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Who We Are And Why We Are Here

Our Studio journey began when my husband purchased the building at 600 Kilgore Ave. in the Village of Batavia. He is the owner of Anderson Gutter Company and he needed a building to use as a warehouse and office for his company. It was years in the making, but he finally found the perfect space and it's not far from our home. The space is much larger than what he needed, but he figured we could rent the space out for others to utilize. He put me in charge of managing that and trying to find tenants since he stays busy trying to manage all the day to day requirements of owning a gutter company. I met with some potential tenants in the beginning before ultimately deciding to do my own thing and open Nakama Studio.

The name...if you heard my kids names, you would know that I appreciate unique names. Batavia Enrichment Center or something similar was briefly a consideration, but I just couldn't do it. Nakama means "friend that's like family" in Japanese and in the U.S.A. we don't have a special word with that meaning. My goal, from the start, has been to create a safe space for adults, kids and families to come to learn and grow together. I also strive to support and assist other small local businesses, as much as I can, by offering our monthly handmade markets, selling locally sourced products at the Studio and also bringing in local creators and skilled people in our community to teach a variety of different topics. I want the Studio to be a great asset to the community, so I love to receive as much feedback as possible on how we are doing and what other programs/classes members of the community would like to see offered.

My degree is in Nutrition, but arts and crafts have always been my true passion, so naturally the studio had to include arts/crafts classes, products and events to support our local makers. I always loved them growing up and spent many Saturday mornings with my mom at Michael's Craft Store kid craft classes. Even while working in Nutrition at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, I ran my own Jewelry Business thru Etsy. I started with beaded jewelry, then hand stamping and now I make Breastmilk, Cremation and other Resin Jewelry. I enjoy many other crafts and find being creative and creating things with my own two hands very therapeutic and rewarding. I am eager to teach the things that I know and bring in teachers for the things that I don't know, in hopes to help other people find what brings them joy and is therapeutic for them.

After having my daughter, we decided it was best for me to stay home with our kids. As my children grew, I decided that I wanted to homeschool them, so we have been on that journey from the start. I've fallen in love with homeschooling and find myself learning so much right along with them. It's been life changing. This is why, so many of the things offered at Nakama Studio are based around teaching kids and/or adults how to do something new. In our current society, everyones lives have become so busy and not enough time is being spent on doing those things that we enjoy or learning/exploring different topics to discover new things that may bring us joy, which can cause our mental health to suffer over time. If there is something that our customers want to learn, I would love to provide, it if I'm able to, and if my insurance agent approves it, lol! I feel that it's important for everyone to have a hobby, so we can all spend time doing something we enjoy outside of our daily obligations.

If you have a special skill that you would be interested in teaching at Nakama Studio, a product you would like to sell, or if there is a class that you would like to see offered, please feel free to comment or contact me personally thru the Facebook page or at julie@nakamastudio.org.

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