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While we’re all handling our new normal differently, one particular coping mechanism has swept the nation: crafting. Whatever your project of choice, odds are you’ve tried something hands-on while housebound. Just as likely, a month in and you’re now out of ideas. Instead of scouring the Internet for your next creative endeavor, why not let an expert choose it for you?
That’s where Katie Wilson and Scott Grover come in, owners of Los Angeles–based gift shop Crush and its sister store, Touch Art Supply. When COVID-19 forced them to close their brick-and-mortar locations, they decided to focus their energy on putting art supplies into the world at a time when they felt people needed them the most. “During this time, a daily art practice is something that really comforts us, and we quickly discovered that others felt the same way,” says Wilson. The idea of crafting care packages was born.
After a bit of trial and error to figure out the perfect system, they settled on a customizable plan. Customers choose what they want to pay—either $25, $50, $75, or $100—for either a child or an adult kit and are encouraged to write a message at checkout with their artistic preferences (e.g., are you more inclined to draw or paint?). The rest is up to Wilson and Grover.
“Scott and I select each care package individually,” says Wilson. “If a customer doesn’t leave a note, we always include some sort of surface (usually a small sketchbook or paper pad) and a variety of tools like colored pencils, brush pens, or oil pastels.” If a favorite color palette is mentioned, even better. The pair will go to great lengths to put together a truly personalized bundle, going so far as to check out the person’s Instagram page first or add a handwritten note if it’s a gift for a faraway loved one. With the help of their pugs, Peggy and Stevie (check out their setup, above), the duo ships out the boxes using a no-contact delivery service, and voila! You could end up with anything from a sketch kit to a beginner’s origami package.
Don’t consider yourself an artist quite yet? No problem. “Regardless of age or experience level, the act of creating feels like a concrete accomplishment during a time when we’re all in over our heads. We’re firm believers that art is for everyone,” says Wilson. And here at Domino, so are we.