Kookiedoodle Crafts helps kids connect with their creative sides.
Entrepreneurs Katie and Sheila Weiford
Company Information Kookiedoodle Crafts 7924 Santa Fe Overland Park, KS 66204 (913) 387-4065 www.kookiedoodlecrafts.com
Type of Business Art studio for young people
Year Founded 2012
Ask any 8-year-old: Going to art class is one of the best parts of the week.
When she was a classroom teacher, Katie Weiford loved tagging along when her students went to art class. The kids always seemed to open up more when they could express their creativity with paint and paper. Now Weiford is encouraging kids to be more confident and creative by making arts education more accessible outside of school. She and her mother, Sheila, opened Kookiedoodle Crafts, an arts-and-crafts studio for young people, last fall in downtown Overland Park.
The studio teaches young people ages 3 to 12 how to work with stencils, decoupage, felt, paint and more. Children can decorate a beeswax candle, paint a canvas shopping bag or try out sand painting. The younger Weiford knows what an impact art can have on a child. When she was growing up, her parents set aside a corner of their basement where she and her brothers could create art.
“Some of my favorite memories of growing up would be my brothers and I coming home from school and going down to our little work room,” Katie Weiford said. “And we would kind of craft and make things until it was time for dinner.”
Kookiedoodle Crafts offers a schedule of structured classes and workshops, and it hosts birthday parties and field trips. But the studio also is set up so that a family can walk in without an appointment and jump into a project.
The studio’s counter is lined with 80 jars filled with googly eyes, ribbons and other “embellishments” that children can include in their artwork.
“It kind of looks like a modern take on an old-fashioned candy counter,” said Katie Weiford, who taught for several years in local Catholic schools.
Sheila Weiford worked in development and alumni relations at Notre Dame de Sion for 24 years.
“I retired, but my retirement didn’t last very long when I jumped back in the frying pan,” Sheila Weiford said. “Not every parent gets a chance to work with their child. So for Katie and I, this has been a great experience for us.”
The Weifords, who had never owned a business before, completed a Kauffman FastTrac course before they started Kookiedoodle, and they say the training was essential. They learned how to write a business plan and research the market, and they made valuable connections with mentors.
While children are their primary customers, the Weifords also host team-building events and schedule “arts and carafes” nights where adults can learn a new skill while enjoying some wine.
Right now, the Weifords are focused on perfecting their operations, but they’ve already started to think about adding other locations locally or possibly franchising Kookiedoodle Crafts.
“This could be such a great thing to say it was started right here in Kansas City by a family,” Katie Weiford said.