DIY Sign Shop Says Welcome

DIY Sign Shop Says Welcome

Meet the team at the Board and Brush Creative Studio

When the mother and daughter team Lori Goddard and Brittny Daly opened the doors of Board and Brush Creative Studio in October of 2019, they had no idea they would have to close them just five months later. COVID-19 has impacted them in ways they never saw coming. They have now re-opened, taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of their patrons. That re-opening is great news for owners Lori and Brittny and for all who visit and enjoy the use of this make-your-own custom sign studio.

So, what happens at Board and Brush Creative Studio? It’s an experience that is both creative as well as social.  It is a place where educational workshops are offered, at a flat fee that includes all the necessary materials. Instructors are on the premises to lead participants through every step of the custom sign-making process—from picking out their design, to sanding, distressing, staining, and finally painting. Participants can choose their project, stencil design, and colors, allowing them to create a one-of-a-kind wooden piece of art that they can take home with them to display.

There are more than 400 designs to choose from, including new releases that come out the first of every month. The Board and Brush team believes that there is a modern, classic, or vintage design for every person’s style and for every home.

The studio is comfortable and visually pleasing. When you walk into the space you are greeted by the inviting smell of freshly cut wood. The brightly lit space has beautifully painted craft signs hanging throughout, and there is a rustic, handmade wooden desk that is front and center of the check-in area. (Lori and Brittny made this desk themselves, and they’ve got the pictures to prove it!)  With a BYOB policy, people are welcome to bring their own alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, which encourages an atmosphere of community and fun. It’s the perfect setting to create a project, regardless of your experience level.

In line with other Maine businesses, Board and Brush has changed its practices to keep people safe during this pandemic. They are carefully following the latest health guidelines. As they fall somewhere in between a restaurant and a retail space, masks and social distancing measures are necessary when bringing groups of people together in one space. All tables are positioned six feet apart, and masks are required per state announcements. Other safety precautions include providing each guest with their own tools and supplies as well as minimizing the number of people that can be in the studio at one time.

A great option for people who want to have an in-studio experience but are not quite ready to extend outside their circle of close friends and family is to schedule a private event. A group of six or more people can register for a private party or workshop at a time when no one else will be there, with the exception of the instructors.

Events are usually scheduled in the evenings of Thursday through Saturday, with daytime workshops on some Sundays as well. Private event options are also available by appointment with advance notice. Guests are asked to pre-register for an event 48 hours in advance to allow the instructors time to plan and prep for their visit.

The owners are deeply committed to what they do.  With a background in the dental field, not business, Lori has approached new entrepreneurial opportunities as adventures.  As a single mom with four children, she put her strong work ethic and determination to the test by opening a Curves franchise back in 2003. She soon opened a second Curves fitness club and was later recognized as having one of the top-performing locations in the Northeast. “Taking a leap of faith back then was the best thing I ever did for my myself and my children. It gave me the strength and courage to do just about anything, and it has taught my children, who are now adults, to stand on their own two feet and never fear the challenges life presents. I always say, ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’”

Prior to going into business with her mother, Brittny had spent seven years as a physician’s assistant. After the birth of her second child, she decided to put that career on hold to spend more time with her family.  Brittny recalls first learning about Board and Brush on Facebook where she saw a middle school friend post about her experience in her previous hometown of Monroe, Connecticut.  

She immediately thought of her mother and called to tell her she found her next business venture. They quickly planned a trip to Connecticut to go take a look. They became excited about the company’s business model and the flexibility to allow growth at a pace that would work for their families, and they decided they would go into business together. Next up was a week-long Board and Brush discovery training event in Wisconsin. Never having used power tools before, this dynamic duo mastered the details of the business from the ground up, learning how to operate a circular saw, power drill, and a stencil cutter. Board and Brush Creative Studio opened its doors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 2017, followed by Amherst, New Hampshire in 2018.

With business steadily growing in both locations, Lori and Brittney set their sights on opening a third Board and Brush location in Portland. Brittny has deep ties to Maine, having graduated from Bates College where she met her future husband (and native Mainer). The couple married in Maine and settled in Eliot to live and raise their family. “Opening a studio in Maine was always a goal of ours. Portland is such an incredible art-centric community,

 and we are thrilled to bring this new and unique concept to the area.”

Looking to add to the Portland team in preparation for reopening, Lori and Brittny recently hired Sarah Reidy as Portland’s Studio Manager. Like many, Sarah was displaced from her job when the pandemic hit, having been let go in early March from her position as marketing copywriter and content manager for a large Maine company. She likes working for a locally owned company run by women and is excited to be a part of a growing business. “I look forward to using my marketing and social media experience to get the word out about Board and Brush,” she says. “And learning to use power tools is pretty cool, too.”

If you are looking to venture out in the community for an evening or weekend day of safe, social fun, Board and Brush is a great place to start. Whether it be a date night, girls’ night out, private party, or a corporate event, Board and Brush wants to be your go-to creative and social outlet for the “new normal.”

Board and Brush Creative Studio is located at 98 Cross Street, Portland, ME 04101. For more information, call (207) 536-0006 or go to https://boardandbrush.com/portlandme/

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