BROOKSVILLE-- Small towns often fall under the radar when locals are looking for a place for a fun night out.
But Hernando High School sweethearts of 14 years, Josh and Amber Marcottee have helped change that in their hometown of Brooksville. The Marcottees have opened a business there they have franchised in two other locations. The Teal Plank Workshop employs family members and fulfills a crafter’s dream.
Customers book private crafting parties at Teal Plank, where they invite friends to classes lasting three to four hours. They bring snacks and their own beverages -- including alcoholic ones -- to enjoy while they create decorative pieces. Projects range from holiday décor and signs, to farmhouse-themed creations and furniture, such as sliding barn doors, tables and even a faux fireplace,
During the week, Amber Marcottee and her uncle, Chris Shelton, are in the woodworking shop, cutting specially ordered wood into shapes for crafters. They send the wood pieces to locations in Odessa and Cross Creek for upcoming crafting events.
The rest of the materials are kept in the Teal Plank Workshop in Brooksville for other booked parties. Everyone in the classes must be 16 or older and ready to roll up their sleeves.
How did the workshops get started?
“I started by making things for my friends and family,” said Amber Marcotte. "That turned into them encouraging me to open an Etsy shop online. I became so busy, I had customers requesting orders from all over the world.”
Overloaded with family life and Etsy orders, the Marcottes formulated the idea for the Teal Plank Workshop.
“Creating this business has allowed me to have a place for my creative energies while still maintaining a balance for my family," Amber Marcotte said. "While my 11-year-old son is busy with soccer, my 12-year-old daughter has taken a strong interest in the workshop. My husband, Josh, has been a part of the entire process and is very much involved in the expansion of our business. We are hoping to expand to other areas of central Florida in the next few years.”
The Teal Plank Workshop has become a popular place on Friday nights and weekends. With more than 5,000 likes on Facebook and more than 1,200 followers on Instagram, the homegrown franchise is taking off.
“I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday afternoon at the Teal Plank Workshop with an amazing group of friends," Teresa Subar wrote on Facebook. "This is truly a unique experience and a great twist to a girl’s day (or night) out.”
“Not only did I make something I am absolutely in love with, they make you feel like a guest and not a customer," wrote Jerilyn Rumbarger, also on Facebook.
The Brooksville branch opened three years ago, the Odessa branch 16 months ago, and Cross Creek three months ago.
They are holding one public workshop per week, with each workshop holding up to 23 people. Private parties fluctuate depending on the time of year, but recently, they have been hosting one or two private parties a week.
Teal Plank offers birthday parties for any age, as well. To plan a workshop, crafters make reservations online, then select the craft they will be designing.
The stencil is printed, and the wood is cut and waiting to be sanded when guests arrive. Guests then can choose to distress, paint or stain their projects. After the project is dried, preprinted stencils are applied and painted.
Prices range from $40 to $250.
Teal Plank Workshop
2287 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville