made decorations including wooden porch signs, tabletop centerpiece boxes and round hanging signs. Fuller pointed out that these are some of their most popular projects.

“There’s so many different types of things that you can make,” Fuller said. “And it seems like in every project, we get one new thing that we haven’t made yet.”

People that are interested can register for open workshops online through their website. Customers should note that they must register for their specific location.

Once a workshop date is chosen, customers can pick what specific project they want to do. The workshop can be booked out for private parties and events. Fuller explained that many first-time customers do not realize that they don’t have to create the same project that others are making.

“That’s kind of the cool thing about it is that they have a lot of freedom to choose what they want to do,” Fuller said. “They’re not doing the same thing that everybody else in the workshop is doing.”

AR Workshop in Wasilla employs 13 people. Fuller pointed out that having more hands makes handling large projects much easier.

“One lady did tell us this weekend, ‘Oh my gosh, I love the almost one on one,’” Fuller said, “‘because that’s really made me feel confident in what I’m doing.’”

Workshops are generally broken up into three-hour blocks. Customers might finish before that time depending on how focused they are. People may bring snacks and drinks to share with friends during their workshop. Smaller projects like ornament making requires less time to complete.

People that cannot make it to a workshop can have personalized gifts and home decor made for them.

Fuller and her team have already received positive feedback in their first two weeks. They have already created repeat customers. AR Workshop in Wasilla is bringing community members inside this winter to create personalized projects to display at home.

“With all of the things people have been through the last couple years with the pandemic and everything, it just felt like people are excited to do things with their friends and family again,” Fuller said.

AR Workshop is located at 619 S. Knik-Goose Bay Road. For more, see arworkshop.com/wasilla.

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