Shanel Williams, 3, and Quincy Dews, 2, create sand art at Bond International Arts and Crafts Shop.
Bond International Arts and Crafts Shop literally brightens Germantown Avenue. The shop window at 6379 Germantown Ave. features a vibrant rainbow along with colorful cutouts, making it stick out amongst neighboring buildings. But the physical appearance of the shop is not the only reason it stands out.
Barbara Bond-Dews, owner of Bond Crafts, decided to create a center where kids and families within the community could come for creative and affordable fun. Bond-Dews, 31, said she felt that most of the craft studios in the area were only geared towards one medium, and were also too expensive for families within the Germantown community to frequent often.
“There was really no place around here where all the kids could come and just do arts and crafts in general,” she said.
While families and children are encouraged to visit the shop on an individual basis, Bond-Dews also hosts birthday parties, classes and specialized workshops. Local day care centers also bring their classes to the shop once or twice monthly, and Bond-Dews prepares and leads an activity or project.
“There’s no mess or cleanup for them,” said Bond-Dews. “It’s like an art class, but a hassle-free art class.”
Inside the shop, shelves line almost every inch of the bright green and orange walls, housing various tools and supplies. A mother of two, Bond-Dews said she saw the need for a place where multiple children could engage in multiple activities. Some of the popular projects include canvas painting, jewelry crafting, sand art, sewing, ceramic painting, tie dying and soap making.
“Just about anything you can think of that’s arts and crafts related, we do,” Bond-Dews said.
Bond International Arts and Crafts Shop will celebrate its one-year anniversary on June 5. While Bond-Dews has already experienced positive feedback from the community, she wants to expand the shop’s possibilities and impact even further.
She is currently holding auditions for an upcoming children’s skit that celebrates the heroic efforts of individuals who were active in the anti-slavery and abolitionist movements. The skit will be held at the Juneteenth National Freedom Day Festival on June 18.