HIAWATHA — When Dana Rinkenberger left a do-it-yourself workshop in May, she not only had a personalized wood sign to hang on her wall, she also had a new business idea.
Less than two months later, she was a business owner.
Rinkenberger purchased a Board and Brush Creative Studio franchise in June and opened her Hiawatha studio in October.
Board and Brush is a DIY woodworking studio based in Hartland, Wisc. Founded in 2015 and franchising since 2017, the company now has 212 locations. Rinkenberger’s studio is the third in Iowa.
The former elementary school art teacher said she was introduced to the company by one of her best friends after the friend attended one of the workshops near her home in Indiana.
“She called me and said, ‘I have a total experience for you. You will want this company,’” Rinkenberger recalled.
The friend arranged for the two of them and their mothers to attend a Mother’s Day workshop at a Board and Brush studio in Dubuque when the friend was in Iowa for a visit.
“The whole time I was there working on my project, I wasn’t so much paying attention to the instruction but to what was happening in the studio and to what other people were feeling and experiencing,” Rinkenberger recalled. “By May 20, I quit my teaching job, and by June 1 I was in Hartland ... to meet with the corporate people.”
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As part of their introduction to the franchise, Rinkenberger and her husband, Jeremy, who is a custom homebuilder, attended a workshop at the company’s flagship studio in Hartland.
“My husband leaned over 20 minutes into the workshop and said, ‘This is so fun,’” Rinkenberger said. “I knew when I had him — who builds for a living — thinking it was fun, I could get anybody.”
Board and Brush offers public and private workshops to create wood signs and other home decor items. Attendees select the project of their choice from an online gallery, and the studio provides all the tools, materials and instruction to complete it.
During the three-hour workshops, guests distress, sand and stain the wood, use power tools to assemble their projects, and customize their creations with paint. Drinks are available for purchase while they work.
“My big emphasis is to make sure people who come here feel encouraged and have a reprieve from whatever is going on in their lives,” Rinkenberger said.
“Life is messy. I want people to walk in and leave whatever is going on in life at the door and have a good time for three hours.”
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At a Glance
l Owner: Dana Rinkenberger
l Business: Board and Brush Creative Studio
l Address: 1709 Boyson Rd., Hiawatha
l Phone: (319) 334-1011
l Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
l Website: boardandbrush.com/hiawatha