Fast-growing DIY workshop boutique coming to Sioux Falls

By Jodi Schwan

Do-it-yourself projects meet boutique shopping in AR Workshop, a fast-growing national chain that is coming to Sioux Falls.

An extension of the design company Anders Ruff, AR Workshop is a hands-on boutique studio and store where visitors can create their own handmade, mixed-media pieces – everything from framed and plank wood signs to canvas wall hangings, chalkboard art, pillows, decor and more. During instructor-led workshops, customers can exercise their creativity choosing a design, assembling and customizing their signs with nontoxic paint and stain colors.

Franchisees Caleb and Tracy Hinkkanen wanted to own a business and thought it seems like an ideal fit.

“I love everything design and decor, and am constantly changing and redecorating our house,” Tracy Hinkkanen said. “And he loves woodworking and DYI and doing things ourselves, so it was perfect.”

The North Carolina-based company started as a graphic design business, online shop and DIY blog before expanding to retail locations last year. It has grown to 36 sites. The closest to Sioux Falls is in Colorado.

It combines a DIY workshop with a bar and lounge plus a boutique. Parties and corporate events can choose a project, add beer and wine, and leave with custom wood signs, wood pallet signs, canvas pillows, lazy Susans, centerpiece boxes and other projects. There also are a variety of public workshops for all ages.

AR Workshop will be in vacant a space next to Potbelly Sandwich Shop at 41st Street and Western Avenue. It most recently was a men’s clothing store.

“We want people to feel almost like they’re in a friend’s home,” Hinkkanen said. “There will be a lounge, a bar, sofas, so you can hang out and relax, and there will be tables with tools and paint and stain and everything you need.”

By doing it yourself, you can save money, “but not if you have to go buy power tools and specific paint colors and stains,” she added. “So you get to experience DIY without spending a lot and ruining your garage.”

Hinkkanen also works for Hegg Realtors and plans to keep her license.

She plans to hire about 10 part-time staff for AR Workshop and hopes to open in mid-September. It’s the first of two DIY-based franchises coming into the market. Board & Brush Creative Studio plans to open this fall.

Fast-growing DIY workshop boutique coming to Sioux Falls

Do-it-yourself projects meet boutique shopping in AR Workshop, a fast-growing national chain that is coming to Sioux Falls.

News Tip

Have a business news item to share with us?

Scroll to top