What is most fun when done with others, rewarding to do alone and can be painted red all over? A decorate-it-yourself vase from Color Me Mine—the creative art studio in the east end of the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. Katy Daily and Cheri Lee are two Maple Grove residents and customers who know all about the creativity that emerges at Color Me Mine, in red or any other color of the rainbow. Since it opened nearly three years ago, Lee says she’s been there 8 or 9 times. “I started going there with family first,” she says. “They have vases and salad bowls…my kids like to make plates and put their names on them.”
This is not an uncommon scenario according to owner Heather Kamin. People become attached to the things they create at Color Me Mine. “A lot of kids make their own plate and then insist upon using only that plate to eat from,” says Kamin by way of example. “It’s a really big problem if it gets broken.” But not to worry, the shop always carry the basics—plates, mugs, vases, etc.—and also gets a shipment each week of new items like boxes and figurines, home décor and planters.
Color Me Mine is a perfect place for customizing home décor. You can design your own piece to match the elements of any room, or use one of their stencils to paint-by-number your favorite school logo on a mug. Kamin says men who come to the shop tend to make presents for their wives or moms, or, they usually make beer steins. “I’ve seen a million Viking beer steins go through our kiln, or plates for grilling,” Kamin adds.
At Color Me Mine you can pick from any of 100 pottery items in stock (starting at around $7), paint it and return later after it’s been fired in the kiln. Katy Daily, family services coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House near the University of Minnesota, can’t say enough about how Kamin makes the process enjoyable. “She [Heather Kamin] packed up all of her supplies and paints, and brought her shop to the Ronald McDonald House. The kids and families got the chance to paint fun creations without leaving the House,” Daily says. “Color Me Mine has donated all of the materials, and their time about five times.”
Kamin definitely loves her job. A former preschool director, Kamin enjoyed working with children and their families. Her new endeavor lets her keep in touch with young people and adults alike and what’s more, “I found something that would give me a chance to let my creative side run wild,” she says.
“One of the wonderful things about this type of business is that we get to see the customer’s personality shine through their masterpiece,” Kamin says. “Every person's individuality is celebrated here and we encourage original, spirited pieces.” Many new customers are intimidated when they enter, but “when they leave that is totally gone,” says Kamin.
One of those carefree customers was a rooster collector that let her passion direct the making of an entire set of kitchen plates, each sporting a different rooster. Another customer, a local artist, painted a platter in Norwegian decorative Rosemaling that won a ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair.
While working on a great piece can be rewarding, attending as a group can be downright invigorating. Bachelorette parties sometimes set out to create a custom set of tableware for the new bride—plates, pitchers, cups, bowls and serving dishes made by those offering the best of wishes. Groups of friends return for bonding time and families of all ages can find something of interest on the shelves.
“I was surprised by the feel-good feeling after we left,” says Cheri Lee about her first visit. “I do feel like it’s the time you are spending there with kids that creates great family memories.”
Memories can also be reflected daily in the objects that are made at Color Me Mine. One unique item that can make a lasting impressive in the look of your home is backsplash tile. Whether it’s a few accent tiles or an entire wall, you can customize the look and enjoy it every time you walk into the room.
This month you’ll find Halloween themed items on the shelves; October also is the perfect time to order ceramic Christmas trees or other related holiday items. No matter the month, you always go home with a memory; all you need to bring is your imagination.Color Me Mine The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes 12155 Elm Creek Blvd. Maple Grove 763.420.000