DIY craft studio opens in Mt Laurel

MT LAUREL – A new store in Mt Laurel combines the pleasure of shopping for crafts with the fun of creating them yourself.

Aerie Lane opened at 100 Croft Street in the Mt Laurel Town Center in September.

Lena Davis and Mary Ussery decided to enter the venture together and had the store up and running in about two months.

“Mary’s friend opened the first Aerie Lane in Florida and was showing me pictures,” Davis said. “I said, ‘We’re doing it.’ I never had any doubts. It all just seemed like it was supposed to be.”

The pair then paid for licensing, bought supplies and painted furniture as part of the process of opening the fourth Aerie Lane location.

Davis and Ussery have known each other for about 12 years, beginning with their children playing youth sports together, said Davis, who handles more of the technological aspects of the business like creating stencils, while Ussery is the more design-savvy of the two.

The Mt Laurel location is a central one for the two owners, and they also liked the community feel of the area and the convenience of local residents being able to drop in.

“We thought it was the perfect spot for this,” Davis said and added that they have received much positive feedback.

Typically, customers visit the Aerie Lane website, Birmingham.AerieLane.com, schedule a workshop with a group of friends, pay a deposit then share a link where the friends can browse the available crafts along with their pricing.

Each member of the group select their own craft(s), and then when the group arrives, seating is reserved and all the materials needed for the selected crafts are ready to go and the staff gives instructions for a successful project.

Many visitors do not consider themselves “crafty,” Davis said, but plenty of support is available.

“We say, ‘We’re going to make you look crafty,’” she said.

Aerie Lane offers about 40 crafts at any given time, with several of them rotating on a seasonal basis.

Examples include pillows, reversible signs, door hangars and much more.

Prices range from $38 to $75 for each craft.

Custom stencils can be created in about 5-10 minutes for a $10 upcharge.

Most crafts are completed in about 2.5 hours.

Customers leave with a handmade piece and memories made from spending time with friends.

“We just felt like it was something everybody wants to do,” Davis said. “Everybody likes crafts, but who wants to buy all the materials you need.”

The business is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for walk-ins, but private events can be scheduled outside normal business hours.

In addition to typical group sessions, Aerie Lane has hosted birthday parties, baby showers and other events.

For more information, call 213-8811 or email birmingham@aerielane.com.

Those interested can follow Aerie Lane on Facebook (@aerielanebirmingham) and Instagram (aerielanebham).